Tuesday, November 07, 2006

GlamGal in Australia

By Judith Evans Thomas

Odd as this may seem, I have the priveledge of posting to our blog from Australia...on election day. For the last six months I have been racking up frequent flyer miles. Italy, California (it is another country), China, New Zealand and now Australia. Part of this travel has been business, part pleasure, and all of it has been marked with questions from the people we meet about ...the war, our president and what is going to happen. Not to take sides one way or the other but our allies are concerned. Many think we know something they don't...like the secret peace treaty that is surely being negotiated. With whom I don't know, so I shrug my shoulders. Our friends ask what Americans think. I shrug my shoulders. What is Bush's plan they ask? I shrug again. The point is they are concerned and assume we Americans have the answer. My shoulders have gotten a good workout on these journeys.

Don't forget to vote so we can give them answers.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.


Kristine said...

I think it's always important and interesting to hear the views of our friends outside the U.S., especially on critical election days. Thanks for sharing what you've encountered, Judith. I'm sure these conversations will only intensify for you once the results are in.

I hope you're having a wonderful time in Australia. We miss you!

Gina said...

G'day, Judith. Great post! I've found myself at a loss to explain American foreign policy too, especially when in a restaurant where some loud-mouthed fellow countryman at a nearby table was proclaiming at the top of his lungs that we ought to drop a nuclear bomb on Baghdad because "they all hate us anyway" to the trapped-looking European couple he's chosen to talk to. [True story.]

Tory said...

I did my civic duty and voted this morning. It was not easy! I arrived at my previous polling place only to find it deserted except for a few campaign posters. No signs to direct anyone to the new polling place. Asking around, I found it had moved to the Borough building a few blocks away. Apparently postcards were sent to registered voters but mine got lost somewhere (probably among the advertising leaflets.)

Then I waited through one line. Then I found out I should have been standing in a second line. The move appears to be motivated by the new electronic voting machines. Apparently, electronic voting machines don't change the checking system of who is/ isn't registered, as I had to wait through three people, one of whom had to write down by hand a list of every voter, despite the fact she kept a stack of cards from registration with the voter's name typed on it by computer.

It was all a bit surreal. The woman in line next to me was new to the area and kept being shuttled from one line to the other. She was irate there was no sign on the old polling place indicating the new one. I suggested we conspire to form a conspiracy theory. Who would benefit more by losing voters who don't bother to search for the new polling place: Democrats or Republicans?

All I can say, is it hasn't answered the question of, "What were they thinking?"

I arrived at work at 8:30 am feeling very tired and decided: democracy is hard work!

kathie said...

Hey Judith,
hope you're having a blast! I'm on my way to vote now. For some reason, I'm always nervous before I vote, like I'm going to do it wrong. Weird, I know.

Anonymous said...

Tory: I agree with you that it's a conspiracy.Did anyone see the Frontline documentary on "Tank Man"... The fellow who stood down the tanks in Tianimon square back in '89? Apparently if you are in China and google Tianimon Square you get NO MENTION of the 89 uprising.Students at Beijing University are taught nothing of what happened and could not identify the picture. Google and Yahoo and Microsoft have given the Chinese govt the tools to erase history... So why not a voting place??? Are we still here?

Anonymous said...

Gina: Luckily for me, the Aussies are very polite folks and I haven't encountered any rude Americans. Off to Melbourne today where I just might find a few of the ugly ones. My shoulders have become pretty strong from shrugging so I think I'm ready to pop any ugly Americans I encounter. :)

debralee said...

You're living my dream life with all your travels, Judith.

Okay, I did my civic duty and voted. I'll be so happy when the polls close.
I've been bombarded with more phone calls from politicians than ever before. Please let it be 8p.m.

Tory said...

Judith: I'm not sure whether I'm still here or not. But I sure hope I am! That would be a bummer to be just a figment of my own imagination.

I think I'd still vote for me, though. At some imaginary polling place that has me on the ballot.

Nancy said...

In the space of half an hour this evening, I was phoned by Ed Rendell, Bob Casey and Bill Clinton! Judith, I hope you turned off your answering machine before you left for Down Under!

Say hi to Russell Crowe for us, will you?