indiantinker's blog

Little tales of felt racism

indiantinker's blog


Location : Legazpi, Madrid

I was out in my inner balcony. It was a sunny day. My sunny, I mean, Madrid sunny. Scorching. I had some laundry to dry. I was a poor student, living in a flat paid for my grateful university as a part of my scholarship. While arranging laundry, my phone rang. It was my cousin. He just landed in Madrid. We have plans to see Sevilla and go check out Lisboa. I went inside grabbed my phone. I talked while I dried my clothes for tomorrow's travel. In about 10 mins, I finished and went inside.

The door bell rang..

It is impossible, he can be here in so little time. But maybe he wanted to surprise me. So, I went and opened up. There was a man. He seemed off and angry. I did not speak any Spanish yet. So, I recorded what he said. Google said, he was pissed off that I was talking pictures of him in his house and thinks we should be not be allowed in. If I say a word or do anything, he will call the police who will send me back to my native land.

"Llamaré a la policía." was the first complete sentence I learned in Spanish.


Location : Quevedo, Madrid

I was minding my own business at some place whose name I cannot mention. I went to the kitchen which was besides the loo. It was breakfast time. I was a fan of dry-fruits muesli and greek yogurt. That day, I took the regular yogurt. Chopped up a banana and some sunflower seeds for extra care.

I came out with a bowl. Someone asks me to keep the loo clean and use the brush to clean the remaining fecal matter in the bowl. There were a few other people around who had walked the corridor before me. I was automatically judged to be a miscreant and have never taken a dump in that place since then.

Location : Barajas Airport, Madrid

Spain does not have a great immigration policy. It is highly restrictive to people who actually come to the country to pay taxes. Spanish companies are known to use this to their advantage.

A regular case was mine where my renewal was delayed and I wished to travel to Vienna to visit my cousin sister who was honeymooning there. I had already missed her wedding due to all the stupid paperwork. So, I booked my ticked, got the necessary papers and even booked a nice place to stay.

I was 12am. I woke up, took the metro to airport. The flight is at 6am. There is no public transport for that time. So, I decided to sleep like others at the airport. I had a little work to do too. I was waiting in the queue. Sleepy. But awake. It was Wizz Air.

The queue was moving. I had heard it will be cold in Vienna. So, I went to a clothing store and bought a cheap coat. It was of "Discount Blue" color and "Yellow" inside. It looked cool.

Suddenly, the airline representative sidelines me. She asked me to show all my papers. I was happy too. She asks me for more papers. I gave more. Then she asks me for one paper I did not have. That paper was not necessary. But she needed it. I could not produce it. But I made her read the law. She says, in the terms and conditions it says that she has the right to deny me boarding. Before I could read them, she called the security on me. I left the airport.

I went home. Ate all the chocolates I had bought for my sister. Cried hard. Hated everything. Went back to work. The airline never refunded. The hotel bookings got tanked too. I did not eat outside the whole month.

I had developed a fear of traveling.

Had to be counselled my way out of it. I am still scared when I see the airline people. Since, then I never go to airport without shaving. I wear a coat, no matter if I am sweating. I call it "colonial cloaking coat". I look down. I look away. I look professional.

I just do not want to be questioned again.

I keep things low since then.


Location : Prosperidad, Madrid


Location : Public Hospital, Salamanca, Madrid


Supermarket and Supersecurity

Location : Supermarkets