Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Obama time!

So after copping some flak from certain friends about my move to the U.S (how could I, Bush is taking America to hell etc), you can imagine my relief when news was finalized that Obama was elected president. I've even had someone dismiss my hope for Obama when I said to a fellow Aussie-" you'd be surprised how many people care over here" to only be told "yeah well that's a bit like comparing the liberal attitude Newtown (small hip/free thinking suburb in inner city Sydney) has to the rest of Australia". Um, no it isn't. The population of Newtown in 2001, according to the Bureau of Statistics Census, was 15027 people and the population of New York City is estimated to be 19,750,000 people.

To be honest, long ago, before I met my American husband, I had the appropriate Aussie disdain for the U.S. When my early teens consisted of being obsessed with hip hop and R&B, stateside, my early twenties was a period of questioning the ethics of this economic tyrant, to the point of being annoyed by an overly opinionated American class mate and thus writing her off as a typical American. (She was actually from Texas!)

Then in 2001, I met this quiet, yet still very self-assured American in my Screenwriting class. From my point of view he was just another overly self-centered American and too clean cut to be anything but gay. (I soon found out he use to work at a shoe store just before he came to Sydney- it was the shoes I tell ya) Cut to a few months later and I was totally in love with this boy and totally in love with his world. This American born Vietnamese boy opened my eyes to the world outside of Sydney and other places that I was more interested in and that I had visited like Asia and Europe, which was on the horizon to waiting for my hungry sponge like mind to absorb and way more tres chic than the U.S to want to explore. While he introduced me to Dancehall and waxed lyrical on being proud of your ethnicity and that where he went to college in San Francisco, there were super proud Filipinos and other minorities. His world intrigued me and quietened the sound of my anti- American jokes and rhetoric.

Being involved with an American that was not quite the ones I saw on TV, made me hungry to know what I was missing out on. After a year and a half of exhausting all visa possibilities minus being married, it was time for Nam, who was to be my husband someday, to go home. Fortunately enough I was done with university and I just made the cut off to apply for a six month working visa in the U.S. After enjoying our time with room mates that have become our best friends today and living together as a couple for the first time, it was time to leave inner city Sydney and get my head around the next big smoke- San Francisco.

My education of America, has been more of a personal one and enabled me to learn a little bit about the struggles that minorities worked hard to over come. And although I may never completely understand the plight of the average American minority, I sure do have a sense of how much of a relief it is to finally have a voice as a president. Living in Brooklyn, has taught me so much about, not only the real New Yorker, but also the real American. So while I type away in this Puerto Rican hipster cafe, eating a salad with beetroot (an ingredient infamously added in Aussie burgers and salad sandwiches in my childhood), my cappuccino reminds me how lucky I really am and how times are definitely changing.

Election night at Sputnick, my local pub. The energy was electric. I described it as, remembering the eve of the millenium, were we going to all crumble, or would we survive?

My friend Maya and her boyfriend who were volunteer Obama campaigners- their anxiousness was contagious. They slept on people's floors and did the door to door thing!

My boss and good friend Leann, she and I were very emotional.

Everyone in the bar was going crazy, including the dogs.

Nam and his excitement.

Me, realizing I am so lucky to have been here to witness this pivotal moment in American history.  I was wondering if people felt this way in the sixties?

The line outside the New York Times building the day after. I stood in line for over two and a half hours to get the paper that had been sold out all over the city and was releasing a "late" edition. History in the making.

1 comment:

johndoe said...

hey, no posts since November?!?!?