Saturday, March 4, 2017

STORYTIME: When My Cousin and I Got Mistaken for Hookers

This is a funny story. It was funny to me then, and still gives me a good laugh when I think of it today.  

It was back in my high school days when my family and I were living in Caracas, Venezuela. I was taking a drama class at the time and one of my assignments was to watch a play at the local theater and write a review paper on it. My older cousin Emma and I decided to catch the 7pm showing of the play that coming Saturday. When Saturday rolled around, we got ourselves ready and headed to the show. Although I can't remember the name of the play, I can remember that it was a wonderful show. My cousin and I both enjoyed it and considered our outing a "win" activity for the night. 

Once the show was done, we walked out of the theater and went in search of a cab to take us home. We walked around for 15 minutes looking for a taxi but couldn't find one in sight. As we decided to walk down a different street to see if we'd have better luck getting a ride there, we ran into 2 guys walking up from the opposite direction. They were both Venezuelan, college-aged, and looked a bit tipsy. They smiled at us and my cousin and I happily smiled back because after all, they were pretty cute. And then one of them said in Spanish, "Ambos estan muy bonita. Cuanto cuesta?" This translates to "You're both very pretty. How much?" My cousin and I were initially confused. How much? So, my cousin asked "Que?" , which means "What?" 

He then went ahead to repeat his statement, with his pal chipping in this time. "Cuanto es para ustedes dos por una noche?" Also known in English as, "How much for the two of you, for one night?"

After that question, it dawned on my cousin and I what they meant and our immediate reactions were quite different. I burst into laughter. It was the most absurd, unexpected thing to happen to me. Did these guys really think we were prostitutes and did they really just try to buy us for the night? I couldn't help but find this the funniest occurrence ever and I just kept laughing. My cousin on the other hand was not nearly as amused. She started yelling at the two fellas and had a few choice words for them. They both looked pretty confused by, unsure why she was screaming while I was laughing. Luckily, a taxi was driving up the street as this encounter was taking place and we quickly motioned with our flailing arms for the driver to stop. Leaving the guys still standing on the side of the road confused, we hopped into the cab and made our way home. During the ride, my cousin and I reflected on what had just happened. Apparently, 2 black girls walking on the street around 9:30pm at night looking for a taxi in Caracas clearly screamed "night workers". Good to know. We eventually made it home, went to bed, and happily moved on with the rest of our lives. 

So what's the lesson behind this story, you ask? 

Since people say or do insulting things on a daily basis, you might find more peace in your life if you just decide to laugh or ignore most of it off -- hopefully I continue to do so :)

post signature


  1. Haha! Very funny. You've had so many funny and exciting experiences. I bet there'd never be a dull moment with Ada. I'm totally sure that when you eventually write your memoirs, they'd sell like crazy.

    On a side note, was that particular place notorious for prostitution or was it Africans that were notorious for such things in that area? I've heard of places in Italy and Dubai where there's a high likelihood that any african female you meet would most likely be into that sort of thing.

    Unfortunately, these things taint everyone. I also remember conversing with some of my asian colleagues who asserted that almost every Nigerian in their country was into drugs or some sort of shadiness. After some period of staying in Nigeria and working closely with me and other Nigerians, they finally came around to the idea that most of what was portrayed about Nigerians was just pure sensationalism.

    Anyways. Jisike. I'm looking to forward to watching you on CNN African Voices. You're definitely worth listening to

    1. Now that you mention, it actually might have been an area known for solicitation -- I definitely didn't think so at the time though lol

      As for your Asian colleagues, I'm glad they had the opportunity to stay in Nigeria for some time and figure out that "one does not equal all" in attitudes and behavior simply because we're of Nigerian descent :)

      In terms of CNN African Voices -- AMEN and INSHA'ALLAH!