I certainly wouldn’t know the exact percent, but I’d wager half of this country consumes Nyquil or Theraflu whenever a sore throat, cough, congestion, sniffly nose and fever afflicts those sick. There is the other half who believe running such illness through due course, steering clear of medication works just fine. Famiglia di Schiavo fits into this second category; we prefer to load up on homemade chicken soup and drink fresh squeezed orange juice. Pity to say, no amount of Nyquil, Theraflu, homemade chicken soup nor fresh squeezed orange juice will heal the aches and pains in America these days. Allow my clarification, I’m not referring to the 2017 cold and flu season. I’ll break from my apolitical silence, only once, to note heart-wrenching division; the line of utter contempt drawn November 20th, one I don’t remember experiencing before.

Friends began unfriending each other on Facebook last fall; Thanksgiving meals became so racked with dissent many family members backed out, refusing to spend Christmas together. Americans started locking horns with complete strangers whenever that other person didn’t display approval of their political persuasion. Politicians continue feuding as bratty kids on a magnitude historians can’t pinpoint since the Civil War.

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If a couple decided to call it quits and their only child was barely hanging onto life in the intensive care unit following an awful head on car collision, responsible parents conducting themselves as mature adults would reconvene, tearfully praying for that child’s full and swift recovery at his or her bedside. Our country is not behaving in such a way, instead, “have your lawyer call mine” after disagreeing what hour to visit their severely injured child. So much for “and crown thy good with brotherhood.”

While we read, watch and listen to our computers, newspapers, magazines, televisions, along with occasional talk radio programming, a fortunate bunch with platform, on both sides, spout fiery rhetoric onto an already raging geopolitical horror show. Perhaps our splintered, dysfunctional divided states is subconsciously flirting with another shellacking of biblical proportion; it brought us together September 11, 2001. Would it take a meteorite hitting Philadelphia or Kim Jong-un’s trigger-happy finger pressing North Korea’s button, launching an intercontinental nuclear missile obliterating his American target: LA or Silicon Valley? Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, immediately thereafter this super shitstorm America trudges through would vanish; we’d reunite, peacefully supporting each other as we’re quite capable of.

Typically Jeanette, LouLou and I would’ve missed these past disgraceful seven weeks, temporarily living in a far off land; listening to their foreign language, where communication is all-important for our daily survival — unphased by 24/7 Nielsen ratings, America’s mutual driven juggernaut, conservatives alongside liberals.

At precisely 11:55 PM February 8th, America’s highly-charged environment will be on pause for seven glorious weeks, as Jeanette, LouLou and I will be safely wrapped inside our protective Bangkok bubble. After crossing the International Date Line, we’ll submerge ourselves into another dimension, greeted by sincere smiles — varying Buddhas — moist heat — intoxicating lotus — fountains cascading serenity and Maha Vajiralongkorn, Thailand’s new crowned king

America’s current political aches and pains seem intolerable; unlike this modern bedouin’s usual remedy to combat discomfort, we’ll power through, relying on Thailand for temporary relief. Famiglia di Schiavo is truly blessed by loyal patrons who indulge us with this unique luxury — another soothing dose of Southeast Asia.

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