Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration excitement

This morning I was awake by 3:30am Washington time. Clearly, I'm still affected by jet lag. Did a phone interview and by then I realised I was down with flu and was feeling feverish. Nevertheless I still wanted to give myself a chance to experience the excitement on the streets and have a taste of the inauguration fever (nevermind the body temperature)!
Throngs of people filled the streets and tried to find their way to the National Mall. Many streets were closed and we observed absolute tight security everywhere. Police siren pervaded the city. I walked street after street but realised that the National Mall was already very packed with people. The crowd gathered as early as 4am. Crowds were so large that portions of the National Mall were already closed by 9am, three hours before the inauguration ceremony started.
I knew then that I was not fit enough to endure the freezing winter for hours. It was wiser to turn back (a special room has been prepared in our hotel for all international guests of the United States Department of State to witness the ceremony indoor). On my way back, I managed to buy some Obama souvenirs for my family and close friends. The Obama souvenir craze was very evident on the streets!
When I got back to the hotel, I was informed by my friends who have gone early to the National Mall at 7:30am that they were not allowed to re-enter the National Mall after visiting the portable toilets. Millions of people, hence the tight security. My husband rang me from home as we were watching the ceremony, a friend in Australia sent sms informing me that he too was watching it from there. What a global affair indeed! Personally, I love the fact that the ceremony started and ended with seeking divine help from Above. President Obama ended his oath with "So help me God" and I was reminded of the oath I took at the State Assembly - "Kepada Tuhan saya berserah" ("To you God I commit myself"). Again, I say it is my personal belief that humanitarian effort alone cannot perfect our endeavour to fulfill unreasonably high expectations and accomplish all that the human race so desires [words in bold to ensure that readers understand that this is my personal blog and I am entitled to my own conviction and I am in no way imposing this on anyone lest I get accused of trying to sermonize :)]. That to me is my most memorable moment of the inauguration. Off to get some medication and rest now before my program resumes tomorrow...

9 comments:

jolene said...

please take care.. :)

Anonymous said...

Obviously the fever of the inauguration is in the air...best be careful as the cold can wreak havoc to your journey...
I am sure Malaysians followed the ceremony and the TV screens were all lit up....
Obama's speech was touching..has a lot more substance compared to his predecessor...now we leave it to the AlMighty to make sure he fulfills it...

Take Care

lin said...

wow, it must be great for you to be able to witness Obama taking power as the US president.
would just like to share this song with you, which can encourage you since it is really not easy being a people's representative for the 1st time (besides having to fulfil other roles such as wife, daughter, etc)
"in Christ alone
i place my trust
and find my glory in the power of the cross
in every victory
let it be said of me
my source of strength
my source of hope
is Christ alone."

Anonymous said...

How we wish we were there too!!!
Obviously, President Obama's speech will inspire the Pakatan Rakyat to do better in the next election, insya Allah.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

YB, what's with all the disclaimers...

Let a stone be a stone...

a yes a yes
a no a no

Anonymous said...

need to work hard rather ask help from god,,,i still not convince why we pay so much attention on USA n Obama,,,our country issue more important

ronin said...

I hope this day will come will come to Malaysia too, where Malaysians from all walks of life will proudly walk and gather for a Prime Minister inauguration, a PM that inspires and will lead the country to greater heights in a just and equitable manner. How I long for this day!

Anonymous said...

Great to hear your trip was sponsored by the US government. At least you and DAP leaders don't waste tax-payers money on overseas trips, unlike BN. And syabas Hannah for the good work so far. We need more representatives like you.

Manjula M said...

I can see Ram on your screen! :) I'll be done with exams tmr! Hopefully i'll do well! :) Then we can talk on skype! I'm sorry I've been missing, exams have made me crazziiee ;)Speak to you soon and please do take care! Have fun ;)