I think it may have happened! Although I have yet to verify it with a native, I may have experienced a racist remark on my way to work yesterday!


As usual I had my headphones in during the 20 minute walk, because I really don’t take a liking to the honking on the streets. Trying to get anywhere after 2pm in my area is a complete and utter nightmare because schools finish at that time, and so there are people, cars and buses everywhere. Roads are choca-block, bumper to bumper and sheer madness.

So I increased the volume of my earphones and walked. I reached a corner  near a school, and there was a busload full of boys. My experience has been that boys are trouble-makers, even back in the UK, especially when they’re with their friends. So I eyed the bus carefully, ‘cos I had to pass by its open windows, and it was teaming with boys… like teaming! I noticed one boy with a wry smile plastered on his face, and you know that glint of mischief you see in the eyes of someone who was about to do something they know they shouldn’t, but would do anyway? Well he had a glint in both eyes, and my thought was ‘Hm! Watch that one!’ and I did.

His smirk slowly progressed into a grin as I got closer to the side of the bus, and my instinct told me to lower the volume of what I was listening to just incase he said something –  I wanted to hear!

And between a jeery sort of laugh he broke out into a kinda chant of ‘Chocolata, chocolata’ (or at least that’s what I think it was!) while holding a steady gaze with me. I smiled ‘cos I found it amusing. He had obviously not seen someone with mocha-toned skin before, and I took it as a compliment – he thought my skin was as smooth as chocolate! Ahhhhh. How sweet.

But then the smile faded as I walked away from the bus, ‘cos this dude had probably meant it in a derogatory manner not a ‘your skin in as deliciously smooth as chocolate‘, but more like ‘haha! You’re as dark as chocolate, and that ain’t a good thing!

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier. I was in lala-land, smiling at his innocence. *hits forehead* I don’t deny that it was harmless fun, but still, you can’t justify calling me chocolate. Well… *whips out mirror*… I guess you can. But I prefer mocha – it’s more accurate.

– The Londoner


Posted on November 5, 2010, in Ruminations about Cairo, Snippet of Moi. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. entertaining reading…i’m gripped!(“,)

  2. You got the short version, there’s a whole rhyming “Chocolatah” song. Oh Egypt, it’s all part of the show.

  3. Who cares what he meant?
    You’re beautiful just the way Allah made you, masha’Allah. 🙂

  4. Doesn’t surprise me. These things happen especially in an Arab country. Live with it woman!! As you can see, I’ve lost my fighting streak. Need to talk to Darko and regain it. =D

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