It’s great to be Black and travel. It’s great traveling as a Black American. Living abroad has its benefits and as long as things go swimmingly I rarely have to think about the downside of living abroad whatever that may be. Then there are those rare occasions when something reminds me however that something is amiss. These involuntary unwarranted and unwanted events rear their ugly head into whatever I am doing and spoil my fun at least momentarily. Today one of those little buggars attempted to do just that.
I was on a bus bound for Daegu from Iksan. I have not ridden this bus route in several months but I know the route. The bus always stops in Jeonju — a neighboring city to Iksan — on its way to Daegu. As usual this bus was making its way to Jeonju in route to Daegu when after arriving in Jeonju the bus driver asked me to move to the back of the bus. I was sitting in the first seat directly diagnol to the driver, mind you. The bus was not full but in anticipation of other riders boarding the bus in Jeonju he asked me to move to the rear. He did NOT ask any other passengers sitting near the front of the bus to move to the rear.
I handled this situation in the cool manner I usually hand things even though my intuition told me this was a race/stranger/xenophobia inspired request which lead me to be more adamant about remaining in my seat though.
After the other passengers at Jeonju boarded the bus I noticed many available seats. I wondered if there was any logical reason for me to give up my seat when there were plenty of seats for eveybody. I also wondered if I was being selfish by not yielding my seat to an older person.
The bus driver was rude without intending to be. End of story.