It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, so I have a lot to catch up on. First I owe an election night report.
Beth and I boarded a Cathay Pacific flight to Bali via Hong Kong at 10pm on the night before the election. I knew we would have about 2 hours to catch some election results between flights in Hong Kong. We landed at about 8am on Weds local time, which is 7pm Tuesday night in New York. We raced to the business class lounge, not knowing whether we would be using wifi on my phone, or my laptop, or some other method of getting some news. At the lounge we immediately found a wide-screen TV tuned in to CNN. There were a handful of people gathered around, and other folks would stop to glance at the TV as they passed by.
Just as we sat down, the first couple of states were called. Vermont and Kentucky–nothing too earth shattering, but on the screen McCain was in the lead. (see video below)
As time went on, a few other states were called, but nothing all that telling. The polls closed in Pennsylvania, but no call. They closed in Indiana, no call. But now it was time to rush back to catch the plane to Bali.
We boarded, and I looked at the CNN site on my phone. Nothing new. The flight attendant called for cellphones to be turned off, and I did one last ditch try for information. I quickly dialed up MSNBC on the net, and there it was–they had called Pennsylvania for Obama. Then we went into radio silence, knowing at least that things were looking OK.
An hour passed, and Beth and I were having anxiety attacks. Everyone on the plane around us was sleeping. No one looked all that agitated, except us. I decided to go find the on-board telephone and get an update from someone. But as soon as I got up, I was chastised because the seatbelt sign was on…too much turbulence. Was I causing it?
Several red wines later, the seatbelt sign finally went off. I raced to the phone, and called our son. It took two tries, but it finally connected.
“Jeff, it’s Dad. What’s happening?”
“Really? Who’s projecting it?”
“McCain already conceded.”
“Wow…Ok this is costing a fortune. Talk to you later. Thanks for the news.”
I went back to my seat, and told Beth as loudly as I could, “Obama won. It’s over.” I was hoping someone would overhear and that we could celebrate together. But no one responded. It was so anticlimatic. We both wanted to jump for joy, but there was no one else to share the moment.
Upon arrival in Bali, we were greeted by the man who was to be our guide for the week. The first thing out of his mouth was “It is a big day for your country today.” Finally, someone to share our joy with.
to be continued…