There are giant posters with people’s faces on them everywhere advertising their electoral slogan above their poorly executed photoshopped picture. As I look at the plethora of photos obstructing my view as I drive, I can’t help but wonder, “Was this really the best picture of you – with your eyes half shut or a weird smirk or your eyes bugging out of your head?”
It’s a weird thing being in a foreign country during their elections. A few years ago I was leaving a friend’s house, walking down the block to the big circle to catch a cab home on Election Day after the announcement the president won. Well, I’m not sure it can be called an election since apparently it’s just a referendum approving the presidential candidate parliament voted for – the same man who’d been in power for years and who’s father was “elected” before him. At any rate, I was aghast as I walked to this major intersection wishing I had my good camera to capture what was going on around me. Bare with me as I try to verbalize something so dumbfounding.
Horns assailed my ears blaring the same beep beep be be beep over and over, each one sporting some picture of the president scotch taped to the window, often covering important parts like the windshield.
Men, lots of them, danced in the street together to traditional songs.
Women ululated through the windows of the fifteen passenger vans that serves as the bus system, contributing to the din.
Children colored their faces to match the flag and waved whatever they could find in jubilation.
But the piece de resistance was a group of screaming young men standing in the bed of a truck desperately trying to hold onto a giant picture of the president at least six feet tall as the truck sped around and around the circle. And then they lost it. And it covered the windshield of another car. And pandemonium ensued. And it was truly something to behold. I guess you had to be there.