July 3, 2009

“That baby looks so pale!”

I’ve been back in North America for ten days now. I endured the long plane flight back and then another series of flights to get to Alaska, where I am now. I’ll be happy not to get on a plane again any time soon.

The major adjustments have all been on relatively minor things. For instance, the size of the produce in the grocery store always gets me. The eggplant is the size of my forearm and the tomatoes are huge. On the other hand, the avocados are puny, compared to the softball-sized ones we ate in South Africa.

On one of my many flights, there was a young baby and as the family boarded all I could think was, “That baby looks so pale! I sure hope it is alright.” Then I realized the baby was white and was supposed to look the way it did. I guess that’s what happens when you work with a bunch of black babies for so long.

In South Africa, by virtue of my skin colour and perceived wealth, I was always the centre of attention wherever I went and regardless of the situation. I didn’t always like it. Now I am just part of the crowd, which has been a relatively easy adjustment to make.

I don’t find myself thinking about Itipini all that often. I don’t know if I should be relieved about that or feel kind of guilty. I’m back at work as a reporter, fishing has become an act of civil disobedience, there's a big parade tomorrow, and Sarah Palin just resigned (!) so there’s lots to keep me busy here.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back to Alaska Jesse