Yes I have been one lazy blogger, I've wanted to write about the Inauguration ever since the night of but a) I got busy and b) I read so many other blogs and websites that I think it zapped my creativity ... or could be c) I am indeed a lazy butt! Anyway I was supposed to work in C-town until 5:45pm so I didn't have any plans to watch the inauguration except trying to figure out a way to watch it online in the ancient computer rooms while waiting for my train. But when a few factors changed things around (my last class was canceled and the Katester gently reminded me that this was a historic moment and would I want to remember celebrating it alone by my lonesome?) I decided to go celebrate with the other 'ricans in Caen!
Uh... I should also admit that this decision was only very sliiiightly influenced by the fact that Natalie said that France3 Basse-Normandie would be in the apartment filming live...
Right. Just ever so slightly.
The Katester and I arrived at around 5:50 after tram strikes made us wait at the station more than the predicted 3min - grr! Don't they know we had a party to get to?? Just as we arrived on Natalie's street I noticed the France3 van parked on the sidewalk and I realized just how cool this moment was. Natalie was ready and waiting with 3 bottles of Champagne and we settled in to watch the little TV.
The speech was amazing, everyone has said that and more eloquently than I could ever do so I'll just leave you with the image of me with a ridiculous grin plastered on my face while we listened. As we went over our favorite parts of the speech and sipped more champagne the TV crew got Natalie ready for her live appearance on the evening news!
I made sure I was standing up so you could see me (stripy shirt) in the background. Here's the link, we tried to record it at home but it didn't work - does anyone know how to download the embedded video before they take it off tomorrow???? Pluuuhhhlease???? Anyway we're at about 19h04 in the video (time in the upper right corner).
Here are a few other pictures from the evening.
I'm so glad that I went to Caen for this, not only because of the vast amount of champagne that I consumed (and regretted for the next 2 days...) but to celebrate not only with friends but it felt like somehow the whole world was connected - even here in France.
Anyway the next day I dragged my butt out to Herouville where they have a shopping center to do a little soldes damage. For those of you who don't know Caen this suburb is one of the ones known to be "difficult." The majority of the population are immigrant families and walking around you're more likely to hear Arabic and Creole than French. That diversity has made the community really try to come together though in the last few years. The city is putting a lot of money into developing it - demolishing old HLMs (the projects basically) and putting up less big towers and more community orientated buildings. But as the tram pulled into one of the stops at the foot of one of those 13-storey towers I saw this painted on the side of the building.
It made me smile and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. An event on the other side of the world has brought some sort of hope and change to this suburb of Caen and I think that in itself is an amazing thing.
I have a lot of hope for the next 4 years, no this President can't do it all himself but I feel that he's brought integrity and a renewal of the American Dream which has not existed for a long time.
I can say that for the first time in 8 long years I am proud to be an American, and France, our President is cooler than yours ;-)