The past two nights I've slept a total of seven hours...that's seven hours out of fifty-one or so. Sunday night wasn't too great, either. Procrastinating my homework on the nights before was dumb, but when I went to bed at 7 am this morning—and even when I woke up two hours later and had to get ready for class—I didn't regret the long night at all.
In my timezone, the first polls didn't close until midnight, but I wanted to see the night unfold. When I would periodically register what time it was (4 am, 5:30 am, 6 am), I was simply surprised at how fast the time had went. My brain didn't start to shut down and head toward zombie-mode and I didn't feel drawn to bed. For a while, it was just Maraia, me, and one of Maraia's German roommates, intently watching a German news station. Occasionally we would clarify something for him, but most of the time he knew what was going on as well as we did. We laughed when interviews with Americans were played at the same time as the interpreter's voice and you couldn't really understand either one. Maybe Maraia's roommate could, but we couldn't really process the German, despite its being louder, because segments in English would filter through and distract us.
Eventually we switched to CNN for more detailed coverage of individual states and maybe to feel more like we were part of what was going on at home. When the west coast polls closed and CNN called California, Oregon, and Washington even though 0% had been reported, I laughed. But it made sense. Then Andrew opened the Rotkäppchen (a type of Sekt, which is champagne that comes out of Germany instead of Champagne; it's named after Little Red Riding Hood) and there was a resounding pop and Sekt on his pants and a mark on the ceiling and we laughed a little crazily and I hoped we weren't waking the sleeping roommates. But I figured they'd understand if we did. They wanted this almost as much as we did, even if the election didn't hold the same emotional weight and pride for them as it did for us.
After Obama's speech the fatigue hit. We had to clean up the living room and set an alarm so we would make it to class in three and a half hours. But that was perfectly all right with me, because I don't feel ashamed of my country anymore—a feeling that is particularly strong when living abroad. America's future has become extremely exciting.