Nightmare in Quito

The Center of Quito, Ecuador

Roughly four years ago today, I had the worst night of my life. Curiously, I was on the last night of my vacation in Ecuador at the time. It was election night in the USA, and I made the mistake of tuning in on CNN for the voting coverage. Big mistake!

I could not believe my eyes that Trump was winning. Not that I liked Hillary Clinton, but I thought her opponent was—at best—a total buffoon. There I was at the Hotel Viejo Cuba in the relatively posh La Mariscal district, waking up every few minutes and compulsively turning on the television.

When I finally stumbled out of bed in the morning, I knew I had to get a cab to the airport—but I didn’t want to return to the United States! That night, I had lost faith in my fellow Americans. How could they do such a thing to themselves, acting against their own interests.

The Hotel Viejo Cuba in Quito

It is now 9:20 PM in Los Angeles, and I don’t have any idea how the final count will go. But I still distrust the American voter—even more, if that is possible. There are some Trump-voting states that I would never want to visit, such as West Virginia and North Dakota. And I feel somewhat queasy about some of the rural areas in California.

Whatever happens tonight, I am not the same person I was before the 2016 results came in.