When things starts to get normal

Today I have been travelling for one month and one week. I started to notice that I don’t get excited about trees or plants anymore (that often) and I don’t even notice the weird architecture or different customs people have here. It feels normal. Like everyday normal. With some things that is good; I don’t need to use much energy trying to understand how things work or what is proper behavior in certain situations. With other things, I don’t like it that much. Now I need to remind myself to see what a beautiful surroundings I have here. I need to make some effort not to live inside of my head everytime I walk to hospital but to really see where I am walking and enjoy it fully.

People are getting familiar too. First I was curious and I was staring at people as much they stared at me. Now I have got used to what people look like here and what is so called normal behavior (like singing everywhere no matter who will hear you). The annoying thing is that I’m not getting familiar to them. People are still staring and whispering when I walk past them. It is completely understandable, I can’t get familiar to all the people in this city so that they don’t consider me as a strange person.  I have started to realize that this is how it feels to be a minority in somewhere. To be the one that looks different, talks different and acts weird (like doesn’t take nap every lunch hour in hospital) when I’m just acting as it is normal to me and just being me. The difficult part is that this is something I can’t change with my behaviour. Even if I behaved exactly like others I would still be that white girl.

I can’t even imagine how it would feel like to always be the one who stands out. In addition to that how it would feel if others would act as I would be somehow less than they are just because what I look. I must affect the way people think about themselfs if all they hear everyday is something nasty about what they are. Even in here, even when people are usually really friendly, nice and only curious with their comments or questions or behaviour towards me, it sometimes feels rude.

I have used to think that we don’t have that much rasism in Finland. That we are quite okay with foreingers. I have started to realize that it is not that simple. It doesn’t necessarily need to be negative behaviour when just treating people differently is sometimes enough. All in all this is really good experience and it really opens eyes. The fact that I know when I’m going to leave here makes it easier.

One Comment

Jonni
Posted 15.4.2014 at 22.14

Sounds like a good realization of the kind one gets while travelling :)! Like x 10. Also lots of thanks for the card, it’s very much appreciated.