【明報專訊】In Hong Kong we rarely get all that excited about elections. We might watch TV on election day and follow the results, but they are never an exhilarating (令人振奮的) topic between friends. This year I was fortunate enough to be in the US during the presidential election, and I must say it was an experience like no other.
According to my American friends, election day is usually a grand affair with parties and other craziness. This year it was more subdued due to COVID, and no doubt more drawn out because many more Americans voted by mail and those ballots take longer to count. Still you could feel the tinge of excitement in the air. My friends had all voted for the first time, some in the Democrat-held New York State, others in Georgia in the South or North Carolina. I watched the election coverage with a small group of friends that night with bated breath as our futures hung in the balance. We started at 6pm and watched the news for almost eight hours, doing some work here and there. Looking at the electoral map made me realise just how big and diverse America is. I'd only been to the more liberal cities on the East Coast, but not to the ''deep south'', the West Coast or the more rural states. Seeing the wall of ''red'' Republican states made me wonder what this other half of ''Trumpist'' America looked like.
Seeing the election unfold was a bit of a rollercoaster, and we did not stop talking about it for three days. Eventually it became clear that Biden would emerge victorious. But even when he did, it still felt somewhat unreal after four years of Trump. When we went out that night, everywhere people were celebrating, cars were hooting, as if the country had been liberated from tyranny. Elsewhere in Trumpland, the mood was probably different, with civil unrest only one spark away.
Alice is a freshman at Cornell University intending to major in Economics and Computer Science, having previously studied in the UK for six years. A lover of languages, she studies French, Italian, Japanese and picks up bits of other languages when she can.