Have you ever stood alone in the empty wing of an airport waiting to board what might be the last plane to depart a city for some time? You can hear the faintest footstep from across the otherwise usually bustling terminal. The silence is chilling, made even stranger knowing that footstep, whomever it might be: a flight attendant, a fellow passenger, the CEO of the airport, or a janitor, knows as little as you do about the ramifications of an impeding worldwide lockdown.

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Anything you do on what feels like one of the most consequential days in modern history has an eeriness to it, I suppose. Schools, shops and restaurants around the world are closing; borders are ordered shut, supply chains are tested, and people the world over are confined at home…the proverbial shit is getting very real. …

A pile of garbage blocks the street in front of my apartment building in Paris’ 3e arrondissement. People, men mostly (but not only) dressed in yellow construction vests grab whatever they can get their hands on — bicycles, street furniture, recycled fruit boxes from the side of the street — and toss them into the pile. From a distance, another man in the same vest arrives with a cardboard lit on fire. He carefully lights what quickly becomes a giant bonfire on my block — cheers and high-fives lead impassioned demands for the president’s head on a stick.

France is living yet another moment in a history defined by the audacity of rebellion. The world should listen. These streets are carrying the weight of a very loud message, a fear that does not merely stop at France’s borders. …

He was special. He wasn’t like all the other ones who came through our city looking for limelight, fame, and money. He came around and helped build our town.

He went to work every day, with discipline, with focus, and with integrity. Quiet but imposing. Softspoken but tough. He was the blue collar guy, who gave the bird its colour. He did his job, and he did it well. Better than most, maybe better than any other who ever plied his trade in our parts.

When you were doing well, it was because of him…and you would never do too poorly, because you always had him. “The Stopper”, he was called. When you needed to put an end to the pain of losing, the only medicine to stop the bleeding came from the good doctor. …

Now that we’ve had some time to let “Trump-as-President” sink in (ickI still need a shower after I say it), we’re starting to face the realities of what his presidency might look like.

And so far, so…not really good at all.

Aside from his acceptance speech the night of the election (where we collectively afforded him a pretty low bar for not saying something stupid, or racist, or grossly offensive), the Apprentice: Presidential Edition looks every bit like the horror show that nobody wants to watch.

Highlights from the past few days include:

• A categorically chaotic transition, with non-secure calls to foreign leaders, twitter ramblings, and the involvement of his children in planning of state affairs (flying in the face of nepotism laws).

• Dumping New Jersey Governor Chris Christie less than a week after the election. Sure, the 2013 Fort Lee scandal under Christie’s watch was deplorable, but it’s not news. Christie was one of the few relatively moderate voices around Trump. (Fun fact: Then-NJ-judge Christie once jailed the father of Trump’s son-in-law for crimes of greed, power and excess”. …

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Dear Toronto:

You remember where you were when you watched Jose Bautista’s monster three-run shot in the deciding game of last year’s playoff series with the Rangers. You probably even watched (and re-watched) the highlight afterwards…because it gives you chills to watch an entire generation of Torontonians experience the elation of victory. The crowd’s eruption, the city’s celebration, the team’s dominance are memories etched forever in your happy place.

My father was at Ataturk airport in Istanbul today when yet another terrorist attack took place, claiming the lives of dozens of innocent civilians. Tourists, business travelers, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. “Ordinary people”, but to those in their lives, these were extraordinary people who died today.

I heard the news on CNN as I walked into the gym (of course that’s what’s on at the gym!!!). I nearly collapsed as I read the banner having spoken to my father an hour earlier as he made his way to the airport. …


Amir Nayeri

Globally curious. Geopolitics and sustainability nerd. Professional wedding guest. Aspiring campfire guitar star. Sports junkie.

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