10 Things I Hate About Swakopmund

  1. How such a beautiful place can be filled with so many ugly souls.  Bright, white people who have built a cocoon around themselves that separates them from the rest of the country while quietly catapulting them into the past. Sun shining, water glistening, dunes rolling. All defended against the annually descending dark with long stares, pursed lips and brusque service.
  2. How we have to walk into Haus Shweizerhaus through Café Anton. A veritable hub of German confectionery baking and buffet making  where light skinned locals stop eating, halt talking and turn towards us as we walk by.  Still grinning, hotel keys swinging, soon to be washing our black bodies in white tubs before settling into the snowy sheets we seem to be staining.
  3. How my friend Blommie’s smiles are returned with blank stares. The same stares that caused her to say hello in the first place but which we soon realize were aghast rather than amiable.
  4. The way my friend Gordon feels the need to miss his lift home  to Windhoek and disembarks  a Welwitschia shuttle before posting this as his Facebook status” Today I opted to get out of the Welwitschia Shuttle, because I am just so tired to experience or fight racism. No really, we can’t still be fighting, it’s 2015 dammit. To Welwitschia Shuttles, and the rude man and his wife behind it, you all are having  me feel tired, and my spirit has hit an all time low thanks to you.”
  5. How my  Twtiter friend Hanso who’s as lily white as you like tweets: “ Unique Boutique in Swakop: racists. Boycott please. XXX” And asked why, tweets “They tell black people they’re closing but still let whites in.”
  6. How a woman walks around Pick n Pay looks lovely enough but turns to reveal a jacket that says ‘redneck’ replete with Confederate flag.
  7. The way the beach sparkles in the Sunday sun and everything looks good and well until you see a subtle segregation. The blacks buoyant and beach balling in abundance and the white people scowling from the benches. Watching, waiting, with their beach bags until the sea has less soot.
  8. How the best server in a restaurant won’t meet our eyes as he lays down our meal.  Stooped, silent and recently screamed at like he’s a dog.
  9. The way the worst waiter in a restaurant meets our eyes with contempt as he lays down our meal. Baleful ,bitter and brainwashed.
  10. How so many Swakopmunders will read this and not see themselves. Because to those who will not look their prejudiced person in the eye, racism, dear contemplative kaffir, is a festering figment of black imagination.