Flashback: “Truth or Dare” – August 2009

I originally posted this story  on Vodka. And Chaka Khan. on the 28th August 2009. I had been living in London for two months at the time. Luckily, it was the only time I felt physically threatened while living there.

xx BHF

***

Truth or Dare

Truth.

Sometimes I regret my decision to move here.

There. I said it.

Yesterday I was walking down Uxbridge road. The sun was shining down on me. My new haircut was looking kick ass and I was feeling pretty awesometastic. I came towards two large *black women with young children in strollers. One of them was very loudly dropping f-bombs and generally causing a big scene.

I had my sun glasses on, so I know she couldn’t see the shock in my eyes, but I did stare at her as I came closer, mostly to see how old the children were in the stroller. As I went to pass her by, she took a step towards me and screamed in my face:

“WHITE C*NT”!

I didn’t flinch or react. And for a few moments as I kept on walking down the road, I felt fine. Then, it hit me. The aggression and hatred and rage in her words slapped me across the face. I felt the hot tears begin to sting my eyes and quickly changed direction.  I ducked into a side road and let the tears fall freely from behind my sun glasses. I forced myself to take in deep breaths and stopped myself from shaking. After a couple minutes of this, I pulled myself together enough to move on. I made my way to Shepherd’s Bush Market and pretended to browse, head down, eyes diverted.

Here’s the thing. London is not an easy a place to live. It’s not a **vacation destination. It is a beautiful and exciting and a full of adventure and possibilities city, but easy? Nuh uh. Life in Vancouver was easy. I lived two blocks from work. Could easily afford my own apartment in the centre of town. Had people looking out for me. People who knew my history.

BUT…

This is why I moved to London. The struggle, the craziness, the refreshing feeling of experiencing something new every single day, even if it’s not nice. And, to be honest, ***98% of the time I’m so happy with my decision. I can have easy when I’m old. For now, I guess I’ll just have to work on growing a tougher skin.

* I would not normally describe a person by ethnicity, but it is important for the story

** Unless you’re ridiculously wealthy

***Will be 100% when I have more permanent employment

Thank you for your feedback! xx BHF

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