Some might say “yes”. After all, Jewamongyou is a few shades darker and he is sitting eating Zebu as he writes this post. But I think the darker skin probably has more to do with the tropical sun (a welcome change from rainy Oregon!). Hopefully the Zebu will have no ill effects on my stomach. It tastes alright.
Right now I’m in Toliara, AKA Tolear. I didn’t know what to expect but it turns out it is a very African place to be. Women walking around with large loads on their heads, beasts of burden (including Zebu) still being used as transport – but more commonly man-power, women with painted faces and miserable conditions. But the people are very agreeable despite so many of them being persistent beggers. Even here, on the coast, Indonesian features are evident – though not as much as in Antananarivo.
It was France I had departed from to reach Madagascar and, while there, it was obvious to me that France is rapidly becoming Africanized and Islimicized. My brief stay in Paris was very depressing. So, even though I’m finding Africa to be thoroughly fascinating, I wish it would stay in Africa. After my return, I’ll be posting some photos from my trip – so y’all will have something to look forward to.
I’ll part with an interesting story. While sitting at the airport in Paris, a man came up and sat next to me. He was Malagasy and, with his broken English and my limited French, we were able to communicate. I asked him if he was Merina (the main tribe of Madagascar, whose origins are mainly in Indonesia). When he replied in the affirmative, I asked him if he thought all the Malagasy at the airport were Merina and he smilingly agreed that this was probably the case. Then he added that other Malagasy groups, which have more African in them, tend to be less intelligent. His theory was that it is very easy to survive on the coast (where the Africans live) but more of a challenge in the central highlands. Therefore, the Africans didn’t need much intelligence. They usually get jobs in the army or police while the Merina cultivate their minds. I thought to myself, “he must have read Rushton”. But then it came time to board. The plane was extremely large, built for the 5,400 mile journey ahead of it and holding hundreds of people. Well… my seat just happened to be right next to the man I was talking to. So now Solo and I are somewhat acquainted and he’s going to show me around Antananarivo when I return there in a few days.
What an amazing and hopefully enlightening experience that you were seated next to a race-realist from another race. I look forward to your travel stories – I am very well-travelled myself (120 countries and autonomous territories) but not Malagasy yet, or perhaps ever, for reasons I dont want to elaborate on now. Go well JAY.