Trump Caught Up to Me at a Moroccan Highway Toll Booth

Us travelers know the reactions when we say the place we are from. For Americans, there was a long stretch when the 2nd President Bush would be mentioned and the conversation would take an awkward turn. When Obama was elected there was a year or so when people the world over would exclaim, “Obama!” at the surprise that an African-American became president. Lately the reactions have been more diffuse and mostly gone back to Hollywood or relatives a person has in the US.

I passed through a Moroccan highway toll booth today and the talkative attendant had good English to my poor French and didn’t mind holding up the cars behind for a little chat.

Moroccan Highway Toll Booth

After we sorted out the toll price, he started with some rhetorical questions in exaggerated tones.

“Américain?” with a broad smile.

“Who will you vote for, Cccllllinton or Trump?”

“Trump is a raccccissst…Whhhyyyyy?”

I had no answer. I still believe in governance, believe in public service. Maybe due to school and then living abroad I missed the radio talk show brainwashing that has convinced so many Americans that we have it so bad, when much of the world marvels at the luxury that we can afford to approach our election as a joke and the country still will probably do ok.

Whatever it is, the world is watching and a new era of impressions of America is taking shape. More tomorrow on how Morocco was one of the first great friends of the fledgling United States.

I leave you will this hilarious commentary PJ O’Rourke did for the BBC after the New Hampshire Primaries. Don’t worry, he skewers every candidate. Last year the BBC had him give his take as on outsider on the UK elections. At least in the UK they can only campaign for a month and they have to get back to governing.

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  • Pablo

    Trump 2016!!!

  • Lively

    I was staying at the Le Grande Intercontinental in Paris 2 weeks ago for 2 days and both mornings there were people in the lounge talking about Trump (speaking in English, but they were from Scandinavia). I couldn’t believe it. Trumps face was also in CDG airport in some sort of advertisement.

  • Shannon

    I am more interested in how did he tell you are American?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Shannon – I edited out the preamble, most of the interactions I have had here follow the pattern of determining I don’t speak French, then they ask if I am Anglais since so many Brits here, then next is Américain.

  • DaninMCI

    I was just at the Barack Obama Travel Plaza and gas station in central Ireland yesterday. Interesting what we find on our travels.
    Brainwashing comes in many forms but I do notice a shift from MSNBC to RTV to France 24.

  • Jamie

    I guess I don’t see us having it so bad either. The irony is that while Trump is winning on a platform of how terrible America is and that he’s our savior, it’s precisely how good things are here and how resilient our economy and system of government are that gives us the luxury of considering candidates who are as singularly unqualified as he is.
    I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot that could be improved here, but this idea that things are so horrible in America just doesn’t hit home for me.

  • tortellini

    I guess most of people living outside the US do not really care what the US is doing. Do US people care about other goverments? Do you US people really think to (still) be the leaders and therefore globally relevant?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @tortellini – if we collectively pick a president such as Trump, you have your answer, though I disagree in regard to people outside the US, many follow US news good, bad, and the ugly and that is how the exchange in Morocco came about.

  • john

    I am in agreement with you on how confused I am by the incessant complaining and fear tactics of how bad things are and how much worse they are getting in the US. Life in the US is absolutely fabulous when compared to most places (even most places in Europe).
    At the same time, its not a bad thing to continuously try to maintain our good life and improve it. If no one did that, things might actually get worse.