Culture Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Culture

Asking Demonstrators Why They Attended The Million MAGA March

The Million MAGA “Make America Great Again” March didn’t draw a million people to Washington D.C. but it did bring with it thousands who show the divide in the United States. Compared to the widespread party D.C. turned into after the election was called for Joe Biden, MAGA marchers were a demonstration of the ideological contrast in the nation.

I walked through the crowds, asking why people were attending the MAGA March – you can hear their replies in the video above. Since I published that video the reactions have been as divisive as the march itself. Some were upset that I didn’t counter the claims or add an opposing opinion.

I may go more in depth into the controversy on an upcoming foXoMad Podcast episode but these are pro-Trump supporters in their own words. They speak for themselves but depending on who’s listening it’s either disturbing or encouraging; a division which ultimately surprised me. It’s worth noting the demonstrators were more diverse than I expected, defiant, and as the evening wore on some turned to violence.

Some of you may have rather I not have made this video. Despite what many in the crowd think, on January 20th Donald Trump will no longer be president yet the march is a reminder that 72 million voted for him. A significant percentage of whom believe were it not for an election conspiracy Trump would have won a second term.

Here’s The Party Washington DC Turned Into After Election Called For Biden

One week ago on election night around the White House the initial energy waned as the night wore on and no clear result in sight. A few days later on Saturday late morning, Pennsylvania’s vote count made Joe Biden president-elect and not long after Washington D.C. erupted into a massive party.

There were groups of people on every block dancing to music, random cheers of joy, air horns, and what was the most jubilant I’ve seen a city… for any reason. I was there and you should watch the video here to catch a glimpse of the atmosphere.

It’s been a busy week filming and for those of you who want a bit more behind the scenes of what it was like interviewing, editing through the night, and things that didn’t make it on film – check out the latest episode of the foXnoMad Podcast.

What It Was Like On Election Night 2020 In Washington D.C.

A few hours before the polls closed on the east coast of the United States on November 3rd hundreds of people gathered in front of the White House. The combination of a Black Lives Matter demonstration plus the U.S. election turned the atmosphere from party to protest, with people there for all the reasons in between.

I spoke with a few of them throughout the night to hear what brought them to Black Live Matter Plaza in front of the White House’s security fences. You can watch their stories in the video here.

What’s Up With All The Cats In Istanbul?

Anybody who’s been, lives in, or will be visiting Istanbul, Turkey, is sure to know about its resident cats. They are everywhere in neighborhoods in various configurations – draped over car roofs napping, sleeping in small homes outside of apartments, or living in city’s most popular tourist site. (With a very popular Instagram account I might add.)

It’s estimated there are over 130,000 Felis catus in Istanbul but why? You can watch the introduction to Istanbul’s cats in the video here or read on.

Classy Cats

Cats in the busiest parts of Istanbul have an outdoor but relatively good life. Neighborhood cats are often fed by the humans living around them who leave food out in bowls. Local cats may even get there own little cat houses usually at the food of apartment entrances for shelter.

istanbul cat

In many ways, the cats seem to own the city. They meander in and out of shops, sleeping where they choose, even if its a busy escalator. Watch out hoomans! One particularly popular chubby feline even got a statue built in her honor after passing away in 2016.

Collective Pets

Most of the cats are friendly particularly in the parks where they’re fed by city workers. Don’t have a cat but wouldn’t mind hanging out and petting one – many of the cats will appreciate your extra attention. As Legal Nomads noticed on her visit,

The truth is, of course, that there are many cats Turkey and Istanbul was awash in cats also. Many were well-fed and clean, and  almost all were affectionate. To be sure, the cats slimmed down and dirtied-up when I walked outside the busier zones of the city into the immigrant areas – parts of Fatih, for example. In those laundry-strewn, narrow streets the cats were more feral, more hungry and certainly less curious. But one constant remained: there were cats everywhere.

I’ve focused a lot on the cats but there nearly as many stray dogs as well. They too are fed in parks with ear tags indicating they’ve had their shots and are spayed or neutered. For cats, a small cut in the ear means the same.

Paws To Agree On

Getting a majority of people or politicians to agree on many things in a city of 15 million isn’t easy except when it comes to Istanbul’s cats. A pretty adorable part of Istanbul for a long time, these street cats have done what many indoor cats do, simply endeared themselves to their human pets.

How To Travel To Every Country In The World

foxnomad podcast

It’s been a long standing goal of mine – and this blog – to travel to every country in the world. Although I still have a ways to go in my journey, Stefan Krasowski recently accomplished his objective in 2019, finishing with the last two countries on his list: Yemen and Syria.

On Episode 26 of the foXnoMad Podcast, Stefan and I discussed why he decided to visit every country in the world, some of the frequent flyer strategies he used to cut costs, and how he got into Syria overland. Some other highlights:

  • Common frequent flyer mile mistakes many travelers make potentially costing you free upgrades and flights. (Even if you don’t fly so… frequently!)
  • What does it feel like being foreign in China, where Stefan lived for 8 years.
  • Being very likely the first person granted a tourist visa for Syria in 2019.
  • How U.S. border officials reacted upon his return from Yemen and Syria.

Stefan also talks about his guide in Syria, a Palestinian refugee, and her struggles as a stateless person. It’s a touching story that’s a reminder of the power travel can have in connecting us all.

Thank you Stefan for being a guest on the podcast. You can join other travelers looking to visit every country on his Facebook group Every Passport Stamp, and find him on YouTube.

What It’s Like Visiting A Gun Show In America

There are over 60 gun shows in the United States over a given weekend and I attended one that takes place right outside of Washington D.C. The Nation’s Gun Show is a large expo where people can purchase firearms but there’s a lot more than just weapons which keeps bringing people back.

You can see my experience in the video above or read on.

Pandemic Interest

Gun sales have surged since the coronavirus pandemic and every state can regulate gun shows based on their individual mandates. In Virginia, where The Nation’s Gun Show takes place, masks were mandatory indoors and most in line outside were wearing them. Signs reminding people to social distance were conspicuous as were those saying “Enter At Your Own Risk” due to Covid-19.

the nation's gun show

The large halls inside the Dulles Expo Center gave people plenty of space when walking around – the show was busy but not crowded – but most of the congregating was around the gun vendor tables. In particular, around the semi-automatic gun vendor tables.

Looking Around

None of the guns were loaded – vendors or otherwise; there were signs stating not to bring loaded firearms inside – but a few visitors wearing bulletproof vests with rifles strapped to their backs. A bit unnerving at first if you’re not used to being around so many guns but after a short while that feeling wears off. Vendors (notably younger ones) taking apart guns for assembly demonstrations, answering questions about ranges, use, gun quarks… all of what you might expect at a gun show.

the nation's gun show

Surrounding that though were booths explaining the gun laws in various states, as well the regulations for Washington D.C. Cards were handed out in line explaining the gun laws in Virginia, where you can carry a gun, open-carry, concealed, what those terms mean.

Gun Culture

Looking back at you around the gun show are soldiers from the paintings of Civil War battles, America’s Founding Fathers with quotes about freedom and liberty underneath their portraits. As you move around the show floor with the crackle of tasers being demonstrated in the background, vendors come up and ask if you’re registered to vote.

The Republican banners around the voter registration booths, not to mention plentiful Donald Trump banners around, make it obvious who most of the vendors are supporting in any given election. After registering to vote, you can vote for whoever you want in an election, but the idea is to get as many people voting as possible. At The Nation’s Gun Show though, the biggest barrier to voting in the U.S. – registration – is made easy and extremely likely to mean a vote for a Republican candidate.

Revisiting The Show

The Nation’s Gun Show is a large 3 day event but it’s not all gun sales keeping it from recurring once a month on average. There’s a lot more than weapons on a sale here, it’s a community not too unlike other forms of fandom. Guns might get you through the door the first time but everything surrounding them back over and over again.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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