Saturday, August 30, 2008

Obama in Cairo

I know that most of you are reading Ira's blog too, but just in case you're not I'm going to re-tell a story he has on there about our trip back from Dahab...we were at the airport trying to get through security to get on our return flight, when a guard (with a big gun, they all have guns and supposedly they're not loaded but it still scares me) asks for our passports. This also still scares me a little because I've seen too many bad movies where innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit in forigen countries. So, he looks at our passports and then back at us and says "America?" and we both nod "yes", and then as he's handing back the passports he smiles a little bit and asks hopefully "Obama?" And we both say yes with huge smiles on our faces. And then he says "Not Bush" and we just laugh and say "not Bush" back at him. So we walked away thinking that was one of the coolest interactions we've had with any Egyptian person since we've been here. Until, we had to hand over the passports again, and the same exact thing happened! Almost as if they are reading from a script! I swear, there are people here that get by with very little English, please, thank you, yes, no, but they can say "Obama"! Now, I guess he is on the news and all of that, but I just think that it's probably been a long time since someone just running for president has made it into the daily vernacular of the average Egyptian citizen. And I'm sure it's not just Egypt!
So, as many of you know, I've been pretty psyched about Obama since he came on the scene. I remember hearing his name when he won his first senate race and thinking "Well, that's a weird name to have in politics!" And I also remember the late Tim Russert saying at that time "this guy is going to be one to watch". And I did! And then when he stole the show at the 2004 convention, I was hooked. I wanted him to run so much, but in the back of my mind I thought it was too good to be true, but on the other side of the back of my mind (there's a lot of room back there) I also thought that it was exactly the time for him. So, cut to this convention, last thursday. I was frantic. I was watching CNN and BBC and Al Jezeera all day trying to figure out when they were going to broadcast his speech. I was also trying to figure out what the hell GMT is and what it had to do with me. Poor Ira was sick in bed all day but that didn't stop me from running back there every hour or so and loudly wispering things like "Psst! Hey! Do you think they're going to show his speech live here, or should I try and watch it online?!" So what I finally figured out was that it was going to be on here at 4:00am. So the plan was to set the alarm and watch it then. And it didn't help that we were setting the clocks back an hour that night so I was worried that we were going to miss it. So, I set the alarm, woke up instantly, and bounced down the hall to the TV. I turned it on just as he was coming onstage and I got goosebumps! I know this is all very corny, but it was like this crazy dream I had years ago had come true. And the speech was perfect. I loved all of it. I didn't want it to end. I wanted to stay up all night watching commentaries and replays but I figured I could do that tomorrow. Little did I know that Insane McCain was going to trot out his little gun toting PTA mom and ruin it for me...grr... Oh well. When you have nothing but an iffy war record to run on, strategically placed manuvers are all you have I guess.

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