Edinburgh EH2 1LH
by Beau Cadiyo
Perhaps once a month, I'll be in a thrift store in the UK, and there will be an elderly volunteer who is there to help the shop and also to be social and chat. I always like talking to them because they're outgoing and don't possess the standard British reserve of not speaking to strangers; they're usually the opposite and, in Scotland, where people are friendlier generally, they can be downright friendly. Usually the conversation begins with a throwaway comment from me, then progresses to me saying that I'm from America, and, before I leave, I get the standard, "Let me ask you something."
I always know what's coming next.
"I speak to a lot of Americans," they will say, "and I've never met one who likes Trump."
It goes without saying that nobody here likes Trump, regardless of his self-delusion to the contrary. I've heard Tories call him an "abomination" and a "disgrace," and more liberal people often just shudder rather than put their feelings into words. More than anything, there's an assumption that I also hate him, and there's a deep sense of pity - shared pity, because while I'm an American and he's the president of America, he's a problem for the world to deal with, so we have to face it from a common front.
There's the standard response: the people who do support Trump generally never leave the country, and probably don't even leave their own state. They might not know much about Europe other than that it has been the site of a few wars over the years; they may not know where the UK is. They probably don't have passports. Thus, the reason no Brits would have ever met a Trump-supporting American is because Trump-supporting Americans generally live in a small, insulated bubble, secure in their idiocy and protected from anyone different than they are.
Then I generally hear my interlocutor say, "I love America. It's just a mystery to me..." I have to respond: I do, too, and most of America also considers it a mystery.
Trump is supposed to visit this weekend to play golf, although it's also supposed to be very rainy. There will be protests, which I'll probably join, despite the warnings for Americans not to go into places where violence may be directed at them. Seriously? I suspect this is meant more to indicate to Trump supporters that the world is a dangerous place; anyone who has spent any time over here knows that there won't be violence directed at Americans unless Americans are being idiots first. Anyone here knows that Americans are victims, too, and we're not going to turn on each other.
Sigh. I just wanted to get thoughts out, get back in the groove of writing.
The burgers at Belted are good, but not great. There are better ones in the city.