I went swimming at the university's gym pool yesterday and despite my being the slowest swimmer there, some guy yells 'congratulations!' from the other lane. He goes on 'you are a good swimmer!'. 'Me?' I ask. I think he was congratulating me for being the only black person in the entire gym. So I took it as a compliment because he was smiling and he sounded genuine.
Stellenbosch where I live now, has a long history of racial tensions which I will not discuss in a self-serving forum such as this one. For me being black in a white-dominated environment is an asset. Often, I stick out like a sour thumb but that can be a good thing because I cannot go unnoticed. (You must have noted by now that I love attention). I must admit being odd can also be intimidating but once I get over the intial fear, I blossom! One useful lesson I have learnt from interacting with all sort of people is that underneath the skin, we are all selfish bastards!