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Monday, November 03, 2008

In general, I don't hang out with a lot of Americans here in Hamburg. I've been meaning to go to this expat/native english speaker meet up for like the past year, but every time the date approaches I forget or something more interesting comes up or I just plain don't feel like going. Still, I've managed to randomly run into more Americans than usual in the past few months -- at parties or gatherings whatnot. At the beginning, the almost immediate follow-up question after introductions had been made was, "Have you applied for your absentee ballot as yet?" Then, later this question turned into, "Has your absentee ballot arrived as yet?"

For the past two or three weeks, introductions have almost been skipped over entirely. It's more like, you shake hands and the first thing out of your mouth or theirs is, "Did you vote?" A simple "Yes" seems to suffice. There hasn't been any, "Who did you vote for?" follow-up. Maybe people just assume they know who I'm voting for based on my appearance, but the optimist in me likes to think that they are just really that passionate about making sure that their fellow countrypeople perform their civic duty.

Yes, I applied for my absentee ballot. Yes, it arrived. And, yes, I sent it back (completed) over 2 weeks ago.

Sitting at work this afternoon, I found myself feeling quite nervous for no particular reason. Like "book-report-the-next-day" or "big-presentation"-type nervous. And whenever I get nervous, my left thumb (the weak one) starts to feel a little sore. While not searing pain, it's whenever it happens, I have to try to think about what it could be that is making me so nervous. Once I pinpoint the source, I can try to rationalize it and my thumb starts to feel a little better. It's weird, I know...

I'm not near panic attack levels, but I'm definitely anxious. For me, EEJ put it best:

I love the enthusiasm that has come about as a result of the feeling that our country is teetering on a precipice and I sincerely hope that tomorrow doesn't crush us all again. If we have another disappointment in this election, I fear that my political engagement will sputter and die for good. Or, will at least be transplanted to another country - one where I won't be able to vote, but where I will be able to get away from this one.

I'm already in another country and I can't really say that I fear my political engagement would die for good. To be honest, I could probably stand to be more engaged. But recently, I've been seriously contemplating a U.S. boycott of sorts (i.e. staying away for at least the next 4 years, possibly more) should McCain win. And given my current family situation, those are some pretty high stakes.

Anyway, Americans say "hope never dies" and Germans say "hope dies last" (Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt). I think I'm gonna go with the Amis on on this one. Tomorrow is "Tac-Obama" and I will enjoy the good company and delicious tacos and hope for the best.


EEJ said...

Hey! Thanks for the quotation action... I actually doubt I'd stop being politically engaged altogether in real life, but I might seriously leave the country. What with the brand new handy-dandy European spouse (and attending European residency rights for MEE). Anyway, glad to hear you voted. And I actually do just want people to vote... no matter for who (but I wouldn't mind if McCain voters sprained their ankles on the way out).

Pickles said...

If Obama wins will you still stay in Germany for the next 4 yrs? That would give me plenty of time to accumulate time off and money for a long visit(I really only need half that time). Doesn't mean you can't come back to OKC during that time. I just wanna make sure I have a place to crash and tour/party guide when I come.

lebrookski said...

if obama wins, i'll still stay in germany...but i will be open to make visits. i don't know if i'd want to even come back for visits if mccain wins (exceptions perhaps for extreme family emergencies).

you always have a place to crash where ever i have a place to crash