The United States re-opened its borders to international tourism about two weeks ago. The conditions for entry are more complicated than they were in the Before Times. But not ridiculously so. Not enough that Mrs P and I were put off. Passport? Check. ESTA approved? Check. Negative Covid test? Check. Vaccination form? Check. Boarding card? Check. Camera ready to video an anti-mask loon being dragged screaming from the flight by his ankles? Check.
As it transpired, there was no screaming loon. This flight mostly consisted of Brits. Masks for us are wonderful devices that allow the wearer to mutter sarcastic, but indecipherable complaints and grumbles at will. They increase our freedom, rather than inhibit it. Perhaps the return flight will contain more USAians and will offer greater opportunities for overtly public displays of crazy.
Media outlets on both sides of the US political divide suggested we might find a lot more crazy than normal in pandemic era America. In the blue corner, midwives are being told that new born babies should be masked before they’ve even fully emerged from the vagina. In the red corner, we’re told there is no virus, but inject bleach anyway.
I suspected that most people are more sensible than this. Most people do not live on the extremes. Most people are capable of rational thought. I suspected I’d get through most days without seeing too much crazy, if any at all. Then I turned on the television and found myself watching a woman insisting that shape shifting aliens disguised as her husband had attempted to have sex with her. Gosh.
Could I live here? I could happily live in lots of countries. They all have their charms. They all have at least one big negative. England? The decay. Mexico? Cartels and corruption. Germany? Twentieth century history. France? The French. Vietnam? Rice, rice and more rice. The US? The crazy. But there’s a lot to love and admire about the US, once you look past the crazy. This is true of most countries, once you learn to accommodate the flaws.
Viva America, cabrones. And a Happy Thanksgiving Day to y’all.