What hit us?

Spent election night in Berlin at the "Tränenpalast", the palace of tears. The name of the place seemed fitting. I tried to get into the American party at the CineStar (I had actually tried to register voters with the AVA group that was celebrating inside) but the goons at the door didn't speak either English nor German and would not let anyone in. I waited half an hour and then decided to go to the Tränenpalast.

Had to wait there, too, but at least for every 10 or so that came out, they let 3 in. Sort of like the exchange rate of former Eastern German marks to Western German marks..... see, the Tränenpalast was the border between West and East Berlin, way back when.

When the boring MC asked if there were any Americans in the crowd, there were maybe 5-6 people. Since I am giving up my American citizenship now, I guess I landed in the right place, I'm a German now.

The "show" was stupefyingly boring (a wonderful review to be found in the Berliner Zeitung: Chicken Wings und Gähnen) and the educational comments both on the TV shows and from commentators were so wrong at times that I got agitated. Eva Quistorp thought the Amish in Pennsylvania were part of the Pilgrims. No, dear, that was a few years earlier. The Amish are also not the same as the Quakers (who did found PA), even though both are pacifist in nature. On screen Michael Friedmann (didn't he get the boot somehow for being a bad boy?) was droning on with more wrong things which I have now forgotten.

The real information I wanted to have - how is the Electoral College going as compared with a) previous years and b) the polls was not broadcast on German TV. Instead we were treated to boring interviews with boring people. At least there were some nice people sitting next to me, I rather enjoyed speaking with them. One young American and I spoke briefly about past presidents. She remarked: I'm not interested in presidents that were around before I was born. She starts with Jimmy Carter. I feel old. I got married the year he became president.

Shortly before 5 am I couldn't take it any longer and went home to sleep. Spent the afternoon (dressed in mourning) in a faculty meeting. When I heard on the way to pick up my son that Kerry had conceeded, the tears just came. Damn. What went wrong?

A friend sent me a link to Arianna's Blog : Anatomy of a Crushing Political Defeat. Thanks, Arianna, I feel better now!

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