Fourth of July Conversations

I didn’t look for any kind of July 4th celebration yesterday and treated it as a normalish working day. Now I’m reflecting on three conversations.

The first came as I was walking to work. I noticed some US flags and a couple of military guys by a monument for Woodrow Wilson (put up for his efforts to reverse Poland’s bad experience of open borders). I stopped and chatted for a couple of minutes. We talked about why they were there and a little about life in Poland.

The second was at work where I was catching up on end-of-the-year paperwork. The only other American in the workplace stopped by and we spoke for a time, mostly on work related issues (the weirdness of students in the last couple of years and some office politics and their possible ramifications).

Lastly, I’d been invited to go out for a beer or two with some students. We had a very pleasant time discussing a wide variety of topics including (but not limited to) plans for the summer, the vagaries of cheap airlines, how expensive Scandinavia is, the World Cup, Eurovision, Ukrainians in Poland, traumatic movie experiences, bad driving in other countries, warning signs of bankruptcy (the company one of the students works in is about to go belly up in an ugly way) and puzzlement about what young people are listening to nowadays.

I just realized this morning (while scrolling through blogs and twitter) that none of the conversations revolved around the current president of the US or moral outrage about trivia. I’m very glad of that….




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