Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bladar, or, I see black people

Here's a rule you need to know about the life of ethnic peoples here: if you start in, say, London, and go north, the further you go, the less black people you will see. I, with my hapa-self, constitute about 15% of the black population in Edinburgh. Since I've come to Scotland-land, I've been cultivating my Bladar. (Actually I don't know if I like this name, but I can't think of anything else.) Essentially: I'm keenly aware of when black people are around, mostly cos I see so few.

And my Bladar went off on Saturday:

After my match (we won 5 sets to nil, in case you were wondering), I had to stick around and referee the match after ours. The team they played came from Dundee, north of us. Remembering the rule first mentioned, you have to know that there ain't really 'posed to be no black folks up there.

The Dundee team was warming up. I wasn't paying too much attention, as I was trying to get my things together after the match, but the Bladar was going off. And there he was. Fine, the blackness was way back there in a couple of generations, but he definitely was black. Even if he didn't know it, I knew it. The Bladar doesn't lie.

To the untrained eye, you would think that he was a regular old white person. But no, my friend, he was not. The odd pasty colour -- not quite white -- was signal number one. The ginger (red) hair was number two -- clear sign of a black person who's all mixed up with the predominate culture (read: white folks). Third was the high-jacked booty.

My pal Macca thought I was crazy. "That boy is pure Scottish," she said. "But.. he can jump." As they say where I'm from, she has come to recognise.


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