We went to a sports bar in Antigua, Guatemala, to watch the Cavaliers versus Golden State. It’s the first time on our travels I’ve seen this particular style T-shirt offered for sale in a place like that. It reads, ‘Donald you are a motherfucker.’
It sure feels like the anti-Trump sentiment is getting worse abroad. Anti-Trump sentiment began to blossom back in 2105, when I was living alone in Tulum, Mexico. That’s when locals – and travelers from other countries – started trash-talking Trump to me. It’s only increased since then.
In the fall of 2016 before the election, we saw a Trump pinata in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. We’d heard about them, but had never seen one until we happened to walk by a store selling all types of pinatas and the candies to fill them.
We watched the election at a ‘Democrats Abroad’ party in Ajijic, Mexico. (I’m not a die-hard Democrat – but it was the only place in town showing American election programming.)
American expats were stunned that night, just like people all over the rest of the world. What they had hoped would be a grand party on Ajijic’s expat central on the main square felt more like a funeral. In the days after the election, we saw Trump pinatas not far from that main square. They all had small hands.
Anyway. Four months later in March, we watched children in Puerto Escondido bash a Trump pinata. I’m pretty sure some American (or maybe Canadian) expats were involved in organizing the bash party. Signs announced it would take place right there – that night at 8.
After verbal bashing by adults and physical bashing by kids holding a police baton, the effigy finally came down and spilled some candy. Kids played with the Trump head, ultimately bashing it in. No more Trump pinata.
Aside from T-shirts and pinatas, politics come up in conversation – especially when someone learns I’m American.
One evening in Puerto Vallarta, a French Canadian man gave me his unsolicited opinion on the state of affairs in American politics as I tried to watch a street chess game. I politely asked him to leave me alone. He didn’t, so I then I had to tell him to leave me the fuck alone – I wasn’t talking about Trump with him and I didn’t care what he thought.
Another time a Mexican taxi driver unleashed a verbal assault against the president and outlined why Donald Trump is bad for the world when I told him I grew up in New York. He didn’t want to change the topic so I could only nod in agreement – trapped in his cab.
Elderly American men, retired in Mexico, raved about Trump’s policies so loudly over dinner at a restaurant one night that I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. There they were – taking advantage of Mexico’s bargain prices and falling peso in their comfortable and affluent retirement. Instead of trying to understand how Americans affect the rest of the world, they were more concerned about how Trump would appoint a conservative judge to the Supreme Court, cut taxes, kill Obamacare, and keep foreigners out of their homeland. It took every ounce of patience I had not to go to their table and call them two-faced fucks.
I guess we’ll experience more nonsense as our travels continue in Guatemala and Mexico this year, and in Europe and Asia next year. I can’t help but wonder when we might be targets of some kind of anger and/or evil simply because we’re American.
For any new readers — we did not vote for Trump. We protested at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016 when we stopped back in the U.S. on our world tour. We publicly took a stand then, and we remain firmly against Trump’s politics and policies and lies now and forever.
Politico posted a slideshow couple of months ago about how the rest of the world sees Trump. It feels like what we are experiencing now in Latin America is just beginning of what we may see in the months and destinations ahead. Check those images by Politico here.