Wednesday, November 5, 2008

yes we did!

After a seemingly short transatlantic flight (despite the curmudgeon next to me - long dull story), I landed in a laundromat for the first time in well over twenty years. The locals walked me through the wash and dry, even offering well-guarded tips along with the detergent. I haven’t used a washing machine in twenty years, I said. Yup, it’s tough times, they all agreed.

When I went to mail my ballot on Friday, the line was about fifteen minutes deep at least. A really nice guy in line gave me a stamp and then gave me another when he found out it was for my ballot – just to make sure, he said. People are so friendly in Brooklyn; it’s almost weird.

Tims’ (there are indeed two of them) party that night went ween, with all and sundry all the groggy the morning after. Tim even made a traditional Halloween turkey to go with the pumpkin:

Got a free bottle of wine on Saturday at a fancy wine bar just by sharing it with the waitress – who woulda thought? As I say, people are nice; I’m not used to it.

And on Sunday, we walked the two blocks to watch the NYC Marathon blow through the hood. There was a gospel choir and band with a singing, hopping, dancing preacher cheering the runners on for Jesus in front of the Baptist church. The music was great:

Contrast all this good cheer with my trip to the Czech consulate on Monday. Boy, was it lousy to be home. Over an hour wait with only two (embarrassingly stupid) NYU girls ahead of me, only to find out I was missing a paper that I had two copies of – with me at the consulate. It’s kind of like when a southern cop breaks your taillight just to give you a ticket. So my application will be (surprise!) delayed as 'the document' has to be (surprise!) notarized (again) in the Czech Republic.

I went into Starbucks yesterday to use their bathroom and get my free cup of coffee for having voted (a promotion later declared illegal by party-poopers) and the atmosphere was electric with the prospects of free toilets and coffee, both incurring even longer lines than at the polls.

Around town, the preference was clear. From the sweatshop poster stuck to the bottom of a dirty window in Chinatown declaring the only single, solitary Asian voter for McCain:

To the upscale storefront in Chelsea with a dozen life-size Obamannequins sporting this winter’s (admittedly disappointing) fashions:

Back in Brooklyn, there was shouting, cheering, dancing and fireworks as the preliminary results began to indicate not only an Obama victory, but a landslide. And I couldn’t be more pleased and proud.

Oh yeah, my health. Neuropathy quite a bit worse – almost up to my knees. Other than that, I feel OK. Off to meet Sherman in our old ‘living room’ at Mona’s in the East Village. My number here is +1 347 633 7738. Miss you all in Prague; well most of you, anyway...


Anonymous said...

O-BAMA, O-BAMA, O-BAMA. NYC sounded crazy last night. Wish I would have been party to more of the action. Talk to you soon. Ann

Jiffz said...

Lovely update. Glad you're enjoying your time in the third world. Working on my visa stuff now ... it's all coming back to me. Say hi to NYC peeps for me and be well. Is that number you posted an AT&T? :-)

Ingrid said...

It's no coincidence in my mind that they named it 'red tape' after the commies -- forget that old myth about the band around the benefits form for civil war vets. We know better.

I'm headed (ironically) to Prague for a few days at the end of November. Want me to water your cat?? ;-) xox.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to hear you miss being in Prague. Hope you will remember at least something good out of Czech Rep. and will come back home.

Miss you,