Oblivious to my surroundings as both Silver Bullet and me got busy yakking away as we were minding Spud while waiting to board the plane to Bangkok at Changi Airport, I was unceremoniously questioned by an 8-year old girl who was standing with her family right behind us (we were first in line!).
I don’t know what it was that was in her head, but out of the blue, she tapped me and asked where I am from. Not sure what to think about such an innocent-sounding question from an innocent-looking little girl, I replied her with a smile and told her that I am from Singapore.
Immediately, her eyes darted to her parents, and then I overheard her saying something in the line of “piw dam dam”(literally translated as skin black black) and followed by blah..blah..blahh..”Isaan”.
Almost shocked at what I heard, I turned to the Thai family, and heard the mom telling her in the lines of dark skinned and Isaan and then something I could not quite follow (damn! I wish I speak Thai fluently) . All the time, the little girl was looking at me, and looking quite confused.
Me on the other hand, felt quite insulted by a little girl (or anyone) who has no right to judge me (or anyone) by the colour of my skin. If you don’t understand why I felt insulted, it is because, usually darker-skinned females from Thailand are usually stereotyped as a working girl from Isaan (the north part of Thailand where most “working” girls hail from) and given that the guy next to me happened to be a farang, I guess, I now not only fit the stereotype of being The Nanny of the family, but also labelled as the poor hooker out of Isaan and now married to a white guy to fleece him of his wealth.
Of course, it could also be perfectly possible that perhaps, she was just explaining (I hope!) that not all dark skinned women are from Isaan or that not all Isaan women has dark skinned or that not all dark-skinned women are whores.
Giving a rather dramatised sad look to her and her family, I turned and whispered to Silver Bullet (within earshot) with a, “I think she said my skin is dark and she thinks I am from Isaan. WTF!?”
And I really do mean, W.T.F?
What are parents teaching their kids these days? It is one thing to be stereotyped and judged by adults, it is also another thing for kids to start judging others at such a young tender age.
It is so sad that the kid has been molded into such a way of thinking, making me feel so sorry for the kid. I wonder what else has gotten into that pretty little head of hers.