A journey to discover the people who change our world.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Chai Chatter

A few years back a Zambian friend of mine visited my home in Roscommon, Ireland. She is tall, stunning, and very black. At the time in Roscommon there were exceptionally few tall, stunning, black women about, and so when we walked into the local pub, mouths dropped, silence fell, and heads followed as she did the very normal act of walking to a table and sitting down. But pretty soon the locals turned back to their pints and the chatter continued.

I am certainly not tall, stunning or black, but I had the exact reaction today when I walked into a local chai shop (the local pub equivalent in these parts). All I did was the simple act of ordering a cup of tea and sitting down, but mouths dropped, silence fell and heads indeed turned. About 20 pairs of eyes were on me as I sipped away. It wasn’t out of malice, just curiosity. But soon the chatter rose, the heads turned back, and I didn’t feel like such an oddity.

Interesting, whether in Ireland, or India, the oddity very soon becomes a familiarity, and all can continue.


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