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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Voices as I Walk

Each day as I travel through Warsaw and particularly the central train station, I have a voice in my head that has a constant chatter. It wants to know if I fit in here. It wants to know if I feel at home here. I often get a very uncomfortable feeling as I see people and they see me. I have observed giggles and laughs that I think are directed at me. I often have to remind myself that I am not the center of the universe and these people are not necessarily looking or talking about me. I cannot help but stand out in the crowd ... however,  I see various people look and stare. I have written about this before, but I am seeing/feeling it even stronger over the past few weeks. The staring is sometimes angering and I want to say "Can I help you?" or, even worse, "What the f#@k are you looking at?!!". This often happens on bad days and, thank God, very rarely.

Where am I going with this? I want the voice to stop. Only I can stop it. Perhaps it is time to stare back or even ask, "Do you know me?". Maybe I might strike up a conversation and make a friend or two and begin to let go of this feeling of being different.


  1. This was very interesting. I have been looking into teaching english abroad in Poland, and I was wondering if you had any advice. Is there job opportunity there? Will I be able to break about even on the trip?


  2. If you are considering teaching English go here


  3. hi, I am a Pole,

    When people in Poland stare at you, you should absolutely not feel offended by this.

    Poland right now is like Africa 100yrs ago. For us foreigners (but of course especially black people) are something "new and wierd" just like white people were "new" for black Africans 100yrs ago.

    You should know that Poles lived behind the iron curtain were not allowed to travel aroiund the world. And this makes us simply insecure when we see a foreigner.

    To make it short, giggling and staring at you is not a sign of "white superiority" and but a sign of "Polish insecurity" and you should not feel offended by this. Just like white people should not feel offended, when Africans somewhere in Kenya stare at them and giggle.