A couple of weeks ago, I was headed towards the JR (Japan Rail) to go hangout at one of my usual “productivity” spots to catch a coffee and to get a bit of work done before getting lost in the weekend. As I walked up to my neighborhood station, I had to re-up my Suica card and didn’t want to break a big bill so I was fumbling with change! While processing the re-up I caught a glimpse of a black face that I’d never seen before! I thought to myself cool, an opportunity to meet someone new that 1) I won’t have to fight through a language barrier to have a conversation and 2) has probably experienced some of the same things life has to offer as a black person traveling the world.
The 9:04 train was about to push off so I hurried to the first car and got a seat before the doors closed. A few seconds after sitting down the black guy I saw earlier entered the car and sits directly across from me! As I sat there, poised to speak, I noticed buddy was wearing a pair of AirPods that were turned up to the point where I could hear the lyrics to something that sounded Migos-esque. So first off this guy must be a tourist because, loud music in the JR is a NO-NO, especially in the morning! The second give away that he was a tourist, was his reaction to another brown face in this mostly asian country! (More about this brown and abroad topic later)
I started thinking maybe, just maybe I died last night and haven’t realized it yet 🤷🏾♂️ because this dude is acting like I’m not here. Nah, he’s acting too awkward for me to be dead unless he’s like the kid on the 6th sense. After our short trip, we arrive at the transfer point! This kid springs up without looking, almost falls in his awkwardness (trippin on those feet he was obsessed with) and b-lines straight towards the escalator. Not entirely sure why someone would go through that much to avoid a conversation but, this interaction brings me to the first type of black person you’ll encounter when living abroad or traveling internationally.
1. The Charles (As in Ray Charles)
As strange as it may sound, black people who go #Charles when they encounter other black people while traveling isn’t a rarity! This has happened countless times and every time no matter where I am it strikes me as odd… When I was in Prague there was a black couple that stayed in the same hotel that to this day are the king & queen of #Charles. I saw these 2 all over Prague and attempted to speak when in close proximity but they literally went through acrobatics to avoid speaking… #DontGoCharles
2. Unc & Auntie
3. The Know it All
4. Hot Sauce Bag Swag
5. The Stereotype
6. The Black Diplomat
7. The Bear
8. Bad & Boujee but uhhh…
9. The Appropriator
10. Dora & Diego VIP
Honorable mention: Let me Check my laces
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