I was not ready for post-election America.
Arriving in the USA two days after the recent election, I had no idea what to expect. What I found was a blue state in mourning. The wounds were fresh. People were hurt. Deeply hurt. I was in Seattle for a medical education conference and every keynote speech had been torn up and rewritten in the aftermath of November 8. Every workshop and panel discussion had a tie to the election. At every table I sat, I was asked what Canada thought of what had just happened. In my head, I had a chuckle at the irony of an element of the Canadian psyche in seeking validation from Americans now emerging from my colleagues to the south.
This was a predominantly work-related trip, but even my limited social and tourist activities around the edges kept bumping into post-election America – demonstrations in downtown Seattle, overheard conversations and newspapers filled with election coverage. Even with all of that as a backdrop, I’ve taken away some great memories unrelated to politics. I ate close to my weight in seafood (oh, how I miss fresh seafood in Saskatoon), did a tour of Seattle’s baseball stadium, sampled a good number of Pacific Northwest craft beers, and had a memorable night at a big college football game. I’ve got a backlog of writing to do, but will write more about my Seattle experiences in the coming weeks and months.