Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Follow the Red Brick Road...

Tonight a friend and I drove along the red bricks of Red Square to the Starlite Diner, a "American Diner" in the heart of city. There we joined hundreds of other Americans to watch this:

There's something incredibly special about participating in the election of the President of the United States from overseas. Somehow living outside of your country gives you a sharper appreciation of what makes it so special. 

Knowing that none of my expat friends from other countries (except Singapore) are required to pay taxes to their homelands also magnifies being American... It makes you ask, "Just what IS so special about being American that you are required to pay taxes as if you lived there? How is your money spent? What does it do for the country? What does being American mean for you as a citizen at large in the world?"

Look how packed the restaurant was! There were film crews from Russian and international television and newspapers; I was so careful while eating my dinner to not look unsightly since there was almost always a camera pointed at us!

Just a note: Please don't leave any negative comments... I'm just not interested in having a liberal/conservative debate on my blog. My husband and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and we peacefully disagree. No need to heat it all up here! And truthfully, Republican or Democrat -- there's a wonderful sense of patriotism when we Americans in Moscow come together on national holidays... The 4th of July bash here is one of the largest in the world outside of the USA  with THOUSANDS in attendance.


Tina in CT said...

I watched on a projection screen here at work and felt the excitement. Sure wish I could have been one of those people on the Mall watching history in the making. Gave me the chills. I'm proud to say that I voted for our new President! Glad that you and Julie got to be part of the celebration at the restaurant. Hope the girls watched it at home so they can remember it.

Carey and Norman said...

I think it is wonderful that you have a place to go be with other Americans to enjoy events like today! I agree that it makes you appreciate being American!!

Carolynn and Steve said...

How amazing! I'm so glad that you got to be a part of a remarkable experience. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us...it was amazing today to be reminded how incredible it is to live in a country with such an orderly transfer of power and such a remarkable past and exciting future!

Susan said...

it was truly a day that will go down in history.
My husband was in the air, on his way to Greece on election night. He didnt get to see the patriotism that night. Im so glad he was able to watch this today.
God Bless America!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that you being all the way across the world and still being able to participate in a a small way in the US presidential election, says a lot for the world we live in. Glad you were able to be with others who can share in your excitement of being an American

Anonymous said...

Good blog!
We opened champagne tonight and watched the speech and the crowds on TV. It is amazing to see so many people, miles of people.
I loved the speech, and I was lucky enough to hear his oath and the speech on radio during my lunch in my car.
It was a good day today here in US. I am happy to hear that you had a good company to share it in Moscow.

Francie said...

They had the inauguration playing at work in one of the conference rooms, but we could only watch it on our breaks, so I worked at my desk and had the live feed going with earphones in my ears. I'm thankful that you all were able to witness this event, while not in the states!

The Expatresse said...

The Spouse watched from the other Starlite Diner. The girls and I watched on CNN.

I was reminded how once, years ago, during the inauguration of a president I did not vote for, he told me that I should always take pride in our peaceful transitions of power. I was sick, lying on the couch, and grumpy that day, but he was right.

Yesterday's ceremonies looked so lovely. The weather was perfect. The mood so celebratory. Such a nice day for our country.

Annie said...

I actually thought about writing about this today.... I couldn't help but be inspired yesterday (how I wish I'd known how you were watching it across the world! it would have added richness). I was in my first Speech class with my new class - sixth grade. It was surprisingly moving for me.

Tina in CT said...

I was glued to the TV last night flipping between CBS, ABC and CNN and watched until almost midnight. Exciting.

When I'm gone, I leave Animal Planet on to keep the puppy company but yesterday left it on CBS as I thought she needed to be a part of all of this. OK, so your mother is slightly weird.

Anonymous said...

the pics from red square are simply amazing! not sure if you know this but russia is being "called out" by american new media for their "uncaring" lack of coverage of yesterdays events...whatever! both of michelle's dresses were gorgeous! i was glued to the tv all day ; )

miss you!