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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Life Practicalities of a 12 Day Pacific Trip

~ Trump & China President Xi in front of the 'Forbidden City'

There are times that we like most others have those daydreams of what it would like to be President and usually they're fun-positive ones..

Imagining you get to set policy to make people's lives better.. The elegant state dinners..  Getting to travel aboard Air Force One..  Knowing that your thoughts/opinions matter even to those who dislike you..

But when we think of Trump in the middle of his 12 day trip abroad which took him to Japan, South Korea, currently in China then eventually Vietnam and Philippines,  its just like "Yikes!"
Its not about where he's travelling to but the duration of the trip and how physically/mentally exhausting that must be

Very little of this trip is sightseeing..  Its a business trip where the President is representing the country in pushing fairer, more reciprocal trade and doing his best to try to scare North Korea into not acting so belligerent without being forced to use the military on them..

There's a lot of speeches.. a lot of standing.. a lot of listening to foreign interpreters which make those press conferences double as long..

A lot of smiling and shaking hands and banal small talk

A lot of travel adjustments..  different hotels.. different beds.. different pillows.. different foods..  And of course the time zone adjustment is brutal...
For instance, right now Trump is in Beijing..  That's 13 hours ahead of Washington DC time so noon there is 11p the previous day here.   So you gotta adjust going there.. eventually gotta adjust coming home

We know.. there's a bed on Air Force One but still..  Can't imagine trips like this are super fun for people in their 70's..

And seeing the First Lady the other day in South Korea wearing this very unique outfit with a super-high collar, it made us wonder about the practicalities of life such as how much clothing is taken with them on such a trip?
An outfit like what Melania wore really can never be worn again and usually she never wears the same clothing in the evening as she seems to during the day so multiply by 12 and that's quite a lot of dresses and formal wear

Also wonder how many suits and ties the President takes?   Who (if not he) packs the shirts and socks and underwear?  Does he take his own valet to wash and iron the clothes or is it provided upon request at various destinations

To some this may seem trivial but its not because Trump the President is still Trump the person and being away from one's home nation to hopscotch across the Pacific is draining..

And especially to do it as President..
This is a life really none of us will ever directly experience and really few could stand to do even with all the Presidential 1st class perks that go along with the trip.

But then again Trump is a world travel and seems to thrive doing it

We get exhausted just hearing of the daily itinerary

Wonder if the President ever gets to have time to himself to just read or watch a movie..  Or if he and Melania ever get much alone time (and we're not even speaking of the ooh-la-la hubba hubba variety)
The reality of being President is that it takes a specific kind of person to be able to do the job; a specific kind of mindset when it comes to being able to adapt and adjust to a lifestyle that is far from normal.

Besides the constant travel both domestic and abroad, you are pretty much constantly busy with meetings, phone calls and/or speeches..  Then there's those occasions you have to deal with the viper press..

No such thing as true private time really.. Even when you may think a President is alone, often he is followed by an official White House photographer who takes photos for historical posterity so he is not truly by himself
And overall privacy is completely gone forever..  No anonymity, no spontaneity and can't travel anywhere by yourself - constant Secret Service protection which stays with you even after you leave office..

Some people are not bothered by it or find it exciting.. We think of it and feel claustrophobic

And if you're anything but an early bird, good luck..  Other than when  taken ill or under the weather can we imagine a situation where any President has been allowed to get up late in the morning or noonish and controversy not follow..

Night-owls would not survive a week..
So as Trump is in China right now meeting with their leaders and doing all the things Presidents do, we're more than happy to be here in the good ol' USA doing normal things and living normal lives knowing while we live by schedules, its of our own making

The greenest grass is always in your own backyard.