03 April 2018

Exkursion: Impressions from my trip to the USA

Da ich mit dem Bücher rezensieren eh eine Pause einlegte, bzw. mit dem Bloggen an sich, längere Ausführungen aber nach wie vor besser in einem Blog als bei Facebook aufgehoben sind, hier nun ein kleiner Sonderbeitrag auf Englisch. Wenn es mehr werden, nenne ich es meine Reihe an:
'Murica stories.
Loose collection of encounters during my two weeks in California.

The Palestinian Uber
One thing is for sure: when you move in the Valley or SF, you move with Uber. Taxis are hilariously expensive in comparison, and the next Uber is never further than 2 minutes away.
Even when staying in at my hotel on evenings where I had to work, I used UberEats in order to order freshly prepared food from restaurants of my choice in a 5-10 mile radius.

Interestingly enough, most of my Uber drivers were Arabs, with Morocco and Tunesia leading the charts. The one or odd local SF Uber driver was among them, but most of them would not have made it into the country if things were to roll according to "The Trump". But they were all naturalized US citizens, so that's that.

My politically most interesting Uber drive was also my longest: when moving from my hotel in Palo Alto, where I had stayed for the new hire onboarding, to San Francisco, where I was to spend my second week in the land of the formerly free and home of those know to have been brave, just before the fear of terror transformed them into loud, tiny hate-rabbits.

My Uber driver was from Palestine and of course my name triggered the eternal question-chain: "Where are you from? You have a Muslim name" (Standard reply: my name is Arabic, it doesn't mean that I'm a Muslim, in fact names are just names, they are usually not inherently "religious"; "Islam" and "Christian" being prominent exceptions). "Are you a Muslim?" ("By jove, no! In fact, if there was a god I would want him killed!") (This reply not always leaves my lips, I need the driver to carry me to my destination and not to let me on the side of the road like the Qoffar I am).

Anyways. We were chatting about 'murica, how things have changed since Trump and how it must be to be a Muslim of Arabic heritage in that country. We also confirmed that Algeria, the home country of my father, is one of the most ardent advocates of Palestine and enemies of Israel and somehow that always earns me bonus points with Palestinians. That I have zero Palestinian but a lot of Israeli friends; that I am a stout advocate of Israeli sovereignty and love the Golda Meir citation that the war will only be over the day the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews - all these things are better left unsaid, too. Remember? I love to reach my destinations.

Anyhow, we didn't talk too much about the middle east and it's unsolvable problems. But he told me the story of the Uber-passanger just before me. A Korean war veteran ('old guy') from somewhere "not-California, probably a Hillbillie", he talked the whole journey how California is infested with "libtards", that we need more military and soldiers and that Trump will "right the wrongs" that have been wrought upon the holy American soil by unholy "politicians" like Obama. The usual Republican monologue.

The Uber driver started to laugh: "I'm so happy he was obviously nearly blind. Not one moment did he suspect to sit beside an Arab - he just couldn't see good enough in order to realize that I am one of 'them'"!

We parted laughing, wishing us well (I have now another blessing of god, and he just had to be happy with my best wishes and a nice tip) and I started my second week in 'murica with a smile on my lips.

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