Today’s Impromptus is called “Ports of Call,” and has notes from various spots. (It follows Tuesday’s “London Journal,” which is devoted to just the one city.) I would like to paste a little excerpt, for the purpose of publishing a letter after.
Okay, this is politically incorrect: I was thinking about why I like Miami so much, and one of the reasons is this: I like Latin America, very much; and I like America America — the United States — very much.
In Latin America, there is often the sense that the rule of law is not quite in force. The law is arbitrary, unreliable. Miami gives you a Latin American ambience but under proper, “Anglo” rule of law.
Isn’t that a terrible thing to say? But I say it because I think it’s true.
I got an e-mail from a friend of mine — an American who spent her first years in the Philippines, I believe. She says, “I visited Miami for the first time last spring. The first thing I thought was, ‘This is what Manila might be like if it ever got its act together.’”