© 2013 Julia

Intensity of Travel, Love & Life.

My husband and I had the awesome privilege to escape to Europe… Wait for it… Without kids! Ouuu ahhhh! My family basically rocks. It was the first get away in over three years on our own. My experience from each country we traveled to, was very different and each had their own character and uniqueness.
Our First stop was in Dublin, Ireland. A beautiful Green, very green country. The true emerald city. When I first arrived, I absolutely loved what I saw. The little houses and pubs were so quaint and felt so welcoming. Our taxi driver was funny and so friendly, I knew I was going to have a great time. I am from the pacific north west (no Kim K. puns please, I’m just from there) and the climate of Ireland reminded me of the area in which I grew up. I love overcast grey skies (weird, I know, but that is just how it is). We got to Dublin on a late flight and because of the time difference both Scott and I were ravenously hungry. Let me give you a little back history of me, if you happen to land on this blog by chance. I am a white, blonde hair woman married to an African American. My husband travels a lot for work. He has also been to Dublin, Ireland several times for work, but this time I tagged along. I wish my initial feeling felt true the entire trip. I knew that I may be starred at, because, well, my husband and I are stark different in color. (So? I know. let me continue) as at times, we get starred at frequently in the US, especially when we have our children with us, which were left back home. We have been to the deep south (Mississippi, Georgia, & N. Carolina) as well as many states in the US and we have known and experienced stares, however, none compared to my experience in Ireland.
When we arrived, we were still adjusting to the time zones, and were out late walking the street of Dublin to get a bite to eat. I wish that I could have given you my eyes, on account of the instances we were looked at. At first, I thought it was my mind, and I had to erase these thoughts of blatant disgust that I read in the eyes and burned into my heart. As I walked, my stride became stronger. Late into the night minding our own business, I was nearly mowed down by an Irish man. There was no one else except for Scott and me, and another man this guy was walking with. I can’t describe the intensity of sexual lust piercing through his eyes. He looked at me like was an animal of sex. His eyes trying to read me as if I could have been bought. He stood boldly blocking me with his body as if I were to be amused, and him in stance, as if in defense of a sport. I was caught off guard, I have never in my life been assaulted and accosted as this. I maneuvered and slithered myself out of his way as I said “What was that!?” My spirit sank to think, I am assumed a “lady of the night”, merely on the fact I am holding hands with a black man. I tried again to erase this from my memory as we went out on the streets the next day. The stares the same, the same looks that pierce through a person soul. A stare of malice, hatred and utter disgust. Sitting in our hotel room was a place of sanctity. However, it did not discourage me to hold my husband hand in the midst of intolerance, and show true love and diversity. While walking, I began smiling at people as if they had no Idea what they were missing out on. I stand firm knowing, I know what it is to love despite color or race.
I wish I could say this was the only raw experience I had. However, as time went on, I realized all the intensity of racism was really directed towards me, or said to me, as if I would agree. My next example is when a man tried to hit on me… All the while I tell him, I’m married. He says to me “Holy Sh**, your married to the f***ing black man.” I look at him and say “Yes.” Alright let me set the stage, just moments earlier my husband greeted him along with the many that were in our group. I did not know some of the people, because it was my husband’s work party. I greeted everyone cordially. My thoughts strayed in shock. “Ya, I’m married to Scott.” Not realizing he did not know who “Scott” was. He was uncomfortably close to me and continued in his bigot nature; telling me 7 years is not long to be married, he called my children niglet half breeds, then saying how happy he was for the N****. I sharply understood this was no friend of my husbands and clearly not a coworker. I wanted to hit him so much or ring his neck, but I didn’t know who this guy was and I was so in shock. He spoke with his accent, I tried to misplace the words I thought I heard. However, I know what I heard. I wish I took a firm stand and doused him with my mind! I forgot to mention, Scott went to the restroom during this time. So when he came back, I asked ” Do you know this guy?” He replied “No”. I felt humiliated and enraged. This man in a mere 2 minutes insulted and discriminated against me, my husband, our marriage, and my children. By this point I turned my back on him, glaring back my eyes clearly told him to leave. I wish I reacted directly and precise ripping his ideology to shred. However, I didn’t need to cause trouble and honestly, didn’t know how to or how I should react. Although my experience with all of my husbands co-workers were enjoyable, and as beautiful as this city is, I wish my experience in Ireland would have been different in nature. There is more I have written about my experiences, but I believe these two stories suffice. Sadly, racism is not a thing of the past, and still very prevalent. I so wish I could gave gotten to experience the art and architecture, like the awesome wire suspension bridge, the cool street art and the awesome Irish music and history, as much as I tried, I couldn’t thoroughly enjoy it like the other places in Europe.

London, what can I say… It’s like New York (especially “the Tube”) with the down to earth feeling of San Francisco (Soho district). I felt lost in the crowd and I loved it, no eyes penetrating stares or glances. Just accents, diversity and beautiful architecture. Being an artsy type, I couldn’t stop my constant jaw drop of Oxford street lit up in lights at night. From Big Ben and Westminster palace, the London bridge and Big Eye, the amazing Tower Bridge and the old walls at least one thousand years old. We went to Hillsong London at Dominion Theatre and it was outstanding.

We continued are journey to Paris. Paris the city of Love. Eyes met us with a smile, I felt so much comfort in the Parisian lifestyle. It had the laid back feeling of Hawaii, yet, intense like London. I was absolutely blown away by the history and architecture. The Louvre, Tour Eiffel, love lock bridge, and Champs-Élysées, were all sights that were astonishing! The only downfall I found, is that I so wanted to be fluent in French… I wanted to be apart of every aspect and participate in every conversation, but I just couldn’t. Thankfully, my love is fluent in French, so I wasn’t that far behind.

In all, our trip was fantastic, besides minor setbacks. Maybe this is just palette of how other interracial couples felt in years past, with this, my respect and understanding is deepened. My lesson in this trip just reminded me how much love impacts our lives. We can not be naive to reality just because we can’t and choose not to see it. If we fill ourselves up with Love, we never fail. I will end with my new quote I came up with.

“If you don’t know God, you don’t know love, and if you don’t know love, you don’t know life.
Because God is the very definition of love, and love is what life is all about.” -me, Julia H. Tomtania.

Love you all,

Julia

See more pictures on bottom of my Personal Blog Page!

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