so bad, yet so good

alex and i have talked before, half jokingly, about that if trump gets elected, i guess we’re staying here four more years. this was when we both believed there was not a single chance in a million years this would be happening to our country. and yet, here we are. i certainly never left the united states on any political ground, whatsoever. no, i just wanted to live in another country, study other languages, learn about other cultures, and work so i could travel and use central europe as my spring-board, if you will.

then, the more time we spent here, we woke up to the fact that, “wow, life is really good here! much more than we ever could have hoped! perhaps better than it ever was before!” part of me would like to use my living abroad as a political act, and i may in the future, but i also am a bit loathe to do that. this is for the same reason i don’t label myself; what kind of person i am, what i look like, or how i eat.  the time may come that living in europe does officially become completely political rather than just wanting to experience another culture, but i don’t feel like, at this time, making a fuss and a martyr out of myself. if it does turn political, i think it will be a quiet statement and not a big to-do, because that’s just who i am.

just as i mentioned in my post from last spring, the world is bigger than you, it’s been interesting to see just how the election results seem to have affected people who are not americans. people are scared, are concerned, are feeling a bit hopeless about the wave of nationalistic fervor slowly taking europe. even the children know what’s going on.

a nine year old student asked alex if he liked donald trump. then he said, in very choice words, “donald trump is a stupid crazy banana pudding.” (fellow esl teachers: are you impressed with the proper article usage here? because i am) then, one of my students (aged thirteen) told me he felt bad, and when asked why, he said “because trump is president”.

(above, a teachable moment in action – what can i say? it was a great grammar example!)

it’s amazing how aware the kids are here. how this is affecting, and will affect so many people, and not only americans.

sometimes, it even becomes comical in the disparity between our good life here and the rioting, assault, and general dismay that is coming from many states in the u.s. right now. trump is the new president. we’re getting better internet, for free! looks like the affordable care act may be all but abolished. our dentist appointments were so cheap! a climate change skeptic has been put forth as the front-runner for head of the epa. we’re getting a dog! i know none of this mentions the political situation here in the czech republic, but as far as living day-to-day life, it’s the stuff happening right here that is putting the smiles on our faces on a daily basis and what we read on our devices that makes us frown.

don’t get me wrong – i am angry. i am steaming about this whole thing. i am prepared to and will fight. but living in the here and now is healthy and good. fortunately, when you teach these smiling, silly, happy faces day in, day out, it’s hard to maintain a permanent state of anger.