So I managed slightly better today, and woke up at 6am rather than 4am.
A friend had emailed me overnight to ask “So, what’s the atmosphere like over there?”
My immediate reaction was: “Erm, well, I don’t really know. Because I haven’t been out in the thick of things yet”.
I arrived at K’s house yesterday and we spent the afternoon/evening chatting, sleeping, eating and watching live footage of Obama and Biden’s journey from Philadelphia to DC. See, sometimes it’s just enough to be in the right country because you actually get to see things like that as they happen .
But actually, I realise that it’s not just that my yesterday was low-key. Based on my journey through the city at lunchtime (from Dulles Airport to the NE area, zip code 20002 if you want to look it up) and also on the news reports I’m seeing - where poor freezing newsreaders are standing on the Mall, with the Capitol building behind them - I can say that the atmosphere in DC yesterday was, surprisingly, also very muted.
Said newsreaders are standing on a fairly empty Mall; and as our airport shuttle bus made its way through the city yesterday, the streets were really very quiet. Mind you, that always freaks me out about American cities (bar New York): where are all the pedestrians? (In this case: inside, probably, as it’s sub-zero temperatures.)
All this will undoubtedly change today, however - as a) I will be entering the thick of it, to b) go to the massive concert being held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It kicks off at 1.30pm our time (for the duration of my stay over here, “our time” will be Washington time ) and they’re expecting a crowd of 500,000.
You can watch the concert live on www.hbo.com. I’m presuming that means you can watch it live on the site internationally, also. If so, it kicks off at 6.30pm UK time.
Watch out for me. I’ll be the one in a coat, hat and scarf.