“Are you crazy?!” she exclaimed. “Why would you go to Iraq?”
“IRAN. I’m going to Iran!” I said, trying to emphasize the country.
“But they’re the same.” she rebuttaled. “Actually, not at all.” I said firmly.
I could see fire light up in her eyes as she said, “Do you have friends there?” “Yes, I do. They all tell me it’s not as bad, as everyone thinks.” I replied. Instantly she asked, “Are they Iranian?” Puzzled by this question, I answered, “Yeah, who else?”
“That doesn’t count.” She said, standing there looking at me as if I was an idiot for not catching on to her point, quickly. Then continued, “What I mean is, do you know any Western people that live there and have told you, it’s not so bad?”
“Well, no.” I said.
She just stared at me, giving me the ‘you’re crazy look’, then just laughed and walked away, and I walked away from that conversation with
tense shoulders and a busy mind. How can people just lump two completely different countries into one? Wouldn’t a citizen know their country better than a foreigner? Regardless of these questions, I knew I’d get some negative feedback. It was inevitable.
It got it when I left Seattle to follow my dreams of traveling around the world (why would you ever leave America, when everything you need is here?), when I decided to travel around Asia (cause you know, it’s full of dangerous and horrible places, people, and things),when I moved to Malaysia (there’s nothing there, it’s just full of monkeys) and I got it when I started to dated my husband (because he’s a Muslim and they’re bad).
There are too many nay-sayers in this world. Too many unaware, blind, fearful people, who can’t comprehend that fear is a lie, anything is possible, and that it is okay to not follow the norms, and live your life the way you see fit. Call me an idealist, but I just wish people could cut the crap and chill the fuck out. I feel like I’m surrounded by people merely passing by.