Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

I stayed up last night to watch the election coverage. There has been a lot of it here, during the primaries and the presidential race. I've regretted missing certain aspects of this hugely historic period for America, such as the political commercials (which surely would have grown torturous to me months ago were I living in the US!). But there's been no dearth of news here; the UK's interest level in the US election has been a clear demonstration to me of just how disinterested the US is in the affairs of other countries, by comparison.

Last night, after 11pm here (6pm EST) the BBC had constant coverage of the election results. I watched the BBC on my TV and MSNBC's live streaming coverage on my laptop, switching back and forth between which was muted.

After Pennsylvania was called for Obama early on, I dozed off for a while during the lull around 2am, sleeping on the floor in our lounge (that's the living room in Amerispeak). I woke up shortly after 4am, just in time to witness McCain's concession speech... barely able to believe what I was seeing.

I stayed up for Obama's acceptance speech at 5am, and again I could barely believe what I was seeing. Beautiful. Look at our new first family.

Today, I am proud to be an American.

Monday, November 3, 2008

1 Year - Moving around but staying put

Over the weekend we celebrated our 1-year anniversary in Scotland. It came at a good time, a week or so after a scare during which we thought we might have to relocate to Oxford (due to reorganisation in my company) passed; we got word that we're safe here for now - no end to our stay in sight. We commemorated 1 year by having over five friends, a cosmopolitan group of whom none is Scottish but just 1 other is American - the rest are from Canada, Singapore, Italy, and England.

We've just put a deposit on a new, penthouse flat, one with incredible, too-good-to-be-true views of Arthur's Seat, as well as Calton Hill, plus very limited views of the Firth of Forth from two (of three!) bedrooms. We'll move at the beginning of December, right after we return to Edinburgh after a trip home to St. Louis (and a Thanksgiving vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico).

After spending a year living, literally, across the street from my office, I'm looking forward to calling a different neighborhood home. It's hard to feel settled living nextdoor to work; it creates the sense of just being on a very extended business trip. Our new 'hood is the one around Easter Road Stadium, home to Hibernian, aka the Hibs, one of Edinburgh's two pro football (that's soccer in Ameri-speak) teams. In fact, our new building is immediately adjacent to the stadium, and from our lounge you can look down into the east-facing stands.

1 year in and all is well. We are loving life here, and after facing the prospect of having to leave due to decisions beyond our control by the higher-ups of my company, we're able to appreciate the gift of being here all the more. I feel very, very fortunate.