6.12.2013

Down Under I

Hey everyone, Boon here. It's been awhile since my last post here. Assignments, assignments, assignments. Can't live with them, don't have to. But my relative absence has enabled me to share some (well, for this post two) tales with you all, taking a leaf out of sister Ankhesen's encouragement to share my experiences in Perth, Western Australia.

Last month at the start of winter I was waiting for the bus at the campus station when I encountered an interesting sight in human interaction. Freezing my ass off, I stumbled across an interracial couple; he African (his accent seemed to place him somewhere in central to East Africa) and she South Asian (whose voice unfortunately I never got to hear properly) They were standing a few stops away from mine, hugging and rubbing against each other both as a means of intimacy and to warm themselves from the cold. Admittedly, this coupling is not too often seen, at least for me. I debated with myself; should I say something or just keep quite & stare like nobody's business? My adventurousness got the better of me and I went for the former.

"Uh, excuse me?" <both stop and look enquiringly at me>
"Are you two together?" <cue my index finger waggling between them horizontally>

His face was priceless. It changed from puzzlement to guarded reservation, almost standoffish in its intensity. Likewise her expression was wary, and I could detect a hint of fear in her eyes. A brief pause. And then-

"Yes."

I wonder how to react to that. This was the best I could come up with:

"I just wanted to tell you both, good thing. Spread the interracial love brother!"

And the change was instantaneous. His eyes widened and he let out a belly deep laugh. She look confused, unsure as to what just happened. When I walked away, I could hear him telling her what I just said, which elicited a laugh of joy & relief.

Shortly later, she boarded a bus by herself, after all the tenderness & romance associated with lovers parting ways. His bus stand was just after mine, which meant that he had to pass me by. As he did, our eyes met and he gave a gesture that sent me into thought. He smiled at me, with a small wave. But it was a smile touched by guilt. Perhaps he felt bad about being on the defensive towards me? After all I meant no harm, just wanted to give them some measure of support for keeping love alive in a world that grows chill with the passing days from our sorrows & illnesses. In a sense, I couldn't blame him. I hazard the both of them must've encountered no small resistance from all & sundry for the choice they've made. Whatever reactions they've experienced over time surely must have built up their defense mechanisms. The notion saddened me, if only just a little. Is humanity so xenophobic & hateful of one another that the love between two people is colored by fear? Almost as soon as the thought came to me, it passed and was replace by a modicum of comfort. At least today, they've encountered a kindred spirit of sorts. And it's these thin lariats of human empathy that one seeks and remembers at the end of the day. God bless them both, for I wish them all the joy & happiness in this world & the next.

The more humorous of the two anecdotes occurred 2 weeks ago. I walked to campus from my house to use the library, only to discover it wasn't opened on a Sunday evening (cheap bastards the uni admin >.>) I turned to head on back when I came across a poster saying there would be an anime convention at 8pm downtown. Against my better judgement and my wallet disagreeing with me strenuously, I went home, got changed and popped out again, with a walking stick to boot. Liek a baus
http://rolandog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Fuck_yeah_kindleDX.png
[Damn straight]

So anyways, on the bus listening to music, I suddenly had an epiphany.
...I've never heard of a convention, anime or otherwise, go on until 3 in the bloody morning.
Turns out, it wasn't a convention. It was an alternative thing, so to speak. Y'see, the underground scene here in Perth, is pretty tight-knit. That Sunday was for the otakus, so the following week would be for the Goths, and the week after the body-pierces, and so on & so forth. So it was 8 hours of non-stop rave music on one floor, and K-pop combined with J-pop on the other. To top it all off, it was held at Perth's Young Australia League building, a seemingly innocuous society but which strongly smacks of the White Citizens Council. Just saying.

All the same, I met interesting characters there. Standing outside for a smoke, a clearly drunk white Aussie guy/kid was rambling with his mates when suddenly, "Hey you're Asian & wise, whad'dya think?"

you're Asian & wise
you're Asian & wise
you're Asian & wise

you're Asian & wise
you're Asian & wise


I snapped back to reality, and merely gave my opinion. Turns out he just wanted an affirming voice to his side. But as the night wore on I realized that this was in many respects a gathering where people could be themselves without fear of social derision, or even bodily harm. As one flushed partygoer dressed in a FMA getup pointed out, "Geeks & nerds who've suffered bullying usually don't begrudge others their differences." Wise words indeed.

I was also on the lookout for other PoCs like us (one somewhat surreal element that night was the overwhelming prevalence of white adolescents & youths) and lo & behold, there were a handful. Besides fellow Asians there was a pretty cosplayer dressed as a maid who appeared to be West Asian or Latin American, a brotha' wearing a stylized mempo mask who looked somewhat lost but didn't let that prevent him from enjoying himself. And new contacts as well; Edidiong, an Afro-Asian brotha' (of Nigerian/Indian descent) whom I had a lengthy discussion about religion & atheism, Joe Filocamo, an Italian-Aussie bloke who along with Edi both did the art for the night.

That's pretty much it for now, folks. Stay tuned for more when it comes. Cheers!

7 comments:

  1. And he's baaaaaaack!!!

    Loving the GIFs!

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  2. Seems like your life is busy ,but also a prosperous and fun one. I graduated from college a couple of years ago and it can definitely be stressful but at the end it will be worth it.

    Anyways... I'm not going to lie, I stare at people ,places or things. Depending on the person, they may find staring to be normal or annoying, but it's part of human nature and its normal. Just today, I was taking the train to town and seen this young man and woman together coming on the train. People... including me....stared at them for a couple of seconds because she was very tall (( like 6'5) and the guy appeared to be around 5'8 to 9. One guy didn't want to look obvious at looking at the woman but he did until he got off of his stop

    I believe we all stare for a couple of reason 1) to keep our eyes straight and 2) besides human nature, its what we have told about what is supposed or not supposed to be accepted as normal. You stared at the African man and his Australian girlfriend out of admiration and as you see there aren't a lot of couples like them in that country ( If I'm not mistaken Australias Black population is only at 5 people) Even in a supp posed " "diverse" country like the USA, you still have people who fall on the floor seeing a mixed raced couple .Just to show how some Americans see it as abnormal, I don't know if you seen the Cheerios cereal commercial but it it brewed a lot of unnecessary controversy because it featured a mixed race family on there. (Black dad, White mom mixed daughter) I thought that the commercial was cute and so did some others, but you also had the haters. It was so bad that they had to shut download the comment section.

    Some people don't think that commercial is normal because we see more same raced couples than mixed and mainly what society tell us is "normal". Though people may see mixed couples as abnormal, they are...and always been that way since the beginning of time . I don't know about other people,but everytime I step out of my door I see a mixed couple..mainly Black men/White women.In the past, it would be Asian women with Black men. Though it's not as numerous, I have seen a couple of AMBW and BMLW/LMBW couples where I live. Yes I stared,but briefly. They may have seen it as annoying or indifferent, but people are going to do it no matter what. Not starring can be just as abnormal as not starring. I'm like this:As long as its not a stalker stare ,that's life.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I definitely heard about the Cheerios ad controversy. SMH, those asshats got riled up over nothing. The kid was adorable, and she certainly didn't give a flying F, thinking folks got excited over her smile (bless her heart) Well, stupid is as stupid does.

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    2. hey zydar C
      I just wanted to apologise for my reaction yesterday evening totally uncalled for.i misunderstood what you said the first time that's why I reacted unsensibly.
      Thanks a lot for the encouragement you one of the first people that has come out and said something good about my relationship, thanks a lot.

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    3. Welcome to our humble narrative!

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    4. Haha no worries Brother, I understand. Keep checking out the blog, I'll be putting up the experience in a post. Cheers!

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  3. These stories really made me laugh ! Especially the last one... I thought you were about to walk into a brothel or something?! HAHA...There is an Indian woman and Nigerian man married with a beautiful child at my church? I LOVE THEM SO MUCH but because I know them i don't stare but if I saw them in the street, i would have smiling like CRAZY :-)

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