Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 02:52 | SYDNEY
Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 02:52 | SYDNEY

Not in Kansas anymore


Michael Fullilove


12 March 2008 14:43

Some days in Washington feel exactly like days in Sydney: you commute to work, you beaver away on your computer, you commute home and you read Thomas the Tank Engine to your son. But sometimes you realise you're not in Kansas (or even NSW) anymore.
I arrived at the Brookings Institution building on Massachusetts Avenue this morning at precisely the same time that a small motorcade pulled up to deposit some nameless foreign leader for a meeting. We get close protection police officers stopping by the Lowy Institute's headquarters in Bligh Street from time to time, but not like this: four black vehicles, including a couple of enormous 4WDs and a swarm of beefy blokes with earpieces. Later in the day, as I was walking back to the office after a frustrating encounter with my utilities provider, the square through which I was walking was buzzed by three Sea King helicopters bearing the president's seal: one of them will have carried W. himself (and therefore been designated Marine One) while the others were decoys. Even as I write this post I can hear a bugler playing Taps (the American equivalent of the Last Post) at the nearby Arlington National Cemetery. All the paraphenalia of a great power are on display.

Photo by Flickr user scotograph, used under a Creative Commons licence.