Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Okay, so people ask, "So what was it like being in Tokyo for the election? What was the reaction?Did you vote?"

Yes, we both voted. After we had our ballots emailed to us, Jack took them back to the states in October while on a business trip and put them in the mail, just to be safe. We had an invitation to go to the US Embassy to watch the returns. We were really excited about this. I asked a few Americans if and where they were going to watch the results. Surprisingly enough, I didn't receive the enthusiasm I would have otherwise expected. Some were off to school to volunteer, some were going to a party, no one I talked to was going to the Embassy.

We considered going to a Democrats Abroad party, but from what we could tell online the tix were sold out. So we headed to the Embassy. There was a long line, but interestingly enough it was not filled with Americans. It was almost all Japanese. Hmm. Not what we expected at all. So after a long wait for obvious security reasons we were in. There were Americans there, but still far outnumbered by the Japanese. There were a lot of students who we figured were there for the experience. They were holding a mock election and had some trivia game going on while we watched the large screen with CNN. After about an hour, we decided we would rather be at home watching this unfold. So, the Embassy was a bit of a let down, or simply not what we expected, but that all really didn't matter in the end. Instead on my couch at home, I was in tears pretty much the rest of the time. We didn't bother searching for the Japanese news, duh, because it's not in English, so you really couldn't get a sense in that way. After Obama's speech I left the apt. to take care of something at the bank just down the street. It was the strangest thing because although I didn't expect to 'see' anything or 'hear' anything out my front door, it was as if nothing monumental had just happened. I walked down the street searching for someone who looked American, just to see if they looked affected. I realize that's a bit strange, but again it was one of those desperate moments in this foreign land. Did this really just happen? Or was I dreaming? This was of course a time that I wished we were at home in Minneapolis. Incredible.

The next day, Jack brought home 3 newspapers - each with Obama's face on the front page. That was reassuring. I'll post those pics when he returns from Saigon with the camera. Yeah, just a little business trip for him. Maybe next time I'll get to go!

1 comment:

JUDY WENDT said...

Just wanted you all to know that we were in Italy on election day (yes, we voted absentee) and the Italian response was heartwarming. Everywhere we went, people would say "Obama?" and then give a victory sign or some other show of support. I was proud to be an American. One woman opened her coat to show us her I Love Obama tshirt!