Three Hundred and Thirty-Sixth Asic: Tourist in the USA- Pure luck, God or just a coincidence?

There are moments in life when something wonderful happens to us and we are purely amazed by the fact that we are there, right that very moment. Some of those moments are for me connected to my trips in the USA. One of them, was at the time when George W Bush would soon be elected president for the second time… I was travelling in Pennsylvania in the Lancaster region when me and my friends came to a little village where a growd were lining the road, as if something was about to happen… They had brought their camping chairs, their blankets or just stood upright beside the road… Obviously they were waiting for something to happen…

My friends said that since there was a nice indoor market, we could just as well stop to check why everyone was out this particular day… 🙂 My friend G asked a fellow standing by the road what the commotion was all about and got a surprised look in return: ”You mean you don’t KNOW??? Mr Bush will be here any time!” OK… Let’s say both G and MA were not that thrilled, but politely said ”OH!!!!” with a proper voice, hiding their inner feelings… We decided NOT to check the indoor market, but rather stay outdoor and wait to see what this would be like…

I’m not tall at all, so I decided I would most certainly get a better view from the parking lot, on a higher level from the road… My friend G decided to join me there, but MA stayed by the road. We, me and G, got a nice overview and could easily spot MA from where we stood. After a while a police car drove by and through a loudspeaker someone said: ”Clear the road! Clear the road! The President is on his way!” The road was already quiet and no cars were in sight… but suddenly a car came from a distance, not a nice looking car, but rather a jalopy with open windows… The car was crowded with young men shouting mean comments, and on the side of the car someone had written: ”George Bush SUCKS!” Whatever the young men were yelling through the windows, it did not sound like ”cheering” to me… This happened very quickly and the crowd around us were all appalled, but the two of us, me and G LAUGHED, because honestly, this was quite fun… Where did they come from, first of all? And how did they manage to pass through the police checkpoints with that text written on their cars… Well… Soon enough we understood that all the people around us where not just any kind of audience, but rather fans and supporters of George W Bush, pure Republicans all of them. We found it best to keep quiet from now on, but whispered and giggled quietly that this was really FUN to see…

After a while another police car drove past on the road in front of us. Again someone said through a loudspeaker: ”Clear the road! Clear the road! The President is on his way!” From where G and I stood we could see MA and she turned around sometimes to let us know she was alright. Suddenly we noticed that a couple of black limousines passed and that very moment a lady right beside MA was talking to her and made MA turn from the sight of the road to listen to what the lady was saying… Right then, when the two of them were speaking, a touring coach emerged from the right. The crowd started to yell and wave and G and I could clearly see the President of the United States waiving to his audience…but MA missed this… Afterwards, this was kind of fun, but also sad, since I had been able to spot the President, but to me that was not a big deal… MA however had thought of this moment as a chance to see the President, but because of that ignorant person beside her, she missed her chance… We joke about this nowadays and I am sure there will be new chances for MA if she for instance would want to see Mrs Clinton or Mr Trump in person this year… 🙂

But… was it just pure luck that I had a chance to see the President of the United States during my short stay in the USA? According to both MA and G it is not THAT common that you have a chance to spot a President during your lifetime. A tourist in the USA, such as I , can be lucky to get back home talking about this memory from the USA. I actually spotted George W Bush!!!

svenska flaggan

 

The summer of 2016 I have been travelling on the West Coast of the USA together with my family. Before I went there I thought a lot about our trip and tried to plan for things I wanted us to see. I also thought about what to listen to in the car… Why not make a Spotify-list for our trip? I thought. I added typical ”on the road”-songs that in one way or the other could be connected to America, but in the end, I didn’t really have TIME to check out HOW to connect my ready-made Spotify-list to the radio system in the rental car… So… I guess I had to stick to the rental car RADIO then, huh?

Back home I had a few songs on my list that meant more to me than the others. Years and years ago, I listened a lot to Simon & Garfunkel. I love their LIVE-LP from the Central Park in NYC and I played it over and over when I was in High School. For my trip on Highway 1 I had planned to play a few of those tracks, but like I said, I was more or less left to the producers of several different radio programs that I zapped between, while driving…

Just the very moment when I drove off the Highway into the parking lot for the bay where all the sea lions rest close to Hearst Castle, I suddenly noticed that the radio played American Tune (Simon & Garfunkel). NO other tune had been more perfect at this very spot… But how did it happen???? Luck? God? Random choice of some sort? I don’t know! But it was PERFECT for our experience at the time!

A few hours later when we FINALLY reached the very block where our hotel was situated in Santa Monica, the Radio show played America (Simon & Garfunkel). I cannot see why these two Simon & Garfunkel tunes had to play these particular moments without any reason… Instead I try to think it was meant to be for some reason… Or do they play Simon & Garfunkel day in and day our in California??? 😉

 

A few days later when we were finally leaving MA and G for this time and going back to Sweden… we experienced another extraordinary musical ”coincidence”. I was set for driving off… All our suitcases were put in the boot of the car…the family was buckled up and ready to go… We let our side windows down to be able to shout our last goodbyes through the car windows… Guess what??? From the car stereo a loud scream is heard: ”I’m moving out!” (Billy Joel).

As a matter of fact we WERE ”moving out”! We were now saying goodbye after a week or so in MA’s and G’s home! We were not just leaving TOWN, but rather leaving the USA for Sweden again… MA and I both like Billy Joel. There are SO many different artists and musicians out there that could have been played on the radio that very moment, but after all it was Billy Joel… Why? I cannot find any explanation whatsoever but I am very grateful for all of these moments in my life. They all showed me what pure MINDFULNESS is and I would not want to be without any of these memories. And… Thanks to MA and G, I have lots of fun memories to go back to anytime I like! Thanks! ❤

 

 

 

Three Hundred and Thirtieth Asic: Tourist in the USA- If I was the President of the USA…

National Constitution Center

We, the people of other countries, come to the USA to see what the country is like…

In the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia, we meet staff members that bring us back to the year of 1776 just by their appearance…

KnypplerskaCittraspelareWe enjoyed the little chats and the way these people tried to connect our time with the eighteenth century. In the area is also the famous ”Liberty Bell”, supposedly important for the founding of the USA. On a walking distance you also find the home of Betsy Ross, who once designed the American flag. A tourist attraction among many others in the City of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania is the National Constitution Center. 2016 is an interesting year from a political point of view and although I am not an American resident I follow the news as closely as possible in order to find out who might be the best suited president candidate this time, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump…

In The National Consitution Center many displays explain the political system with easy accessible facts and examples. You can navigate in any way you like and stop here and there to watch a short movie or do an interactive game of some sort. There are also members of staff who explain details from American history or help you out if you seem lost in any way. One of them tried to talk me into a fake ”quiz-show” concerning how power is shared between the Congress, the Senate, the President and the High Court, but I excused myself saying I am just a tourist from Sweden… How power is shared in the USA compared to Sweden where I live, is different  and I thought I would not know enough to stand a chance in the quiz-show… But knowing facts about how power is spread is interesting, so we talked for a while anyway. The lady then shared with me that her husband was of Norwegian origin (Norway is our closest neighbor) and was curious to know whether it was true or not that Swedes and Norwegians joke a lot making fun of each other… I said that was true and gave her a few examples of typical Norway-jokes. She, too, had a few jokes to share with me, which was fun indeed! 🙂

I am very impressed by the way the National Constitution Center applies to all ages and all sorts of visitors. If one would be more interested in the American political system than the average visitor, there are loads of documents to read and go thru and for such a visitor a day or a few hours would not be enough… My favourite place in the museum is the room with the statues of the American presidents. They are presented as if they were alive, although they are all made of bronze. If you like, you can stand opposite George Washington to experience how tall he was and what he might have looked like, or maybe just spend time with Ben Franklin, a favorite thinker of mine…

Franklin och jagIn the National Constitution Center a few of the guides were dressed like the ”founding fathers”. These guides are in every way very special and actually act as if they were the founding fathers for real… They also act as if this was not the year of 2016, but rather 1776… To us that was kind of fun when we met ”Benjamin Franklin” who referred to the Swedish King when saying that it was ”a pity that Sweden doesn’t help us actively now that we really need support to deal with the Britons!”  We enjoyed that little chat a lot since it was also a glimpse of past times… Most of all, I personally enjoy the performance with an actor who explains the writing of the National Constitution, starting with …

WE…the People…

The way this performance builds up to a truly patriotic feeling of belonging, I’m not surprised if Americans are very proud afterwards.

I almost turned into an American myself… 🙂

The actor is just one person, but his passion is of a kind that you cannot ignore and his voice is very eager to find the heart in you… You listen to every word he says and you understand the underlying events that lead to the writing of the National Constitution. Of course not just the actor, but the filmclips, the soundtrack and the very dark room helps to build up this feeling of importance. We all, even Swedes…are ”the people” this moment…

The very thought of sharing power like it is presented in the National Constitution is wise. A president with too much power may turn the USA into something else but a safe  democracy if it had not been for the National Constitution… I like the way it is built in the system that you cannot rule on your own…

Being a tourist in the USA means being curious about everything that is not as in Sweden… 🙂

I have asked people I have met whether they are worried or not for the coming election, whether they find Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton best or worse etc. There is no way my asking can be taken into account for the outcome of the election, but what I found interesting was that it seemed as if half of the people I asked was in favor of Mr Trump whereas the other 50% preferred Mrs Clinton… I had hoped for some ”hint” when I did my ”research” but obviously I will have to wait until election day for the very result!

In a dark corner of the Center it is possible to pretend you are the President of the United States… I simply had to stand in line for this little game… 🙂

Had I been the President of the United States, I would work closely together with the UN, with the Human Right’s as my wish list for all Mankind. We need to work together in creating a better world. A better tomorrow starts today…

The president of the United States...

The president of the United States…