Anonymity vs Popularity


When I traveled off the beaten path in Africa, I craved anonymity.  My 5’10 height coupled with a white face and long straight hair, made it impossible to fly under the radar.  Men would walk with me, matching my stride, children would chase me down the street tugging at my arms, my dress, my bag.  Women begged me to help them, feed them, clothe them or in one strange case: “can you bring a white man back for me from your country?”  Oh how I wanted to walk down the street and be invisible.

Now I’m in New York City. I walk the streets alone and undisturbed.  Where are the children and mothers and most importantly – the men?!  We walk a fine balance in life. To be disturbed or not to be disturbed. To be bothered or not to be bothered.  To be part of a group or to be alone.

Right now, I miss my popularity.  Tomorrow that might change.

Karen Shaw
Karen Shaw is known to be a hyper-active, hyper-critical creative wanderer. Working as a writer, director and producer, she dropped it all for a year of volunteer work and documentary filmmaking in Nigeria. Her blog captures her tales from around the globe and back again and focuses on that curious, interesting, unexplainable, questionable, magical, remarkable, fantastical, disturbing, enticing, or dubious thing that happens when you travel and you ask yourself... WHY MONKEY?
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