Bayas’ Sukela!

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Shadika / สวัสดี

The other day my friend (yes Gal) and I were chatting  (more like arguing) about the recent racial slurs on South African social media by these ignorant few. In our debate I couldn’t help but think that it’s bad enough that us black people are foreign in the likes of Asia but to be foreign in South Africa, quite frankly… bayas’sukela! [When you find an English equivalent for this phrase – please comment below].

Look we arrived in Patong to the hotel entertainment singing Miriam Makeba’s Pata Pata. Oh yay – its not waka waka! Amen! *claps twice for emphasis of my excitement* Best you believe that they knew I was South African at the end of that song. I mean firstly…

  • Which South African doesn’t love the Pata Pata? Especially in a foreign country.
  • Secondly… it’s anything but the same old waka waka!

Tsamina mina zangalewa anyone? Umm nope.  In all honesty to the rest of the world, South Africans don’t know what that song means hey. In fact, most of us don’t pronounce it correctly either.

Speaking of waka waka, even though I knew the 2010 World Cup being held in SA was a big deal – I didn’t think people would know more of this song than they do our most famous icon Mandela in some countries; Thailand isn’t any different. So herein lies my dilemma – when you consider that South Africans that have lived in the era of icons like Nelson Mandela can share ideologies with the likes of Judge Jansen – imagine people who have never heard of Tata Madiba at all?! Oh yes these people exist in Phuket.

Its gets pretty bad to say the least. Case in point…

I was lying down enjoying a Thai massage in one of the many makeshift spas in Patong when I felt another set of hands tugging at strands of my hair. Hai man! You don’t touch a black woman’s hair unless you are the masseuse entrusted to perform the head massage!

Listen, even deciding we want a head massage causes inner conflict. But nope… there this Thai woman goes on with the tugging, asking me – “this one… your heh?” This is touchy subject already but taking that I had twist I think the answer is quite obvious, “Its braids.” It’s a little weird to me that they haven’t seen twist braids but anyways, they seem more fascinated than anything else so I didn’t really mind the curiosity. [Apparently twist braids in Patong will cost you plenty more than a Bresilienne weave but that’s a conversation for another day].

Back to my Thai massage… literally two minutes later the very same women (now with her sister beside her) is poking my lips and trying to pat my eyes like you would a Indochinese tiger!

Indochinese tiger_Thailand
How to pat an Indochinese tiger… #justsaying

Like WHOOOH lady! What is this? Am I like the modern day Sarah Baartman around here or what? “hehe you, lips too big!  You.. too much kissing?!?(…)” she chuckles. Hahahah! “I wish. This is natural. Born like dis! African woman!”  – yes i said it with all the hand gestures you are imagining!

On a scale from 1 to disaster this was somewhat funny to me and I laughed it off. But cue the Thai guy jogging on the beach opposite the Sea View Resort. He tried to explain that he can’t take our photograph because he can’t turn on the camera’s flash *side eye*.

It was evening… seriously. All that actually came out his mouth was “no see. black black!” 

Eve patong beach
When we fired him to take our own “black black” pictures

No wait for it… it gets worse!

There we are rushing to boarding gate C7 at Bangkok International Airport to realise we are being followed by a 20-something year old Asian lady [she actually could’ve been 30-something – Asian don’t crack either!]. Eventually she says “Stop! Stop! foto please!” while pointing to someone who might be her grandmother sitting a short distance away. I assumed she wanted a picture with her gran so I say “sure – let me help you”. Instead her gran jumps up (yes she was so excited that old lady jumped up – I’m not joking). In a super excited way magogo pulls my sister and I on either side of her and points at us *gasp*

Everybody say… “Blaaaack”! 

Angela Meme
None of my photos capture this exact feeling better!

Thixo wase George Goch!

So yep it gets real out there, even more so than in South Africa. I could somewhat deal with it in Asia because as I said: darkies are few and far between over there but here in South Africa…

Africa where chocolate is in abundance?

There’s no place for that here. Seriously Bayas’sukela!

Drops mic.

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