January 20, 2009
10:00am Washington DC is 5:00pm here in Nigeria. So at 5:00pm I met some British friends and went to the American Club (or the GQ as it is known locally [Guest Quarters]) to watch Obama’s Inauguration. Rocky and I generally attend Happy Hour at the GQ once a week and there are 2-10 people in the bar then. It is a very casual atmosphere with people talking, using the Internet and American CNN on the TV (not the International version). Today there are at least 150 people crowded in the bar. The attached dining room has its doors wide open as a bar extension and had most of its tables removed and extra chairs placed. It is crowded to the point of standing room only.
The GQ serves only American food and drink all of which are imported from Houston Texas. Tonight there are 4 TV’s running and the food represents Obama’s home states of Illinois and Hawaii. Thus, the menu consists of Chicago Cubs hot dogs, Coconut fried shrimp with pineapple sauce and BBQ ribs. We joined a table of other British friends and proceeded to order wine and margaritas (GQ makes the best) and watch the Inauguration. We sampled all the food items and they were quite good especially the shrimp. When Obama was sworn in as President, the people in the bar were so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
When Obama was President the crowd stood and clapped and whistled. The Nigerians in the crowd waved small American flags.
The crowd was very respectful of Obama’s speech and again erupted in cheering and flag waving when it was over.
All in all quite a party and celebration. Several of my friends left work to go home and sit and watch the Inaguration via International CNN. I really enjoyed the party and atmosphere of the GQ. GO OBAMA!