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I believed him. I believed Uncle Joe. I believed his wise words about the need to find “the soul” of America. I agree: this is the moment to decide who we are, who we want to be, what kind of country we want to live in. Do we want to live in a divided, hateful place marked by selfishness above all else, marked by racism and sexism and an unimaginable economic inequality? Do we want to reduce all public spaces,

They wake us up at 6am, Punctual as a clock. Leia is the first one. Although she is 12 years old and, according to the generally  accepted calculation, belongs to the same category as her guardian - me (it’s that very wide category of “the old” that – at least when it concerns female beings – includes everyone older than 50), Leia is always ready to engage in the feline Rock’n’Roll, especially of the nocturnal and the early morning kind.

As I’m sitting in my old apartment in Zagreb, Croatia, before flying to America, I’m trying to remember what the idea of America had meant for me, a young adolescent growing up in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, a country that had been subsequently thrown into “the trash can of history”, to quote Karl Marx (as I vaguely remember from my Marxist education high school classes!). The ideas were powerful, enchanting, seductive, irresistible. Those ideas had the strength to finally

We reached the airport in about a third of the usual time. Once at the airport, we didn’t have to sit in our car for at least an hour, surrounded by nervous honking, as is usually the case. I entered the airport building in my newly acquired hazmat suit, with a mask and a plastic visor on my face. I felt as if I was back on “Babylon 5”, albeit in a different role. What was my character? What was

Exactly 28 years ago, in 1992, I, a former film star from a country that no longer existed, was standing at the corner of Amsterdam and Broadway Avenues in Manhattan, in my waitress’ uniform. It was a warm June evening and there were no patrons coming in. My fellow waitress from Lebanon and I were standing at the door of the our café, watching processions of people marching down the street, demonstrating against the verdict announced that day in Los

Yoga and Me I never liked physical education classes in school. I would try to evade them at any cost. What I dreaded the most were the team sports. What was it exactly that bothered me? I am not quite sure. Was it the group mentality that always had the power to scare me? Was it the roughness, the competitiveness, the murderous looks in my fellow teammates’ eyes whenever I missed the ball? (Which, unfortunately for me, was most of the time.) Ah,

“We’ve won. Without exploding a bomb. Without firing a bullet. Without sending a tank in the streets. We’ve won.” “Yes, we’ve won. God himself has sent us this virus. All glory to him!” “Hallelujah! God save America. God protects the Serbs. God and the Croats. Le Dieux et mon Droit. Et cetera. No need to display my linguistic abilities.” “We’ve always known: everything is based on fear. Fear is the mother. And the father. Install fear into the population and all those supposedly

In a couple of days, I’ll fly into LAX, the Los Angeles International Airport. Once I pass passport control and pick up my luggage, I will see a big picture on the wall, the picture of the president of the United States of America, the country I chose as my temporary home when, as it then seemed to me, I had lost my own. For the last eight years, every time I looked at the picture of Obama’s face (under

It is not quite cool to love it. Like loving a beautiful but empty woman or a perfect but artificial flower. Just as with a beautiful and (because of it) a suspicious woman, one should, of course, use it and secretly enjoy its charms, at the same time publicly despising it and spreading all the dirt about it. One should say with a jaded smile: “Ah, that sun that shines relentlessly every single day! How boring, how monotonous, how depressing!”

There’s a guy who goes back to the old country on a regular basis. His plan is to work here, in America, and live there, “at home”. Because, according to him, that is where you can truly live. Here, in the good old US of A, he says, your life seems to have been shut down, as if you’ve been put on hold indefinitely; here, he says, you can’t get past the secretary whose advice is always the same: to