The Tuesday before the excursion, Alexis and I both had a day off from work, so Monday night we decided we would take our hair down and made appointments to get it redone on Tuesday morning. I started taking my hair down at about 5 Monday afternoon and did not finish until about 3:30 am Tuesday! After 8+ hours of taking my hair down I just could not see myself getting it done all over again. The only problem was that I didn't bring any hair stuff with me... no blow dryer, no flat iron, no brush, no scarf, no shampoo...NOTHING!!! Alexis and I got up the next morning on a mission to find some products to help us tame our wild manes. We found most things pretty easily, but the head scarf was the hardest to come by. We ended up walking halfway across town before I found something that I could use! It took me another 4 hours to wash and detangle my hair, but in the end all my hard work paid off. I'm back to looking like the Eboni you all know and love (:o)
When I went back to work on Thursday, most of the staff didn't recognize me. One of the counselors told me I didn't look black anymore! She actually thought they had hired a new person! She said that my hair was too straight and that I now looked coloured. Since then, she has asked me when I was going to put my braids back in and go back to looking black! I'm sure it seems like a weird thing to say to someone, but that's a prime example of how race is viewed here.
Apartheid ended 15 years ago, but the racial divide is as strong as ever. Blacks are still viewed by whites and coloureds as the lowest of the low. If you walk through town, you will see that white people are the ones shopping and eating in restaurants and the blacks and coloureds are the ones working and serving. The dynamic between blacks and coloureds is also very interesting. Here, grouping non-whites together as a minority will not suffice. In fact, some coloured people get very offended if you call them black or tell them that they would be considered black if they were in the US.