-by Jasmine McCain
Once upon a time, this caramel-colored Queen moved to Sydney, Australia. I went from from feeling completely invisible at my whitewashed college campus and not memorable in my black community to feeling like a total boss roaming the streets of Sydney.
Talking to one of my best friends back in the States during my first week in “Oz,” I first became aware of my new status after being super-single for the past five years.
Concerned Friend: Are you eating enough?!
Me: (Half-true, half-kidding) Nah, I’m broke.
Concerned Friend: Are you drinking enough water?
Me: (Thinks about it) You know what? I’ve only had wine so far.
I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a new country for four days and have been on a dinner date three times. I had yet to pay for dinner or lunch, and I always had leftovers. I began to up my water game, and by day eight, I was up to five dates. What could I say? In a country with sprinkles of Blacks, I definitely stood out, but in a good way. It was like a buffet of international men. It was like the twelfth day of Christmas.
In my three months in “Oz,” my true love gave to me:
one man a creeping,
a shower to hide crying,
one Turkish restaurant,
one Scottish dentist,
no free teeth cleaning,
dance nights on the rooftop,
way too much wine,
and date nights with cute Aussies.
Side note: you’re my new best friend if you just sang that.
Anyways, one guy who stood out was someone I met after eating an over-priced 7Eleven sandwich and drinking a Starbucks frappuccino I got for 30 percent off because I waited patiently for a worker who disappeared for minutes without telling me the register was closed. I was sitting on the steps for hours that afternoon at the beautiful, iconic Darling Harbour when a guy asked me for the time because his phone was dead.
I tell him.
Girrl, he scoots his way down to me so fast I’m convinced he’ll get a splinter in his arse (as they like to say in Australia). Much like the splinter I got in my hand just a few days later.
But I digress.
Turns out, he was feeling my American accent. Just like everyone else in the country.
Turns out, he was feeling my American accent. Just like everyone else in the country. I could be greeting a cashier and the person behind me would ask what state I’m from.
So, this guy chats me up for a few minutes. He asks if I want to get something to eat on the strip, to which I reply that’d be fine. And then he steps away briefly to take a phone call, and yet his phone was supposed to be dead. Apparently, overseas, that’s how they get ya.
We walk our way into the mall and he asks me if I want a McFlurry. Out of all the things. But it’s free, and seems cool enough (although I can’t tell for the life of me just how old he is and he never reveals the truth), so I’m game.
We walk around while I eat my ice cream and I take my first trip up to the pedestrian bridge. The whole time he’s faking all these accents for me, acting like a yellow version of Kevin Hart, and often walking behind me so he can look at my rear. Mind you, I’m carrying a bulging backpack and have two sweaters wrapped around my waist because the sun was finally starting to come out. So not cute, but he’s talking me up, and I feel like a million bucks, even with the ice cream stain I got on my pants.
Next trick he tries? Putting his hand in his sweatpants pocket and pulling it out as a clenched fist. “Hold this,” he says. I lay out my flat hand and he opens his empty hand to clutch mine. I’m over here thinking, How long am I supposed to skip around while holding dude’s hand? I mean, I wasn’t trying to be rude—he did buy me ice cream.
The next hour or so consists of me visiting the park for the first time with this stranger (don’t try this at home), him taking a selfie with me to send to his friends, him literally picking me up wedding-day style, and us trying to find a little coffee shop, or somewhere he can charge his phone for awhile. He eventually gives up, while we’re waiting for the walkman signal to cross the street. He quickly says goodbye, that he’ll text me, and then he takes off in a nearby parked taxi.
He rolls away in style, and I’m just left standing on the corner with a herd of city slickers in suits. With my bulging backpack, ice cream stained pants, and a full belly—chuckling at the thought of some of the goofy characters you meet while being a single foreigner in Sydney.
About the Writer
Jasmine is a creative from Omaha, Nebraska. Her 2016 goals include catching book sales at Goodwill, scouring Pinterest, and watching all the Black classics in her family's movie collection. She is currently writing a book of devotionals for millennials and a young adult novel series. You can connect with her via LinkedIn.