As I sit in the seat on this bus that is mine for the next several hours, I notice that I am the only white person I’ve seen since I left Mumbai. I find it ironic that on one side of the world white people are trying to exclude or keep people of color out and on the other the people of color are the majority. I find peace in this diversity because I learn so much about my place in this world by being humbled in these scenarios. Only a few times have I ever been scared by this fact and even fewer times have I felt I was in danger because of me being the minority.
What if someone were to hurt, injure or even kill me because of their anger towards America or Europe? I am fully prepared for this actually. If they need to hurt me to feel better, it is no different than the people of the same race or citizenship as me that have hurt me to feel better. If I die by someone’s hand for their fear of white people or their hatred of white people then I die knowing that I had purpose.
I have passed rural villages that stare at me through this tiny barrier of a window. I have waved and smiled at those that stare and look completely terrified of me. I say hello to those that are looking at me like I have caused all the problems in the world because I refuse to be the darkness. I refuse to let others tell me who I am.
While the Bollywood music is blaring on the television in the front of the bus, I have witnessed a street food vendor come onto the bus and sell his food as though it is his life on the line. If he doesn’t sell those goods he might not get to eat himself. I have gotten off of the bus to go to the restroom only to find that the restroom is the side of the highway. Now that it’s dark, I wonder what adventures lie ahead of us as we pass through this dark forest or jungle.
I watch as children run along the side of the bus waving and excited for the passengers to come through. I watched the sunset as a new person tonight. I observed the pinks and purples in the skies give way to black. I watched the darkness change my thoughts. As I sit here sleepless next to my friend who is snoring away, I have to wonder how it must feel for this to all be normal.