[Bo-Kaap, The Cape Malay Quarter]
Not every day is perfect. Close..but not quite.
Whether you are in the comfort of your home or travelling on the road, shit happens. The only difference is whether or not you let it bother you. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen, that’s called denial.
See it, understand it, confront it, and get over it.
Today was no different. It’s been an on going issue with my abnormally increasing number of injuries. Did I mention I chipped my tooth while eating a date? This was after the jelly fish sting, but before the massive blood blister that took over my entire toe. On top of that, my other major injuries are still causing me a lot of pain. For someone who is active 4-5 days of the week, I’m really learning a lot about patience and being calm. So what really happened was that I walked over an hour to go rock climbing, only to find that my entire toe turned into a blood blister. Let’s just say my feet were not happy with me since I decided to rock climb anyway. What did I learn? Don’t buy shoes for 69 rand ($7)! “Recovery” is obviously still a relatively new term to me.
Now here’s the thing.. I’ve become so used to my obscure and random accidents that things like this don’t affect me. Neither does becoming a target of sexist and racist comments, but for some reason, it really aggravated me today. Both modern day sexism and racism are still very much prevalent in today’s society. These are issues that must be confronted, not ignored. When I become a target of sexist and racial slurs, I don’t take it personally because It’s not really about me. Not that I tolerate it, but I understand that there is a bigger issue at hand, which stems from historical issues or cultural differences. This is why it does not help to victimize yourself. However, today it just seemed like the world wanted to hit me over the head with a sack of derogatory slang. It was one thing after another, every few minutes for an hour, from kids to adults. I can’t say I’m shocked or surprised, especially as an ethnic solo female traveller. If anything, it gets tiring. I must say this happens to me on every continent. Even now, I can’t say that I understand how it feels to be a victim of constant discrimination, but I can only imagine. These are just comments. Imagine what it’s like for those who go through this at home, work, school, and in their every day life. Whether it is subtle or overt, it is dehumanizing. This is what gets to me. What can we do about it? It seems like we are each only a small part of the equation, but if we all become aware of this prejudice behavior, speak our mind, and take a stand when needed, it can be a start, right? One can be hopeful.
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.” -Unknown