01 July 2012


I had a fascinating experience a couple of weeks ago that just becomes more amusing with time and reflection.

I was on my way to meet friends for a light dinner on our way to see one of the shows of the finishing class of the National Circus School. (I subsequently returned to see the other one and loved them both! But I digress…) I knew that I was completely out of orange juice at home, so I stopped at the nearby store of a small local chain of supermarkets to pick some up.

I got a bit of a surprise when I got to the cash. The woman at the cash, who I presume to be recently arrived from Africa (given subsequent events), look at me, a little unnerved and maybe a bit afraid, and asked me if I was an albino. At the time, I didn't think much of the question and told her that, while I am pretty pale, I would be even more pale and without colour in my hair (which is red) if I were actually an albino. I'm not sure I really convinced her.

It was discussing this at work around our very entertaining lunch table that some other aspects of this encounter that would help me interpret it came out. If she was really from a certain part or Africa, I, the albino-like creature before her, might have been seen as something scary, even some kind of sorcerer. Perhaps I should be relieved that, restrained by the protocol of her role as cashier at the supermarket, she did not leap across the counter to harm me!

Now, I am not given to mocking others, unless of course that mocking is well-deserved by some crazy belief in supernatural beings (yes, all religions fall into this category for me). Now I'm holding myself back from pacing on the sidewalk outside the supermarket, in view of the cashiers, and possibly stopping from time to time to strike my best spell-casting pose in their general direction.

The other cashiers will think I'm a crazy person. The one who doesn't will actually be a crazy person herself. Hmmm…maybe I should also bleach my hair….

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