In Yemen the Bed Bugs Do Indeed bite– Am I really a princess?


Well, just like the title says, I have bed bug bites 😦 My greatest fear has been confirmed. I am very worried about bringing them home (Any remedies and/or tips would be greatly appreciated).

But bed bugs are not the only thing that have been “bugging” me. I’m wonder if I can do it any more– Be abroad that is.

I was seriously considering one more year of study at another Middle Eastern Country but which one? I think I could only handle a Gulf state.

Sure they don’t have the rich history that I can find in Egypt, the colors of the Moroccan souk, or the beautiful simplicity of Yemen. But you know what they do have- Starbucks, Mcdonalds, air-conditioning, a large immigrant population and private drivers. Will there be bed bugs in my apartment in Qatar or Dubai? Maybe, but it would be a lot less likely.

Does that make me a princess? too prissy? At what point is it willing to sacrifice comfortability for some important life lesson just not worth it.

I am from a third world country and was talking to my cousin about the bed bugs and she told me that she had been in the same situation in some when she was in Sierra Leone. Well, the way I see it, if I want to experience bed bugs, undrinkable water, food that makes me sick etc. why not go my country of origin?

I am all for the inter-cultural experience, but You know what? inspecting your body for bumps scratches etc. and then trying to figure out what kind of insect was the perpetrator, using the bathroom that is nothing more than a hole in the floor (even at “nice” restaurants), losing 5-10 pounds in just a few weeks or month can all get boring and monotonous.

I really get annoyed when people  give me that “oh you aren’t interested in melding into the culture of [insert adjective of country you are visiting here]? Then you must not be worldly” look.

Give me a break. I was born in the land of malaria and other curable diseases that people nonetheless die from. I grew up in the psuedo-ghetto where people have more options than they do in Watts or S.E. but many nonetheless fall through the cracks- drugs, teenage pregnancy etc. I may live in the burbs and am working on my second degree now, but it was not that far back when the “Good Times” theme song described my life.

No, I am not another angry black woman (not always anyway… lol). But integrating/melding into a culture is not the only way to learn about a society. I am not Yemeni, Spanish or Moroccan. And even if I wanted to be, judging from the large number of people from each of these societies that have gone out of their way to demarcate our differences, integration is no walk in the park. You shouldn’t have to lose yourself in order to learn about someone else’s reality.

I’d like to think that as a black woman, I get the real inter-cultural experience. No one expects the black woman to have the money to buy their wares (unless she is rolling with a pack of white folks) and so they don’t go out of their way to be nice her when she enters their shop. No one expects the black woman to be educated and in a better socio-economic situation than their own and so they say whatever they want to her in the street, even belittling her for having dark skin, propositioning her for sex and whatever else they feel like doing.

I am not (as) bitter about these things as I may have been in the past. Instead, I try to value the perspective that I gain from being black in a brown world, knowing that many of classmates, group mates and co-workers will neither comprehend nor empathize with what I have been through.

It’s the world as I see it, neither pampered nor pretty.


3 thoughts on “In Yemen the Bed Bugs Do Indeed bite– Am I really a princess?

  1. Margari Aziza

    I have such a fear of bed bugs. AAAAAAAAAAA!! They have them in New York and they are supposed to be really hard to get rid of. Great piece, by the way!! Write on sista!!

  2. Gazelle du Sahara


    I’m cooking everything in the sun so I’A I will not bring any extra friends home with me ;/

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