So my car was hit last night, bumped actually. And in a strange way I am a little shaken up about it. I was turning in a turning lane that the person behind me decided should be a two car turning lane.
I heard a thump, but since the individual just kept on going I didn’t think much of it, (but I did get partial license plates!… okay! [snaps fingers]). I get back home, check the back of my car, and it looks like this.
So the person did bump/nick me. So I gotta call the police. Police officer doesn’t understand my English so well. I switch to Arabic, he’s really nice and professional. He tells me it’s ok that I am jittery (and annoyed) by what had happened. He also tells me that my Arabic is good and asks if I am Egyptian decent (as usual).
Since I have a partial plate, I have to go to the police station and present the information I have. I am astonished by two things, 1: how many cameras there are, they were able to pull up that car! 2: astonished is not the word, but pleasantly surprised by interactions with most people. I don’t know when I or how the “don’t trust the police” mentality entered my mind. But this interaction has done something to shake all that up. I am not in DC or NYC dealing with stop and frisk. I am not in Egypt dealing with a police officer who wants a bribe or in Yemen (where this actually happened) where a bribe was demanded of me before the immigration official would stamp my passport to exit the country.
And yup, that’s me.
And just another day in the life of Gazelledusahara. It’s one thing to go around saying, the way these people drive, they are going to cause an accident. It’s another thing to be dealing with the reality of this saying personified… So Yeah, I am shaken from what was essentially a fender bender. Don’t judge me.
I suppose after the dust settles i will have to reflect on what my privilege did for me in this situation if anything at all. All the parties involved knew I was American, but refreshingly and honestly I didn’t note any difference in how they treated me before vs. after my identity card came out. Aside from an officer making the distinction between my being an American citizen (i.e. simply possessing the passport) and being of Sierra Leonean descent (which always comes up in just this fashion anyway) I was fine.
So microaggressions in the Arab World get a pass… for today. Who knows how I will feel about it all tomorrow.