As I settle into my site, gearing up for a whirlwind of excitement that is sure to come within my two year stay I see a pattern emerge as I meet more and more people.The same situation happens so many times during the day and it never fails to amuse me.As you may know being Black helps me to blend in easier with the locals however as I am slowly realizing that there are some features about my face that give my American-ness away.So a person will look at me for a second start talking to me a bit then all of a sudden they look at me even closer and ask me you from where?and I say merkica(USA) and then they say you not Fijian? and I say no and then I am asked where you stay? who you stay with ? are you married?I am truthful for most of the conversation since these are things any local would ask another, instead of asking abstract questions like how you are.The part that I mostly lie about is who I live with. I usually say that I live with a family with two older brothers, just to stay safe and not give them the thought that they can easily rob my home.
Today though this conversation got a bit uncomfortable.I was walking around town on a street of shops that I do not frequent so I could see if I was missing out on any great stores, so of course I was walking pretty slow and peering into all the shops.Apparently this was a bad choice because a man,probably in his late twenties started walking and talking with me asking me if i'm looking for something, where i was going and if I'm Fijian.I talked with him thinking it was weird but that he may just go away in a few minutes to tend to his own shopping duties. The man though continues to walk into a store with me and talk to me, trying to find out where I stay and where I worked. Trying desperately to ignore him he asked if he was making me uncomfortable I said yes and thankfully he just left.From now on I guess it would behoove me to always look like I know where I'm going-no matter what and to speak up from the beginning to be left alone.Oh and to set your hearts at ease this took place in the afternoon on a busy Saturday with lots of people around me.