Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Chinese reaction to Barack Obama's historic US presidential victory went from mildly curious to ecstatic in two offices on the third floor of China Daily newspaper Wednesdy noon after the lone American employee on the floor went to the Holiland pastry shop on Huixin Dongjie street and bought two 64 yuan (US$9.35) victory cakes.

"Here," he said smiling and distributing tiny plastic forks and paper plates as CNN's election coverage boomed in the background from a TV hanging from the ceiling. "From Obama! My new president."

The Chinese staff laughed, grinned, looking up from the rice, pork and spinach dumplings, fish heads and "Jew's ear fungus" lunches they'd been scarfing from their tin and plastic lunch pails and clustered around the cakes.

"Really? From Obama? He won? Your new president? Thank you! Thank Obama!" one said.

"Well, not really from him. Me. But I pay American icome taxes with my Chinese salary, so it's kind of my tax dollars at work for you," I said. "Consider it my part to futher international relations and do my part to help stem the global financial meltdown."

Meanwhile my cell phone text message alert was beeping non-stop. Victory bonding messages from one Canadian, two English citizens, three Chinese and two other Americans from Beijing to Shanghai and Shenzhen on the Hong Kong border were flowing in. "Yabbadabba doo!" "PARTEEE!" "He won! He won!" "Congratulations on your country's good sense!"

"It's cool and weird," another American pal in Jakarta, Indonesia texted me via Skype. He'd been watching CNN too. "How could this have happened?. It's like an unbelievable dream watching people celebrate a black American president."


John said...

It was pretty amazing in Brooklyn. When the polls closed in California and CNN projected Sen. Obama to be the winner, people poured onto the streets, screaming, whooping, honking horns.

When the Giants won the Superbowl all was quiet.

chuck said...

A lifelong democrat who doesn't vote just along party lines, I am all for change, and I am not swayed by political promises (by either candidate) that are never kept. I have tremendous hope for America. But I am not going into this period of great concern with blinders and a cup of Kool-Aid. I am completely supportive of President Obama, but the proof is in the performance, not the promise.