Hello, Same Colour!
I really wouldn’t have minded at all if the statement was at least true, because then it would’ve been funny, but when an all-teeth-baring guy who’s trying to lure you into his outdoor, bedouin-style cafe, says, “Hello, same colour!” despite being several shades lighter than you, you do begin to wonder.
Thankfully, this wasn’t a Cairo guy, it was out in the town where Russian holiday-goers like to bare it all; yup, Sharm El Sheikh.
I’d travelled out there with some friends for the Easter break – they had 5 days off work (while I had another 2 weeks, but never mind that!) – and so we thought we’d soak some sun (although my ‘tan’ involves looking more like pure cocoa than mocha and it was only my face and hands that benefited, never mind that either!), catch some waves and just spend some time outside Cairo.
Being brown in Sharm isn’t a new thing, there are many British and American holidayers of my skin tone who like to ‘tan’ out there, but being a brown hijabi did attract attention. And so, walking around Naama Bay at night, trying to find a nice spot to slurp on lemon juice (my current addiction!) warranted for more than one call of, “Hello, same colour!”
Honestly, the first time I heard it, I thought it was funny – ‘Haha! A new line to reel in a customer!’, but after the third time, I had to go up to the guy, put my hand close to his and say, “We are NOT the same colour!” to which he replied, “Yezz, yezz, but we are same same.”
Er… we are?!
The humour wore out pretty quickly, and I would advise the cafe peddlers to work on the lines to get customers to hang out in their joint… and I only charge a minimal fee to write a few. 🙂
– The Londoner