Oh No, They're Not Racist! This is Just the First Time They've Ever Seen Black People!
"What the fuck is taking so long.."
His entire body wreaked of old alcohol. I looked him dead in the eyes, as if to say, have some patience sir.
Shelly was having an issue with our tickets but it seemed like things were getting handled. It didn't feel like we were in the line for too long but for the Australian man behind me, it must've felt like an eternity.
"Come the fuck on!"
He kept saying.. I wouldn't turn around this time... I began unfolding my headphones to put them in my ears and tune him out.
"This is bullshit! These stupid fucking Jamaicans!"
"Excuse me!? Wowwwww!" Finally, I had had enough.
"What? I didn't say that? I said the lady needs to come on. I didn't say that. I didn't say what you think." He pleaded with me like a 7th grade boy in my class trying to avoid a phone call home.
"What did he say?" Meeks asked.
"I'll tell you later. He's on one." I said.
He heard me and kept saying, "I didn't say that. I didn't say that."
At that point it didn't matter. Our tickets were ready and we were about to head to the gate.
That was strangest racist encounter ever. I'm guessing he assumed we were Jamaican because Nikki and Meekz had locks. His comment was totally uncalled for, yet, when I said something, he denied the whole thing. He became extremely humble and indirectly begged for my forgiveness through his inability to admit what was said. I still don't know what to make of this ... I mean, was he just a drunk old man? Or did he mean what he said from his heart? Weirdly enough, I didn't have an angry bone in my body. Instead, I felt bad for his ignorance.
When we travel, we often face minor racial discrimination. For example, we'll get stopped among a crowd full of others just to be asked, "Let me see your ticket! You going to Thailand?" "Are you in the right place?".. Sometimes, we're the first ones in the airport for our flight and instead of getting assigned to seats in the front, we get placed all the way in the back of the plain.
In cities like Phuket, the locals stare, hard. Like zoo animals. We dont understand the language but we know that we're being talked about.. And we get it.. Young black girls don't often travel the way we do. Shelly, our travel agent, actually informed us that only 17% of African Americans take an international trip a year. People often sneak pictures of us and some even politely ask to take a picture of us.. This is a result of never seeing black people before. I am never offended. I understand what doesn't need to be said.. While away from home, in places like Asia, the girls and I are literally the face of black people everywhere. It becomes our job to show the world that we are not just what the media portrays us as. When we travel, we are representing our entire race... So we can not perpetuate the stereotypes of our people and act upon crazy, belligerent fools.. We have to do the exact opposite.
It's like Nikki said, "They don't see us in their country.. So I want them to say to their friends or family,
"Well, I saw a group of black girls once and they were poised and classy. Nothing like what I expected.." She concluded, "Leave them with a positive idea of who we are and nothing less."
The plane ride to Koh Samui was fast. I stared out the window, day dreaming the entire time.
We flew over some mountains with the most beautiful white homes on the top. I wondered who lived in those homes. I thought about buying one for myself if I ever became wealthy enough. The water was so blue around the little island. It looked like it was instagram-filtered. When we got to the airport, it was hot but the air smelled of Spring's freshest flowers. My whole body began to sweat but I still had to stop and take pictures of the lotus garden. This was my first time seeing lotus in real life. I love the symbolism of the lotus because it grows in the midst of chaos-- just like me.
We checked into our hotel and decided to check out the city. We walked through the streets aimlessly, until we found a Thai BBQ restaurant. We could smell the food all the way down the block and it tasted as good as it smelled. We stayed there for a while, gossiping and laughing. It was cute.
Nikki, Carissa, and I went to the beach after. Shelly and Meekz stayed in their room and took a nap.
The beach was just what I needed.
"300 baht for a massage y'all!" Nikki said.
"I'm down!" Carissa was all for it.. So was I.
The masseuses told us to wait for a while, so we went closer to the water and laid down. All three of us fell asleep under the sun and woke up only because the ladies told us that it was time for our massages.
I swear, I had never been touched like that in my life. I'm not sure if it was her hands or the hot oil but my entire body felt it. I kept falling asleep and waking up when ever she would move me around. She started at my feet and ended with my neck. It was the best. Boarder line orgasmic! Don't judge me!
"Damn Val! Looks like you just had the best sex ever. Get yourself together."
Carissa was so amused by my face after we were done. I guess I did look kinda crazy. That massage itself was crazy! She cracked my back, took out the knots in my shoulders, and even massaged my scalp!
We went back to the water and I instantly fell asleep under the sun again.
"What the hell..?" Something was on my foot, waking me up from sleep.
"Oh snap!.. Nikki look!"
It was a big dog, laying on my foot. He was peaceful but I didn't touch him. I just let him chill with us while I went back to sleep.
His friend, another dog, joined him. Not sure where his owners were but they were good company for us in the moment. I felt like they were protective little angels.
We soon headed back to our rooms to get dressed and pre-game for the Full Moon Party. We all met back up in Shelly's room where we did a toast
"People think we in Taiwan .. They think we out here fighting wars!" Nikki said as we busted out laughing.
"Seriously! Some people really didn't know where Thailand was!" Marika chimed in..
"Word .. It's crazy. Ignorance is not bliss! We are really are living though y'all. Cheers to Carissa's birthday and cheers to the young sh't!" I said..
We all took a shot, even me... I don't even drink but it was my best friend's birthday so I made an exception for the night. The girls had a few more drinks and we headed out the door to get on the speed boat that was taking us from our island to the beach where Full Moon party was located.
It was about a 30 minute ride. The water was dark, as was the sky. I could barely see anything except for the moon and stars.
As I stared at the moon, the only thing I could think about was Carissa. It was her birthday. It's been 10 years that we've been celebrating our birthdays together.. From surprise parties in Baltimore to trips to Miami and Jamaica ... But this was different.. This was Asia.. And here we were, under the stars and full moon, on a speedboat, on our way to the biggest beach party in the world. I closed my eyes and smiled at my life for the rest of the ride.
We got to the beach and decided to eat first. The girls got more liquor but I didn't want to indulge. Carissa and Meekz told me to do at least one shot though. So I did... Which made me gag immediately. I hate liquor!!!
The beach party was totally out of this world! I never imagined anything like it. It was packed. Filled with young, wild, Europeans, Australians, and Americans! Kids! We all felt like big ass kids!
You couldn't even see the sand! It was too packed! Glow sticks, beers, and boobs everywhere!
"I love your tities!!!" Some random white girl grabbed Shelly's chest, squeezed tight, and ran! I died laughing! Couldn't believe it!
"You are so beautiful... Can I just have one kiss? I've never kissed an American girl .. Or a Black girl."
This sexy guy from Paris asked me, out of all the girls. Why me?!
"Well, I've never kissed a Parisian ....I guess just one kiss won't hurt.."
Before I knew it, I was lip locking with a total stranger in the middle of Thailand.. And to be honest, that kiss had me blushing red! Now I see why they named them French kisses! Don't judge me! Blame it on the Full Moon...
He wanted another one but I wasn't with it.
"I promised you one .. That's all you get.."
"Okay. I'm going to see you later. And
I will have something for you. Something big!"
I busted out laughing with the girls!
"He 'bout to give you that French dick!!" Meekz could be a bit vulgar at times but it's always spot on! I kept laughing as we headed deeper into the crowd.
Reggae music started blasting from the sky high speakers. It was like someone pressed a button on our backs to make us drop everything and dance. A crowed came around us and we put on a show. Next thing I know, we all had a partner and danced until we needed water.
But we didn't find water. We found fire. There was a limbo stick - on fire! And of course Shelly went under it! I was so proud of her that I wanted to try too but I failed!
"Hey! Least you tried!" Shelly said as she high-fived me.
"Wooooowwww!!" We were all in awe.
There was a jump rope.. On fire too! People were jumping in and out of the rope getting burnt! I wasn't about to try that but of course, Shelly did! Some girl jumped in with her and messed her up but all of us were proud of her bravery! I'm glad to have someone like her on my team! Never scared! And this was reminder of why we call her the big wolf! Even if she's afraid, she never shows it! True definition of fearless!
We partied until the wee hours of the morning, dancing, meeting new people, and sliding down this super high water slide with cute white boys... After we took the speed boat back to our hotel, it was time to pack our things and head to the airport to get back to Phuket! Lord knows I was tired as ever but the entire experience made it worth it. I even wrote a grad paper that was due two hours later while on the plain! That's the motto: Work hard, play harder.
Journeying and journaling,
PS: Here's some video footage of the Full Moon Party Thailand