Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Staring Contest

Yes, I had said I would stop blogging about my cousins but then I remembered something else they did. I couldn’t just let it be. I needed to write about it.

While my cousins were here we went to a very famous camera store. The cameras and electronics sold here are state of the art without being too pricey. You almost always get a good deal.

The store is run by a number of religious people. Living in New York all my life, the traditional garb that these people wear doesn’t phase me. I just know that how they dress. But my cousins couldn’t believe it. They spent an awful lot of time staring at everyone who worked in the store.

When we walked up to one of the employees to ask for help, my cousin couldn’t even tell me what he wanted because he was so awestruck by the persons dress and hair style (not sure you can call it a hair style but for lack of a better word, I will). He just stood there his jaw wide open that he could have held a hive full of bees with all the space! I knocked him in the ribs with my elbow and asked him what he needed. He finally woke out of his shock and awe to tell me.

They both continued to stare and comment even after I told them it was rude. I suppose that I acted the same way when I was in Egypt and Morocco when I would see women in their burkas. But I tried not to act so confounded. I was more interested in how the women were eating under their traditional dress! I didn’t stare at them; I was more curious to know how they kept cool in the heat under the dark garments.

I guess when you’ve never seen something like that before you are given to staring but I just thought it was rude. I won’t even talk about their comments or gazes when they saw transgenders or men in drag. I don’t think I need to. It’s pretty easy to imagine how they reacted.

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