There was some talk of how difficult it had become to govern. (16)
Again, it's like the talk exists in a bubble, cut off from the speakers. This is just a summary of the conversation, a kind of condensed transcript. It too looks like this is just for show. Are we really supposed to feel sympathy for the difficulty of governing?
The parrot said hello from the terrace. (17)
You can't blame a bird from trying. He's the only one to try to make friendly contact with the visitors, and he just gets shot down. No, not literally—at least, not yet.
My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. (19)
That's a lot of silent saying. Notice also that the eyes—key elements in providing witness—are communicating where words cannot.