We'll get back to the all-important topic of sate soon enough, but for now we just have three words: Thank you Obama.
We've been on Java since last week, and as per usual nearly every Indonesian we've met has asked us where we're from. Over the last seven years or so saying we're American has rarely elicited the kind of overtly negative reaction that some Americans abroad have described (in fact, the only time that sort of thing happened was three years ago, in Italy). But the reception to our self-identification as Americans has certainly often been cool.
Wow. What a difference an election cycle makes. This past week, every Indonesian has responded to our being Americans with one word: 'Obama!' And, sometimes, with three: 'Obama! Obama! Obama!'
'Your first black president,' an elderly villager said to me yesterday, nodding with approval. 'Isn't his father Muslim?' asked a teenager. Smiles all around.
It feels great.
Hey, we're not proclaiming for or against. This isn't a political blog. But whatever your political leanings, there is no denying that being an American abroad is a whole lot more pleasant post-November 4 than it used to be.
Call it the Obama Dividend.
Does this really matter to the bigger picture? Will the good vibes that much of the world is sending in America's direction evaporate overnight?
Who knows? We're just going to enjoy it while it lasts.