Of course there is another side of this story. Being the only chocolate chip in a sea of (Spanish) vanilla can be liberating in a way. Liberating in the sense that as one of a select few, you are free to be different. There's no way to hide your skin color, so you might as way go all out with NOT blending in, which is kind of fun.
I already know people are going to stare at me, so sometimes I wear really loud colors and lots of jewelery -- things I like but wouldn't dare to wear at home -- because it's like, folks are going to stare at me anyway, let's really give them something to look at. I wear my hair differently, I take more risks on how I put myself together in terms of dress, and I find myself displaying a little bit more attitude than I would in the United States because I can. There aren't any Black girl rules here for me to follow or break. I make my own.
And then there's always the hip factor. In an admittedly overly generalized way, I can say Black Americans are thought to be pretty cool. The other night, my brother, my husband, sister-in-law and my kids went out here in Spain. We stopped for a bite to eat at a little outdoor cafe and were treated really well by the wait staff. Come to find out, the waiter thought my brother was Will.i.am! Last night after eating dinner at an upscale pizza restaurant here, he was invited to a private party by the restaurant owner. I think my brother is a cutie, but that never happens at home.
So, yeah, being the only chocolate chip in this cookie has its annoying/irritating side, but it has its advantages too. I try to focus on the positive seeing as I don't have to live here all year round and life is too short to worry about things you can't really do much to change.
When you travel do you stand out? Why? and How do you handle it?