I've never had quite so emotional a homecoming before. Maybe it's the jet-lag, which has been unusually severe this time--I've been overtired and wired at the same time, like a little kid up way past her bedtime on her birthday. Or maybe it's just that the past year in Istanbul has been so bizarre, with the whole Mavi Marmara business and the sense I've had that Turkey has entered some lunatic Weimar Republic twilight zone. But whatever the reason, I've been walking around feeling a sense of flooding relief to be back in America, and this passionate, almost sensual love for my country--as I wrote to Ursula last night, I've been feeling that I want to talk to everyone, ask everyone I meet what they think about everything I've been reading about on the Internet about America--the bellboy at the hotel, the taxi driver, the guy at Starbucks. And in fact I have been, which resulted in the surprising discovery that the bellboy here at the hotel seems to have connections to the Turkish intelligence service, but that's another story.
I'm flooded with giddy delight every time someone does something normal, like speak to me in English, or make a joke I understand, or express a political opinion with which I agree, or even one with which I disagree but that doesn't involve a massive conspiracy of Freemasons, Jews and the Soros Foundation. (We'll leave my suspicions about my publisher out of this.)
I had a great lunch at City Journal yesterday. I finally met the best editors in the world, Brian Anderson and Ben Plotinsky. I also met Nicole Gelinas. I was surprised, because her work is so authoritative that I reckoned she was, I don't know, about twice my age, severe, forbidding, and wielding a cane for the thumping of miscreants. She's actually a petite, gentle, and very approachable young woman--although just as authoritative and impressive about economics in person as she is in print.
The thing that struck me at that lunch is that just as it's obvious to me that no one in the United States is truly grasping the details and nuances of what's going on in Turkey, I've been failing just as much to grasp the details and nuances of what's been going on here--especially at the level of state politics, about which I now know very little. I'm also now missing, as I feared, a lot of pop culture references. I need to spend a few days here getting reacquainted with YouTube.
Anyway, thank you for the great lunch, City Journal. Even the sandwiches were terrific--when I saw them, I was suspicious; they looked like something the Obama Administration might favor, what with labels boasting of roast pepper aioli and grilled Tuscan goat cheese (what happened to pastrami on rye, I thought?) but these were, I had to admit, delicious--I don't usually sneak back after a meeting to eat all the leftovers, but I couldn't just let them go to waste.
Jonathan Gilbert was literally a great sport, whisking me off to Muay Thai class afterwards, at which I nearly perished of jet lag. I still had a good time. That said, I don't know why the instructor kept telling Jonathan that he should just "relax and have fun." As I hissed to him throughout, that was socialist nonsense: His honor, Ricochet's honor, and the honor of Margaret Thatcher herself were on the line, and if he quit, I would post it on Ricochet.
I can report with pride that he did not quit. He is, as Margaret Thatcher would say, one of us.
Okay: You can catch me today at:
10:30 AM Eastern Martha Zoller Show
1:35 PM – 1:53 PM Eastern Fred Thompson Show
2:00 PM Eastern Dennis Prager Show
And then I'm back to Washington for Grandma's 100th birthday.