I joined what I’d estimate to be roughly 300 Americans at Malone’s, a three-story American-style sports bar hung with tens of televisions tuned to CNN. For reasons that weren’t entirely clear to me, the drapes were closed, and so – despite the fact that the returns started coming in at 8 AM – the three levels must have resembled the evening election parties being held back home, in the Midwest.
Which is how I’ll explain why this photo – taken at noon, just as CNN projected Barack Obama as the next President of the United States – looks like it was taken in the dark of the night:
The emotions that my friends in the US have written to tell me about, were quite evident in Shanghai, too. Between the whoops and the hollers, there were few – very few – dry eyes. The only difference, and it’s not a small one, is the fact that this party took place in Shanghai, China. I suppose one could look at that in a negative sense (“a large, raucous election party in Communist China”). But I prefer to see the bright side of these things, and I say: a large, raucous election party in China! Heck, there’s more police around on an average Friday night … and I didn’t see any, at all, this morning.
[UPDATE: I've lost a good slice of the afternoon hitting refresh on various vote-tallying sites, watching as Al Franken and Norm Coleman trade a few hundred votes here, a few hundred there, in pursuit of Minnesota's (soon to be, possibly) junior senate seat. Strange to see my state (and my vote!) becoming this year's example of Why Your Vote Matters. For the record, Al Franken was very nice to my grandmother.]