Thank God I’m an Expat

Over 75 years ago, a dying Lou Gehrig gave his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium and immortalized the phrase

“Today..I consider myself…the luckiest man…on the face of the earth”. 

Although the words are a bit strong for my situation, I empathize. Unlike many of you, when I wake up tomorrow and take the bus, I won’t arrive at work knowing at least half my co-workers (or more) condone racism, violence and intolerance. Nor will Diane be groped, disrespected and taunted by a national leader who brags about sexual assault. I also don’t have to sit down my kids, look them in the eye and explain why the newly elected president threatens to send them away because of their religion. When we see a police officer, he’ll be the only one on the street with a gun. He’s there to protect us, not the ruling party’s political opponent from assassination threats by deplorable citizens. The Malay, Indian and Chinese citizens of my moderate Muslim host nation don’t get slurs hurled at them like Chink and “Terrorist”. And best of all, Diane and I don’t have to ponder leaving a new America destined for senseless internal violence, protectionism and trade polices certain to destroy everyone’s retirement portfolios (Of course, Trump supporters will never own a stock portfolio)

hateWhile I’ve never been so ashamed to be American, I should feel relieved that we planned on spending the next presidency in Asia anyway. Instead, my throat has a lump, my stomach is tied up in knots and I’m actually feeling a numbness that I haven’t felt since the morning of 9/11 (and we were lucky enough to be living in Calgary at that time). Uncertain why I even feel this way given that we’re pretty damn lucky to be retired and living overseas with a comfortable bank account at ages 51 and 45, helplessness engulfs my every muscle and I actually think I may cry. Literally. Diane is lucky; her personality allows her to accept things she can’t change while I ponder the consequences of a million things that might go wrong but probably won’t. Financial consequences aside, I can’t help feel sorry for the women, people of color, gays and lesbians, Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, Asians, brown-skinned people, and 49 million sane Americans that didn’t choose to place a stark raving lunatic in the most important and powerful position on the planet.

hilaryMostly I feel sorry for all of you whose grandchildren are almost certainly doomed to a planet that’s barely inhabitable. For those unfamiliar with events on other side of the planet, let me assure you that climate change is the single most important issue for every citizen of planet Earth. Here in Asia, they barely recycle, litter the seas with garbage, burn everything despite laws prohibiting open fires and every year produce the globe’s worst environmental disaster (the annual haze) in the name of profits. Yes, profits. The only thing Emperor Trump gives a shit about. And since he denies climate change, vows to bring back coal mining and wants to disband 30 years worth of clean air and environmental acts that keep your air clean, the world looks to America and the West for leadership. But I guess 52 million assholes didn’t see that little blurb about every single month this year being the warmest on record. How could they? They were busy coining the phrase “I grabbed her Pussy“. And it’s now perfectly acceptable speech for the world’s most powerful leader.

pussRecently I vowed to keep the politics off the blog because it’s about expat life, early retirement and travel. I designed to both entertain and inform. So please accept my apologies. Writing is the only way I know how to get my emotions out and the next 24 hours will need to sink in. With the U.S. markets set to open with a 700 point loss, 2008 will probably seem tame by the time January 20th gets here and I’m a bit panicky over the prospect of a large shortfall in 2030 when we’ll need to draw from the retirement portfolio we worked so hard to accumulate. But I digress. Obviously, over half of America doesn’t give a shit about anything but keeping white privilege alive. Thankfully, I’m an expat living in a tolerant nation and I’m glad to help anyone that’s bold enough to try something different. The MM2H visa is Southeast Asia’s most generous long-term retirement visa and while many Americans remain fearful of any nation where Muslims live, I assure you they are friendlier, more tolerant and better citizens than half your moron neighbors that just damaged American democracy beyond repair.

And one more thing. Good luck “moving to Canada“. I’m married to a Canadian so luckily I’m automatically eligible for instant permanent residency status (Unless Trump fucks that up also). For everyone else, I can tell you that Canada has its own problems and certainly doesn’t want an influx of refugees since they’ll no doubt wind up accepting the Syrians that America already committed to taking. And I guess that’s the end of the Trump University trial, all the sexual assault cases and ever seeing any tax returns despite the obvious conflict of interest with a president that holds financial interests in over 53 nations including Russia.

Luckily, I’m an expat and as promised, I’ll soon be posting all the experiences we just had in Cambodia. Wishing to close out with something positive, I’d like to reiterate that here in Penang, xenophobia is nonexistent, hatred is unheard of and misogyny is not tolerated so I’d invite you to try life outside America. If you want to escape a nation hopelessly divided and filled with hatred, come join us. Malaysia will be happy to take you.

malaysia

Thanks to everyone for letting me express my profound sadness and cheers from Penang, Malaysia.

12 thoughts on “Thank God I’m an Expat

  1. Richard Gray

    Speaking as an English chap with a lovely daughter and grandchildren who live in the US, I’m appalled and hoping things get better. I may have misremembered the quote but it was to the effect that America was the last, best hope of mankind. Not at the moment but things change.

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    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      The only hope trump gives anyone else in the world is how to keep the elites wealthy, return to a world of white social supremacy and racism, erase fifty years of progressive democracy and progress and increase chances for another world war by encouraging fascism disguised as democracy. Your daughter should leave that place now. There is no hope for this government to succeed except for Wall Street and the trump family

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  2. Rob Culbertson

    Hope I’m not late to the party (more like a wake to be sure!). I’m the one fresh off the boat, having made this pre-planned excursion my ‘plan B’ in the event of a successful Trump putsch! Feels more like 1933 than even Orwell’s 1984. Truth doesn’t seem to matter any more.
    I second all the angst Rodi and friends do here relate.
    I thank Dog I don’t have kids to have to explain this to or live with through. The next four years will be like a life time if indeed we do live through it.
    All Hail to the Pussy-Grabber in Chief!

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    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Almost a month later it gets easier when you live overseas because I don’t have to walk into Starbucks and hear some racist asshole insulting women, blacks, gays or Muslims. Now I just read the articles and laugh it off. And with the Malaysian ringgit at a fifteen year low it’s helped us so who gets the last laugh anyway? Sad nation

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  3. Dee

    “You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: “HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!” The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don’t. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College.”

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    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Actually I woke up in Asia thinking my homeland is one fu**ked up place. Yup. The electoral college is what makes the politicians focus on four states with unemployed blue collar workers once every four years instead of the educated citizens in the cities and coasts that actually contribute to keeping the economy afloat

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  4. TextPat A

    Just want to say, from an American in Singapore, I’m feeling exactly the same, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. We struggled with whether to “go political” on our blog too. But sometimes you just can’t hold it in. And maybe we all have a duty now not to hold it in at all. We’re going to need each other for the next four long years.

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    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Thanks for the support.
      I will in fact go back to my expat blog as it was intended. In fact, I found myself unable to write during the last few weeks. After spending sixteen months following, writing and desperately trying to convince a different America why Trump is a horrible choice. I also spent way too much time during Bush on forums, mostly getting insulted and flamed. I’m done with that since I’m now retired and enjoying life. Dump will fail on his own accord and the ignorants will be stuck once again. If we’re lucky, Michelle Obama will run in four years.

      And I see form my FB feeds that high school students in my old stomping ground are all protesting. Peacefully if course. Education and intelligence always wins out by simple definition and I’m ashamed and saddened that one entire half of America is so blind but some sort of radical change was inevitable. I’m no huge Clinton fan but a real businessman like Forbes or Bloomberg would’ve been my choice to deliver the message of changing the elite corrupt system. Trump will tire soon of being president because there’s no personal financial gain, no rallies, lots of meetings where he can’t fire people, interactions with other humans smarter than him and wait til he meets the female world leaders and will be unable to tweet insults. Perhaps he will resign from boredom.

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  5. thebratexperiment

    Really well said. You said everything I’m feeling in a much more eloquent way than I could have ever – so thank you. I’m not American but I’m HEARTBROKEN that the majority of Americans are happy to condone his sexist, xenophobic, sexually assaultive, hateful, discriminatory actions and views. I thought that society as a whole was making progress but that perception has been well shattered… Anyway, thanks again for giving voice to all the feelings.

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    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      And thank you for reading which helps me understand that much of the world is in fact smarter than 52 million sad angry pathetic voters. The reality is this; As evidenced by the popular vote (which she may actually win by a small margin), America has already entered the phase I like to call social civil war. As a Brooklyn native that moved to San Francisco in 1988, I’ve lived life in a sheltered world and the fact that only 15 states out of 50 are voting democrat proves my theory. There is California, (entertainment, technology and progressive thinking), the NYC metropolitan states (financial Center), a few small pockets like Chicago and Boston, and then there’s America. Journalists come from the liberal educated places and although they may occasionally visit Akron, Ohio or Allentown, Pennsylvania, they’re hopelessly out of touch with what’s now passed 50% of the electorate because we don’t interact with them. Ever.

      Blindly following Trump’s every word literally, the media demands answers to every single comment he makes while the rest of the nation always knew there will be no wall or mass deportations but rather they hear his words as generalizations about how they feel so left out. This is despite eight years of a solid economy and improving job market. Yes, allowing a sexual predator to run the nation is absolutely unacceptable and deplorable but that proves even more how out of touch the journalists and politicians are. Globalization leaves rural people mostly behind and politicians are too elite to see this. And they don’t care because they are all elite and that’s all they care about. Power corrupts the leaders and education blinds the journalists. This is why the entire polling industry was rendered useless although I might add that the national average of a 3.5 percentage point lead is in fact within margin of error which means only state polls were horribly wrong.

      As an expat, I went through this once with Bush and will now go through it again for four years. He will fail miserably. Not because he’s racist. Because he’s a failed businessman that cheats and manipulates his way through life. Running a superpower means he will have to pay taxes and follow the rules. Which he won’t. Already appointing anti climate change ignorants to key positions, he’s already set back the nation to my birth date. And sadly, it takes horribly negative change until the half of the nation without portfolios and good educations will realize that populism has never ever worked in world history. By the mid terms the democrats will already take back the senate. Trust me on that. Thankfully (for us anyway), Wall Street is laughing a this as evidenced by a two percent rally at the start of a moron running the nation. They know they will be left mostly without much interference because he understands nothing except lawsuits and intimidation. And guess what, the elites are smarter than that. So hang in there and count down the days with me until January 20th, 2020.

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  6. Stacey

    we cried…the American teachers at my school cried. Our assistants were stunned. “Your country actually elected him?” they asked in disbelief. A country truly divided and now in the hands of one of the most deplorable human beings I could possibly imagine and all of his cronies. SHAME on the republican party for allowing themselves to be hijacked not just now, but even during the last election. Shame on the party for now having the nut sack to say NO to the nut jobs. SHAME on the democrats for not pushing up a viable candidate. I am disgusted. Absolutely disgusted and distraught and so grateful I am not planning to be home either, for the next 4 years.

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