Friday, July 09, 2004

Confounding My Self

I realize that I have felt anxious and frustrated when surrounded by too many white-skinned tourists here. Not sure why. I guess it's because I want to blend in with the brown, and get a whiff of my Self as global citizen and not so much as American Texan Tammy.

So I'm finding that it's best to travel alone. Moving from shop to cafe, thangka gallery to embroidered t-shirt stall, I notice white-skinned travelers seeking one another out: "Hi, where are you from?" "When did you get to Kathmandu?" "How long have you been here?" All in English. Moving towards familiarity, these tourists seem to want to hang out with each other and assert their common distinctions from the natives. These people rarely talk to me, if even look at me. It is somewhat relieving and refreshing to just be another short, brown nobody to them. I want and seek no status here. I'm sick of that game, which I've learned how to play back in the States.

Still, I realize that--at some point--I may want to break my silence and speak some American English with other people from my country. If I get lonely enough...

Speaking of which, today another person, the dude at the internet service place in Swayambuh, got his mind blown; he thought I was from Nepal. When I opened my mouth to speak and English instead of Nepali words came out, he looked soooo surprised! He smiled apologetically, saying that I "confused" him for a moment.
I'm gonna try to learn more Nepali.

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