When Ayomah Was About to Hang Up, She Dropped A Bombshell: Are You White Or Black?

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It was a Saturday afternoon in summer, the 28th of August in the year 2004, at around 4 50pm when I made a call to an English language cram school situated in down town Taipei to inquire about a teaching job.

"Hello, this is Ayoma speaking, are you currently hiring English teachers?"

"Yes, we are." "I'm Miss Huang, may I know where you from?"

"I'm from Canada." Ayomah says.

"Do you have a BA?"

"Oh I have an MA." Ayomah answers.

"Wow!" She marveled.

"Will you come over for an interview tomorrow... oh sorry on Monday?"

"Of course yes." Ayomah answered cautiously.

With a pen in his hand, he asked Miss Huang where their school was located in Taipei? He then wrote the address of the school down perfunctorily as she dictated it to him.

"OK, I've got it," Ayomah said.

"Then see you on Monday." Miss Huang assured me. But as he was about to hang up, she dropped a bombshell.

"One more question; are you black or white?"

There came my riposte:

"I'm black." Ayomah answered proudly. He did not bat an eyelid when Miss Huang (literally translated as Miss Yellow) said to him, "Then am so sorry!" Ayomah then hanged up quietly and did not say a word.

Lounging on a brown leather sofa, and wearing the sad face of a woman whose only son has been butchered before her own eyes, Ayomah begun to ask himself certain pertinent questions on globalization.

"The whole world is making a fuss over globalization and enjoying every second of it. We talk of a global village to where all mankind belong, why is a person of color, who is over-qualified to teach kids at a kindergarten school excluded?"

"Did this Miss Huang, who asked me whether I was black or white realize she was playing on the global stage, and that she was expected to be an actor of global standard?" "Did she realize she was supposed to employ global tools and conform to global guidelines and not dare question me whether I was black or white?"

Another question Ayomah asked himself was, "Is she acting according to instructions from her superiors or she was only being freakish?" There were no ready answers available.

Ayomah, believing a very religious person, then turned his mind to God, the Creator. Who created mankind in different colors - black, white, yellow, and what have you? He thought of an example of His delicate production, wonderful creation and deep sagacity in the creation of a bat. It keeps itself hidden in the day light, although day light reveals every thing else, and gets moving in the night, although night-time shuts up every other living being,

Ayomah thought of how the eyes of bats get dazzled and cannot make use of the light of the sun for being guided in their movements, and for reaching their known places through the light provided by the sun.He also thought of how the darkness of the night does not obstruct the sight of the bat, and also how the gloom of darkness does not prevent it from movement.

He could only equate this lady-Miss Huang-to a bat upon whom the sun of globalization was shinning, but who could not find her way through the global village.