I happened today upon a place I had kind of been keeping my eye out for since probably some six months ago. My American neighbor, Jason, had mentioned it to me--a cozy little coffee spot, he said, with great breakfasts, grilled cheese sandwiches, croissants and so on. It sounded like my kind of spot, but I couldn't remember the name, only that it was next door to a florist.
So, stopping today at a dark and dusty little used bookstore where I figured I could unload some of the dusty little books sitting around on my bookshelf, I spied, upon exiting, the aforementioned florist just close by, and yes indeed, the fabled cafe. Moreover, upon entering, I found also the selfsame American friend and his wife. Now how about that!
Having already had a coffee and a pastry at another spot that morning, I ordered simply a coffee and sat down to visit with Jason and Komang.
After some small talk about the usual things we small talk about when we pass each other on our street, Jason ventured into the subject of American politics. The dreaded subject bound to come up between Americans, even those living on the far side of the world.
"How about all this stuff going on in America!"
"Umm ... stuff?"
"Well you know all these millions and millions going into Biden's bank account."
"Yeah, haven't you heard?"
"I can't believe it. He's a straight up criminal. What the hell is going on in our country?"
Oh dear. Good Lord. Here we go.
I reckon maybe vagueness is the better part of valor. Or of any political discussion between Americans, anyway.
And so I say, "Well, yeah, what indeed?"
"Unbelievable," Jason says. "I just saw it on Fox this morning."
That's why it's unbelievable, I want to say, but I say instead "Ah, Fox, yeah. But you know, Jason, these news providers are making it very hard to know what is real these days. Everything is exaggerated, on both sides. Fox says one thing, CNN says the exact opposite. What's the truth?
Ah, what is truth? The immortal words of Pilate.
"And I was watching a Tucker Carlson episode--
I snort at this point and politely turn it into a cough.
"--where he's interviewing what's his name--that guy in Hungary--"
"Yeah him. He made a lot of sense, you know? Like what America needs to do to restore itself, to get back on track. Basically, we need Trump back. That's basically what he said."
Oh dear. Good Lord.
"Gee, this coffee is good," I comment.
"And in the meantime they keep indicting Trump, just hoping that somehow that one thing will stick if they come up with enough indictments."
You realize that these are all independent courts, right? In several jurisdictions. With both Democratic and Republican judges. Brought before the courts on the unanimous decisions of several grand juries composed of both Democratic and Republican jurors. Wherein the vast majority of witnesses testifying for the prosecution were and will be Republican lawyers and officials in the Trump administration.
These are the things I do not say.
Luckily two motorbikes crash on the street. Everyone turns to look out the window. Happily, no one is hurt.