It felt odd to be judged solely and exactly by the features of your face and your skin tone. Before I went on my Asia trip, I wasn’t conscious of how diverse we looked from other south-east asian inhabitants. To me, a European is a European and an Asian is an Asian (syntax killer). In my well-deserved ignorance, I didn’t see the point of making a distinction anyway.
As soon as I stepped inside the jetty port lobby, I heard a distinct “ Kababayan. Dito kayo!” . And I felt an instantaneous grin form in my face. There really is nothing better, more reassuring, more heartening as seeing a friendly Kababayan (then again immediately after that smile appeared, words started slowly parading inside my brain – “Misled tourists. Theft. Murdered. Rape. Forced Slaves” – just some common things that have been associated to my friendly Kababayans). I wonder what gave my nationality away, we have the same skin color and facial features in this region anyway. Hmm. Must be my short shorts then.