Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And There You Have It

barack_obama_01

Brad and I stayed up until just after 6 am, long enough to watch both the concession and the victory speech. Though we felt a bit remote, thousands of miles away from American soil and connected to our friends and trusted news sources through our greatly overloaded internet, it was an incredibly momentous day. You will all be glad to know that it did not go unnoticed in the United Kingdom; BBC ran continuous coverage of the election from 11 pm to 6 am, and my classmates and Brad's coworkers all stayed up all night, doing the long haul from Greenwich Mean Time. While I'm sure there is news available in the U.S. regarding the international reaction to the new American President, I'm here to tell you first hand that some Brits found themselves lightheaded and shaky at 11 pm EST, just as I did (and it was only partially due to the fact that I'd been awake for about 24 hours), and I hear Berlin was also up til dawn, waiting. There was no shortage of election night events happening in London, and they were clearly hoping for a particular result (see England for Obama, complete with Inauguration countdown ticker at the top of the page). Every daily print newspaper had epic front pages and special editions, and the television news today, November 5, is feeling very familiar (interview with Alice Walker live from Berkeley! Maya Angelou! Footage from Eyes on the Prize!), and though I'm having a helluva time trying to concentrate on schoolwork (hence this very interesting blog post), I'm allowing myself a day to revel in the fact that I might not sound so apologetic when I tell people I'm American anymore. OK, the Russians are still a bit chilly, but I'm not sure there's anything that could change that anytime soon. Meanwhile, it's Guy Fawkes night here in England, so I'm pretending that the thousands of firecrackers and fireworks going off in my neighborhood are in honor of the U.S. elections, because I'm not particularly Guy-Fawkesy.

So this leg of the journey is over. Now I just have to listen to BBC commentators repeatedly use the term "post-racial" and bury my nose in books until the end of the term. And so begins the 21st century, previously put on hold...

2 comments:

silvergirl said...

"post-racial"? Hm.
Ha, ha- Nat's mom (a Londoner) has lots of amazing photos of Guy Fawkes celebrations in England... did you see any burning of effigies? Hope all the hubbub settles down soon for ya, Katie. Happy studies.

sq meals said...

Thanks for the observations and reports from across the Atlantic ~
the global amazement and appreciation is fantastic!