Tuesday 6 December 2016

American Notebook: A look at the week that was

Stefanie Preissner

Published 13/11/2016 | 02:30

'I kept quiet about my views and fears on Trump in Texas. I was in the minority, so I didn't really feel safe to start a discussion. For the first time, it occurred to me that this was what happened to this silent majority during Obama's reign' Photo: Reuters
'I kept quiet about my views and fears on Trump in Texas. I was in the minority, so I didn't really feel safe to start a discussion. For the first time, it occurred to me that this was what happened to this silent majority during Obama's reign' Photo: Reuters

Istood outside the World Rodeo Championships in Dallas, Texas, last night trying to get some air. Inside, the arena heaved with excited moustaches hidden under cowboy hats. There was only one iconic red 'Make America Great Again' hat to be seen in the venue that housed 45,000 people.

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I met a lady named Martha in the lift of my hotel. She gave me the biggest hello I've had in years. One of those 'hellos' that makes you feel instantly guilty, as though you should not just know the person already, but should also know their birthday.

I saw her again later outside the arena. We queued up together to exchange our dollars for "Man Bucks", the currency accepted at the Rodeo Championships. As we queued up, I noticed there were cacti, like alien shapes backlit by the glow from the neon lights of the city sprawling around us. A stallion passed between the cacti and the glow, making its way inside to compete. Martha told me the horse belonged to the famous cowboy Turtle Powell, and that he was a sure bet to win that night's 'calf wrestling' event. She followed my gaze to a grassy area beside us and enlightened me further. "That cactus there… is agave."

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