America (F**k yeah!)

On Tuesday Deanne and I were able to do our small part in the democratic process by voting in the primary. In London. Yes an ocean is not enough to stop the Super (Duper) Tuesday virus from spreading and some quick research yielded a "Vote From Abroad" voting event right here in London. Coincidentally it was right next to our old apartment which made life easier. So after a quick Singaporean dinner at Kiasu we went round the corner to Porchester Hall.Now I fully expected 15 or 16 people quietly lining up in front of an old woman with some juice and cookies. Perhaps the woman might have been wearing some sort of festive straw hat. And maybe a badge. But no! We turned the corner and were confronted by cheering throngs, thrusting their Hillary or Obama signs into the air as they chanted their respective slogans. There were police, cameramen, journalists, photographers. The line to vote stretched out of the building. As we filled in our forms, several passers-by (and I'm not making this up) actually heckled us. What made it even weirder is that they were respectable-looking old men and women. One old woman walked by and said "I can't wait for the Pakistani elections, at least THEY'LL do it with some decorum." Snotty bitch. But before we could all register our disgust, a fellow American piped up with "At least we don't blow people up," which technically isn't true but is still funny and put the skank in her place. One other older "gentleman" walked past a lady holding a Hillary sign and said "Why don't you call it "Clinton" because Hillary is a lie!" We all looked at each other with a collective "....what?" After the drive-by hecklings, we made our way into the haul where we were efficiently ushered into the registration area where our forms were collected and our IDs verified. Then it was into the main hall. Which was absolutely jampacked! There must have been two to three hundred people in there. Bunting on the walls, balloons everywhere, the aforementioned juice and cookies, people wearing hats. It was a real party (get it?) atmosphere. We cast our votes on the stage where, weirdly enough, everyone could see who you were voting for as you deposited your ballot into conspicuously labeled bins. As you went off the stage you were ushered back into the hall where everyone was smiles. People were really having a great time. A great time voting. Yes, you read that correctly. I don't think the Brits could do anything like this with the local Womens Institute running parish council elections at the Village Hall. Hell, I don't even think Americans would do this at a normal polling station. This felt more like a political party convention than an election station. You half expected Jesse Jackson to walk on stage and start addressing the audience in his delightfully clipped prose. So after all was said and done I (can't speak for Deanne) was bursting with patriotism as the 200,000 eligible American voters in London were, for a moment, united by the democratic process. It filled me with pride and some other emotions that are weird and deeply confusing. Quick, I need some Taco Bell.

(Doesn't the guy in that last photo look like Rob Cordry?)