I have to say that I'm still quite surprised that the U.S. presidential elections have affected me so much. To many it may not seem like a surprise -- after all, I've lived here for five and a half years already and lived through the grim times that America has seen under the Bush administration. If that get's all the rest of the world excited then why not me?
But I'm still surprised. Five years back I "promised" myself that I'd consider me a visitor in this wonderful country of great diversity (-- something that I have to say that I really, really value). That whatever would happen I'd view it as "their thing" and remember that my status is officially a non-resident alien.
Maybe the reason is just the same that has gotten the rest of the world so interested about these elections. Maybe it's because five years is almost half of my adulthood years. Maybe it's because I have to admit that in the phases of cultural adaptation I've gone over the ups and downs enough many times that I think I have to admit that I've adapted quite well. .. I have to add that in the scene that I live in five years makes me practically a native here.
I also have to add and admit/confess that I've learned to profoundly like this country in a number of ways. Yes, it surely has its annoyances. No doubt about that. And there surely are a number of things that I flat out don't like about this country. But I could say the same for my dear Finland.
I'll spare my sporadic reader(s?) from details for now. I'll just make this an election day blog opener. That is, a post to get things started. I've "promised" myself way too many times before that I'd start blogging about my experiences here. It's about time now. "Kuparinen rikki" as one could say in Finnish.
To close the post off, I'd like to share two excellent video clips and some links. The videos are embedded below and the links are pointers to my link collection in the social bookmarking service Delicious, which I warmly recommend to everybody. Don't be a beggar - share your stuff!
* A video interview about me and the elections in the main newspaper of Finland, the Helsingin Sanomat a week and a half ago
* My links on the presidential elections including pretty much all related links that I've bookmarked, and those related to Obama.
An excellent 30 minute Obama "infomercial" that I think concludes Obama's campaign very nicely
and a good 4 minute "Analysis of Barack Obama's 30 Minute Commercial" by The Young Turks.
And finally, a brilliant, brilliant humorist speech by Obama at the traditional Alfred E. Smith Foundation dinner gala in New York from a couple of weeks back.
See the second part of the speech, too. And consider McCain's speech as well.
P.S. My favorite poll tracker is Pollster.com and I was just recommended to check out the real-time electoral map of the Daily Kos.