Chronicles of a Tourist in the Elections Week of the United States
I know what you are thinking now.
Why did you choose this week to come to the United States?
I could tell you a lot of excuses like I had to solve a work errand or a sick family member. But I just thought, what is the worst thing that can happen?
And I am surprised by the answer.
Many people have positive and negative things to say about their country. And if you are one of those who would like to leave the United States because of the way it is administered, I would advise you to think about it again.
This week has been incredibly good. And I am going to explain in detail what I have experienced compared to my country in an election week.
Before the elections
I arrived in the United States for a vacation on October 31. Everything was incredibly calm. I visited some places in Florida, like malls, restaurants, even the zoo, and the botanical garden. At night I went out for a walk.
Everything was quiet. There were some people on the street with posters and flyers. But very moderate.
Surely you are thinking that this has nothing special or strange. But for a person who comes from a third world country, this was paradise.
In my country the government has to close bars and prohibit the sale of alcohol days before the elections, to avoid scandals. There are a lot of people in the street (yes, even with the Corona) shouting and marching for their political party. And above all, a lot of traffic by politicians going from one place to another.
In my country, it is preferable not to go out these days because is dangerous. In the United States, I was able to enjoy my weekend without complications, like a normal day.
This day I had to travel to New York. I drove to the airport without much traffic and boarded the plane easily. There were no flight changes, no delay, everything was fast.
When I arrived in New York I was surprised at how empty it was. I had never seen time square with almost no people (and I know that due to the pandemic the number of people in the street is reduced), but anyway it was something impressive for me.
In my country, when people vote, they stay in the streets looking for problems. Outside the voting centers (even with a pandemic) there were people in the waxes grouped together talking and having fun as if they shouldn’t go home.
Everywhere you hear that there was a fight in a place, and all the beverage centers must remain closed to not cause a disaster with people drinking alcohol.
When I got home I watched the news. The only “alarming” thing I saw was that a group made a peaceful protest with prayers and songs. Nothing more. People stayed at their homes after votes and there was not disturb on this day.
This process has been long. There has been a lot of intrigue and doubts. Anyway, the only person I’ve seen looking for trouble has been Donald Trump. People are just at home or at work waiting for the answer. There are no fights or strikes.
I went to a restaurant and the waiter asked me if I voted. I told him I was not from here but who I liked the most. The guy voted for the opposite party and told me the reasons why he supported him. It was a very respectful conversation and in the end, I didn’t even seem the other president as a bad candidate because the guy convinced me.
After elections, in my country, we can’t talk so much about why you voted for a president because you can get in trouble. People even died for saying their opinions in front of a group of people. We are afraid to talk even on social media.
You may have opinions for or against your country, and the reasons why you would like to leave. But in administration, especially in a week as chaotic as the elections, the United States deserves an award for peace and organization.
I’m not saying there were no problems. But I didn’t feel them. In my entire trip, I had no insecurity, fear, or doubts. I didn’t hear anything strange happening on a random street. If there were any issues, it could be controlled in time.
As a tourist, I am very happy to be able to come to a country, even in elections, to be safe, and enjoy my vacations. Coming from another country, my thoughts about this week were of danger, desperation, and that I would not be able to leave home.
But this trip helped me to understand that there are ways that a country can organize itself and have a peaceful process.
So for that reason, I congratulate the United States for allowing me to travel to their country without worries, I learned a lot.