I recently moved.
I now rent the ground floor of a grand craftsman style house. I have a front porch, a large garden and a basement. I simply can’t wait until the weather is warm again to begin planting. That’s right, I can’t wait. I already have dreams of the cold-tolerant banana plants, elephant’s ears, bamboo trees, and hibiscus shrubs that I will plant in my little tropical oasis. Not to mention the various herbs, vegetables, and aromatic shrubs.
Moving was a chore, though. Every day after work, I would move a few boxes. On one of those first days I was flagged down, or rather summoned over by the elderly white woman next door who must have hobbled out of her home to try and catch me.
This is what ensued.
The Neighbourhood Watch (NW) approaching fast pointing in an accusatory manner: Hey, you, you! You, moving in?
KChie in a t-shirt and sweats with an empty box in hand trying to get back to car: Yeeeees?
NW: Oh ok. Where are you from?
NW: No, I mean where are you moving from?
KChie: Just around really.
NW: Well, you should know it’s a quiet neighbourhood. A very nice quiet neighbourhood.
KChie: Uh-huh. That’s nice.
NW: What do you do?
KChie: I work.
NW: What do you do?
KChie copping an attitude: I’m a physician. I work.
NW: Oh, like a doctor? What kind? Where?
KChie: A specialist in infectious disease
NW: Oh. You don’t look old enough. How old are you?
KChie: Thirty-Four! How old are you???!!
NW walking away: Oooh you don’t look it. That’s nice you know. To look young like that. That’s a compliment you know…
I guess I passed the interrogation but what the hell?
Throughout I had my silly confused grin on my face. I knew what she was doing yet continued to play along. Why? My town is mostly White (80%), but there are people of colour scattered around and a good proportion of young people. And, right next door is a mostly non-White town (80%), one known for it’s urban decay, poverty, and political corruption. I guess she thinks I’m a kid from there?