It has been really difficult to be away from America during such an exciting time in our nation’s history. I have looked at photos of friends lucky enough to attend the inauguration with a great deal of jealousy.
I was there in 2001 when people were hardly as excited. I almost witnessed two grown men come to blows in a TGI Fridays on Pennsylvania Avenue. It was nice to see D.C. on Tuesday, a long ways from that overcast, blustery January day in 2001.
I really wanted to be in America. I was proud and slightly emotional. Feelings I had never experienced before during an inauguration.
We tried to recreate America in Korea with Budweiser and a deep-frier, but it wasn’t quite the same. Still it has been exciting to watch from abroad. We watched the inauguration on KBS(Korean Broadcasting System) while a Korean woman translated. It was 2AM and the major networks were covering it.
I don’t know how many Koreans stayed up to watch, but there excitement about Obama is palpable. The mention of Obama to my Korean students garners the same reaction as a major Korean pop band or their latest hit song.
So when I got stopped on the street the other day by a rabid group of high school boys who wanted their picture taken with me, I pulled up my sweater to reveal my Obama t-shirt I was wearing. I knew I would get a good reaction, the same I would get for being able to sing a few chords of Big Bang’s (a popular Korean boy band) latest hit.
“Oh-Bah-Mah! Wow! Very good!!”