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Letters of the Week

We don't know about you, but travel always makes us want to write long juicy letters to everyone we know. Maybe it's bragging rights, maybe it's a burst of poetic inspiration from seeing the Taj Mahal, but one way or another, suitcases and sunsets in strange places turn us into letter-writing fools. So, if it turns out you're the same way....be sure to include us in your list of people you just have to drop a line to. Don't worry, you will make us jealous...but hopefully we'll also be inspired by your adventures.

Want to see what other Savvy visitors have to say? Read our letters of the week, and be sure to tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you!

April 20, 2001

How to Be a White Man

I spend the winter in the bush of Jamaica, where I'm the only foreigner for miles. One morning while out walking, I came across a Rasta man who was coming toward me on the path. He carried a machete, and was wearing a beautiful purple tam that he tucked his dreadlocks inside.

I must have been staring at his hat, because after we passed, he stopped and shouted, "White man!" I turned to face him, and he asked me what I was staring at. I told him it was his beautiful tam that caught my attention, and asked him if he had made it. He didn't answer. Instead he came right up into my face and said, "Are you afraid of me?"

I said, "Well, I don't know. Should I be?"

"White men are afraid of black men," he responded.

"They are?" I asked.


"Okay, then," I said. "The next time I meet you on the path, I'll know to be afraid of you."

With that, the man just laughed and became a totally different person. I asked him what I had said that was so funny.

He said, "I can't teach you how to be a white man. I'm a Rasta man. You're supposed to know."

The two of us just stood on the path and laughed.

Woodstock, NY


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