Friday, October 31, 2008
the next leader of the free world
Being away from home for BOTH the election and Halloween is making me sad. Tonight is Halloween and I'm going to a party thrown by Americans, so maybe it wont be so bad. I'll try and make a quick costume but my resources are limited. For the last election I was in Florida volunteering as a pole monitor for the NAACP. This election I feel helpless.. even a bit irresponsible not volunteering for something somewhere. But what I will ultimately miss is that rare feeling of community or at least solidarity with roughly half of the country that will vote for the same person as me. Only every 4 years do we get to unite this way.
I've been reading the Times, listening to NPR and watching CNN religiously (btw, when i watched the Obama infomercial on you tube, it had been viewed less times then the SNL spoof the week before), but what I haven't been doing is talking to people about the election. not much anyway. I went to a Yoga class the other day and the guy behind the desk was reading this article on the Economist's website about how to talk about the American election on your business trip. It discusses a USA today article advising Americans how to avoid talking about the election with those nosy opinionated Europeans. So far, this has not been a problem here. Perhaps the local Politics (with the almost daily demonstrations) is enough to make people not that curious about our election.
I passed the American embassy yesterday (see above) and it's heavily fortified, just like they all are nowadays. the British Embassy is too. However the American one is the size of a stadium, and the fences and security booths are part of the site planning as though this is the way it's always been and will always be. the British embassy, on the other hand, has some concrete barriers on the street, like a temp road block in the west bank. It suggests that as soon as the war is over, they can remove the highway dividers and go back to being a normal embassy.