reverse culture-shock: reversing the reverse [on being invisible]

for the past few days this traveler has found herself visiting some delightful friends in the great state of new york–specifically brooklyn–and reveling in the variety that is a city of fascinating boroughs.

while i have made many observations (people don’t seem to wear sunglasses, even when its sunny; black is the new black; midwestern tourists are spot-able at 100 paces) my favorite observation may come as a bit of a surprise: i’m invisible.

and it. is. brilliant.

the clothing i wear + my haircut + my smartphone + visible tattoo + nose ring = different just like everyone else. translating to: invisible.

i love it.

[let me explain for new readers: i have been living in uganda, east-africa for the past three years. i’m a white midwestern gal and therefore it is totally impossible for me to blend in to my surroundings in uganda. often [most] of the time while walking down the street there would be a nearly constant soundtrack of people shouting, “mzungu!” after me–when people shout “mzungu!” they are basically pointing out one’s skin color being different than theirs. while, one the one hand, i get it–it was mostly grating on the nerves…i didn’t want people to point out my different-ness. or point. or yell at me [nicely or otherwise]. now i am back in the united states, currently exploring new york city in skinny jeans, boots and hipster haircut…]

walking down the sidewalk or into a store/coffee shop no one takes notice (other than those serving/helping).

no one touches me,
or yells at me.

i do not receive all the attention of any room at any given time.
people forget me when i walk away.

and if someone does notice me?
when there is a double-take,
or a long look–
i’m amused.
i may even laugh (out loud)!

which is different than wanting to punch people in the face.

i love. being. invisible.


2 thoughts on “reverse culture-shock: reversing the reverse [on being invisible]

  1. 1. i love the new header!
    2. i so know what you mean – perhaps not with as much longevity – but that’s part of why i love mount holyoke so much. i’ve got vivid red hair and dress funny, but no one bats an eye! yay invisibility [cloaks] 🙂

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