Sunday Snapshots: Obama Mania

Statues? Ninjas? Ninja Statues?

Statues? Ninjas? Ninja Statues?

One of the advantages to living in a capital city such as Prague is getting to see more notable people passing through than I could back home. While there, I saw Prince Charles and his entourage strolling through Mala Strana, the Pope’s caravan of cars driving along the river (and the window was cracked, so I may have glimpsed the top of his hat), and of course the championship-winning Czech ice hockey team. Though the hockey team had a fairly impressive welcome home party in Old Town Square after their victory, none of those caused quite the kerfuffle that our very own president did when he visited in April of 2009.

On that epic day, I gathered with a group of friends, and we joined the sea of humanity that streamed up towards Prague Castle. Using public transport that day was completely out of the question, as was any thought of escape once we had all squeezed through the crooked alleys and streets that lead onto Hradčanské náměstí, the square in front of the castle, where President Obama would be speaking. Our group struggled to stick together, making our way to a less crowded space with a decent view of one of the big screens. We noted the sniper ninjas placed on buildings around us, cleverly blending in among the statues that edge most of the rooftops of the square. We noted the lack of beers in hands, nearly unheard of for any public gathering in the CZR!

Soon though, the time had come. I took this picture of pictures when Mr. and Mrs. Obama first appeared on the big screen. Smartphones weren’t too big yet in 2009 (at least, not in the CZR), so this feels charmingly dated to me.

prague crowd

Also, if you think a kid hanging off of a taxi stand sign is dangerous, you should have seen the one who had climbed up into one of the enormous lampposts. He probably had a better view of the stage than us. So we made due with the screens broadcasting the man himself…

obama prague speech

So young, so dark-haired, so optimistic.

To be honest, I definitely had to google in order to remember what the speech was about. Foreign relations, to be sure, but Wikipedia tells me that the main thrust of his speech that day was on nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War world. That does sound familiar, but for me it was really more about the experience than what he was saying.

It’s not too often that you have the chance to see your country’s sitting president in the flesh (on a video screen, or teeeny tiny in the distance if you hop up and down #shortpeopleproblems), and who knows if it will ever happen again? And at the risk of sounding too political, this election cycle kiiiiiind of makes me want to stick my head in the oven so it’s nice to think back on a day that I was happy to be an American in Euroland. Let’s all hang on to those memories, shall we?

8 thoughts on “Sunday Snapshots: Obama Mania

  1. How cool! He certainly has aged a bit though – not that I’m surprised by that! If Trump gets elected, it might be time to pretend you’re a Canadian 😉

    • It’s true. Pretty common with presidents though… The comparison photos from the beginning/end of their terms is usually pretty crazy. And no chance on being Canadian because 1) I hate Canadians and
      2) that’s still too close for comfort.
      I have faith that sanity will prevail though (*pleaseGodpleaseGodplease*)

  2. You aren’t the only one that detests this election. My husband semi-seriously, semi-jokingly says he’ll give up his American citizenship if Trump gets elected, which is great for him seeing as he’s got a German one to fall back on. I’m stuck with my American citizenship through thick and thin, and possibly a cheeto dusted president. God let’s hope not.

    • Haha, if there’s one thing I’m sure about, it’s that I’m not the only one who detests these elections! I really really hope that it doesn’t come to a Cheeto situation… keep the faith that people come to their senses.

  3. This election cycle has been so bad that I stopped watching a bunch of political shows just because it was making me irrationally angry.

    I got to see Pres. Obama speak once, just before he was elected in 2008. There was an event close to election night in South Florida where both he and Biden spoke in a giant arena. (The same arena where I’ve seen Depeche Mode, The Blue Man group, and Barry Manilow. Not together.)

    • Don’t think anyone could blame you for that. The absurdity beggars belief.
      That sounds like a pretty cool experience (even if Barry Manilow wasn’t there at the same time). We got John Edwards to our college campus during the 2004 cycle, but that’s as close as I’ve gotten to a presidential candidate on campaign.

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