Wednesday, November 9, 2016

At 7 a.m., I woke up in London to the sound of raindrops on my window and a coughing fit. I rolled over to check my phone for messages and then wished I hadn’t.

I realized I would be spending my first day off from a new job in tears or anger or both and with stuffed up sinuses! I made a cup of coffee and decided, what the hell, might as well pour a double shot of Baileys into it. Call it an adult-flavored coffee creamer.
Today, I’m sad to be an American. Actually, I’m devastated. I can’t believe that my fellow U.S. citizens actually elected Donald Trump to be our next president. This is really a WTF moment! Has the world gone completely mad? We didn’t think Brexit would happen, but then it did. I didn't even want to move to London at first after the Brexit vote, but then we did.

I’m shocked, but then when I think about it, in some ways, I’m not surprised. During my September U.S. visit to see friends and family members after an 18-month absence, I was shattered to hear the hatred spew from the mouths of people I’m related to (some by marriage) and others that are considered friends. I heard racial slurs. One person told me Michelle Obama was racist. I heard people say nasty things against all immigrants and Muslims to my face. I couldn’t take it anymore. Don’t you people realize we lived in Turkey for nearly 3 years and have a lot of Muslim friends? Do you know how much I loved our life in Istanbul? Did you forget all this? Didn’t you come from a family of Italian immigrants that came to the U.S. for a better life? Even my German ancestors fled to the US in the 1860s to escape religious persecution because they were Lutherans.

My responses fell on deaf ears. These people had already made up their minds. And I was told, times were different then. I don’t believe that.

Can you really call yourself a Christian if you hate other people/other races? I don’t think so. How can you call yourself a Christian if you voted for Trump who was supported by the KKK? I’ve stopped believing in religion anymore because I think people only believe the parts they want to believe of their religion. It’s been proven time and time again, especially lately.

In many ways, I feel like the current international political climate is reverting to a world as it was nearly 100 years ago. Are people really so quick to forget about what one egocentric man did when he came into power in Germany and started World War II? I bet none of my Jewish or Polish friends have forgotten. 

Take a look at the United Kingdom and its Brexit vote, the Philippines and its crazy leader, Poland and its changes to freedom of speech and recent protests against a potential abortion ban, Turkey – where do I even start with its RTE regime and current problems; and Russia is always lurking in the corners, trying to take back Eastern Europe and conquer the world. We are doomed if Trump and Putin become best friends. They can be bigly together.

Will gay marriage, Roe vs. Wade and womens’ rights be overturned in Trump’s world?

Honestly, I’m scared what might happen in this NEW world. I should have just stayed in bed today.

Tomorrow, I’ll have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. and go into work and try to explain this crappy election to my British and Italian co-workers. All I can hope for is that our UK work visas get renewed in 2018 so we can continue to live abroad as long as possible.

Unfortunately, this American doesn’t plan on visiting the U.S. for a long time. If anyone wants to visit us here, we have a spare room!
At least we did our part and voted from abroad.
My Traveling Joys

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

i am in shock. what is wrong with people that they could elect a man like trump as leader of the free world. i might become your new neighbor.

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I pretty much hid out in my apartment today. Tomorrow I will suit up, go out, and help represent the 49% of Americans who did not vote for that man and are appalled by this result.

Joy said...

@Joyce, I know how you feel. I'm disappointed in the US voters too. How did this happen? :(

Joy said...

Life goes on, doesn't it? Let's hope the next 4 years aren't a total disaster. But I'm not holding my breath.

BacktoBodrum said...

2016 - What an awful year - but I can't see 2017 being any better.

Unknown said...

We just found out my husband will be working in Istanbul for the next 9 months and as I was doing research, I found your blog. Like you, I'm saddened and ashamed of what took place on November 8, 2016. There is some comfort that Trump lost the popular vote - it lets me know there is hope for us yet and that most Americans rejected his hate-filled rhetoric. The reality of what we face still hasn't fully set in and a part of me is still expecting to wake up and find out there was a mistake and he's not our President Elect. I can't physically utter those words and it's difficult to write them. We can't control what other people feel, say or do. But we can control how we react and now is not the time to just accept what the worst part of America has wrought upon the United States or the rest of the world. I'll continue to do my part to fight the good fight. In the words of Secretary Clinton, "Let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do."

Unknown said...

Joy, the only thing I can say is I'm sorry. I was still at the airport in Warsaw before flying to London and that was the first news I saw on Twitter. It crashed me. I felt exactly the same way when hearing the results of election in Poland- pretty much the same views, just not always so openly glorified. What hurts me the most though is that I know people who relate to the current government. People who seem smart, who are educated, who you expect to be a bit more open-minded. I was shocked when, during a family dinner somebody came up with the topic of Poles in the UK being violently attacked...I said it's much more complex issue and quoted the recent story of two drunk Polish guys throwing bacon at the mosque... And one of my (luckily extended) family members said: 'And that's the right thing to do! I'm with them!'... and I was so flustered that I didn't know how to react! Now I can think of a hundreds of things I should have said but back then my mind was completely blank, I literally froze. Then it was another they and another meeting with my friends whom I intended to invite for a little goodbye party. And someone started a conversation about 'disgusting Ukrainian scumbags' and even worse words towards gays. I just listened with my eyes opened wide, I wasn't used to hatred, I'd never think someone from my relatively close environment could ever think that way. I didn't invite any of them to the party. I wanted my Ukrainian friend, gay cousin and 2 other gay friends to feel comfortable instead as I'd hate anyone dared to hurt them. What I already heard hurts me and that's enough. So yeah, I understand you. Hope these 4 years will teach people a lesson before the land gets completely demolished by hate-driven lunatics.

Mal x

Joy said...

@Annie, very true! January 20th, 2017, to be exact will be a rough day plus all the decisions that follow.

Joy said...

@Cathy, oh how lucky! Istanbul is such a beautiful, chaotic city. I still miss it! I will say it's become a bit tougher since I lived there in 2013, but people (including other expats) continue on despite the problems.

Regarding the US, I'll continue to stand up for what I believe in and be outspoken about it...if that means writing letters to my Congress reps, so be it. We'll see.

Joy said...

Oh Mal, sounds like we've experienced some of the same issues from so-called friends and family members. I realize that technically we're all allowed to have different opinions, but if you are racist, you should keep it to yourself. I find it extremely difficult to deal with such hate-filled comments on the spot too. I think sometimes it's best to just walk away from the conversation, which is what I had to do on Facebook recently. In fact, I've removed my personal Facebook from my phone since the election bc I can't deal with people.

Let's hope the world doesn't turn out to be as bad as I think it will be! :(