Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Colonial Tales

While serving a customer some coffee today, I discovered rather startling facts about her.

She probably won't mind a little publicity, so I'll put her up. She's a Nina Simone impersonator with a tribute show she does at The Butterfly Club. She also does quite a few electronica things in line with say...Sarah McLachlan remixed.

What really got me though, was that she said her great-great-grandparents used to run Sierra Leone and they sold it to the British in exchange for tobacco and alcohol.


How many people do you meet who can tell you that? "My great great grandparents sold Sierra Leone"


My maids back in Singapore used to tell me that their grandfather signed the handover document from the British back to Burma (back when it was called Burma) for their tribe, although the Burmese then took total control, sparking a huge civil war, and he became a guerilla.

And I had another maid who was a Tamil in Sri Lanka with an abusive husband who could pass himself off as Singhalese, and she used to tell stories of the Tamil Tigers while teaching me classical Indian dancing...

I thought that was so exciting back then...fighting for a piece of land and some rights you believed was yours...and now I've met a person whose forefathers clearly believed that you could sell it all up for some tobacco and alcohol.

It's a crazy world out there.


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