And My Life Keeps Spinning
In retrospect, agreeing to go to Podgorica the same week as I was supposed to move to Washington DC while not giving up on the idea of being in the US capital on election night might not have been the best idea. Yet for some reason, I refused to postpone my move (explaining the lack of blogging over the past two weeks). I came back to Chisinau last Saturday and left again Monday, leaving me one day to finalize all the packing, clean my little house, and say good bye to some people. Last time I wrote, I felt like I was followed by bad luck, and of course this continued, with problems with my tickets, our internal computer systems, packing etc, etc, etc. But together with lovely, supportive colleagues and friends, I managed to get everything together and catch the plane Monday morning from the Chisinau airport. It was basically the first day in over a month that I did not work. When getting on my last flight from Vienna to DC, I counted that it was my 15:th flight since going to Antalya little over a months ago. (And yes, I do feel bad about all the flying, but at least my organization is supposedly carbon neutral.) But the flight gave me a chance to catch up on some sleep.
DC has been great these past days. The first thing that met me was of course all the campaign posters all around the cities. People have them in their front yards and in their windows, and everyone is talking politics in the streets. The weather has also been really nice these past days: Quite warm, and with the trees are shifting colours beautifully into yellow, orange, and red.
I am staying at a small inn close to Dupont Circle, which is a very nice neighbourhood. The inn is super cute (it is really the only appropriate term to describe it). It has probably not been renovated in the past 30 years and the interior is in 19:th century English style. In the mornings, I and the other guests gather around and large dining room table for breakfast. We even have a little cat here who hangs out in one of the windows watching the street life.
The inn is located in both buildings
The breakfast room
My first days in the office have been very nice and I already feel absorbed by the HQ rhythm. Even though my colleagues are basically the same, it is so much easer to be only a few offices away and in the same time zone. Apparently, office allocation in the HQ is according to grade level, and so I have a small office without a window. It is ok, I really like it!
And Tuesday was of course the big day. I have followed the campaign closely over the past year, and I was very nervous. Even though it all seemed to go in the right direction (in my view anyway), after the 2004 election, I didn’t really dare to expect anything. A colleague from the Brussels office and I went out to a local bar here in our neighbourhood to watch the results. It was really great to be here this day! After the results were announced, people were out cheering in the streets around here. Quite extraordinary!
Unfortunately, I did not have to get a cool t-shirt like Valerie.
And I am so happy about the results. It feels almost unreal. I don’t expect him to save the world but at least you can trust him, trust that he understands the implications of his policies. Thank you all Americans who voted for him! And moving here feels so much easier than if McCain would have won, not only because he will be the President but also because it is easer to start a life in a country where you don’t feel like you are on a different planet from people living there (to quote the Economist after the last election). Of course, in Washington DC, over 86% voted for Obama, so I guess I could have felt at home here anyway. (Not sure what happened in California though with prop 8…) Next week’s project is to find an apartment and to get a cell phone number. After that, I am all set!