There was this really bad book I had to review, and I kept putting it off and off because I hated the idea of having to review it. In the end, I was forced to work on the review all the way from St Louis to Valencia. I finally finished and submitted it, so I feel a huge sense of relief.
It’s one of those books that people publish when they need a publication but don’t want to do the work. So they throw together a bunch of notes for undergraduate lectures and call the end result a book. It’s not something I’m assuming, by the way. The author says in the intro that this is class material.
I had been duped by the book’s title into accepting the review. And it turned out to be a dud.
This is me in Valencia in the famous red dress I had to grab at the airport:
I’m not hungover, I’m just tired from the trip, hence the sunglasses indoors.
Folks, who do I tip and how much in Spain? My sister and I are good tippers but we want to follow local customs.
Normally, accommodations in Europe are small and cramped. But our hotel room in Valencia is huge, with an enormous veranda and a huge, private hot tub on the veranda.
I should let N organize all my travel from now on. I have no idea how he finds all these great places without ever having been to the area.
Until I recover my suitcase, I have to walk around in this long, bright-red, opera-style dress, which is the only thing I managed to buy at the airport Zara once I realized that the suitcase was gone. But the good thing about my age is that I don’t care how I look.
It’s funny, though, how dependent we are on our things. I spent two days in sweaty, dirty travel clothes and felt like a different person.
Every once in a while, I have to remind people that for those of us who come from my part of the world your defence of birth tourism is a defense of the right of our corrupt politicians and oligarchs to launder their dirty money by installing all of their wives and mistresses in Miami and NYC.
It’s a sensitive topic for us because the places we come from are destroyed by these evil shits who act with complete impunity. And you are helping them. There is a million ways to stop birth tourism while protecting the rights of actual immigrants, if anybody cared about this sort of thing. But nobody does, as we see time and again.
I wrote about all this many times before but it’s like a glitch in people’s minds that makes them erase this information no matter how many times I deliver it.
“I want the practice of birth tourism by our corrupt politicians and oligarchs to end.”
“But they are white.”
“They are very rich, powerful, and corrupt. And about 90% white.”
“Racist, racist, racist!!!!!!”
P.S. The Arkansas lady who likes to pose as a Muslim guy whenever I write about this, please go away. This topic is crazy enough without you.
People see absolutely no contradiction between constantly repeating how much they support immigrants and then wailing about AOC and Co in the same breath, “they were born here! Don’t tell them to go back!” All of a sudden, it started to matter where everybody was born. There’s been nothing in my FB feed and blogroll for two days other than haughty declarations of where everybody was born. Suddenly, everybody is a huge nativist, defending the sacred nature of those who were born “right here!” I’ve never seen the word “born” used so much outside a meeting of born again Christians.
These jokers, gosh. Trump took away their moral high ground in one tweet, and they are not even getting it.
My sister, who is a fluent Spanish speaker and who speaks Spanish at home to her Peruvian husband, is waiting for me in Valencia and writing scandalized text messages about how everybody she meets ignores her attempts to speak Spanish and switches to a very mediocre English.
“Stop smiling and saying gracias all the time,” I direct her. “Put on a haughty, hassled look, speak loudly, and don’t be too polite.”
The moment you begin smiling all over the place and thanking everybody in sight, people peg you as a North American anywhere in the world.