Monday, October 20, 2008


so, i voted today. from china. which, like everything else in china, turned out to be a bit of an adventure.

there is a program called express your vote that lets you print a write-in absentee ballot from online and then fed-ex it to your state for free. the only catch is that you have to use specific fed-ex locations. which doesn't seem like a big deal. unless your fed-ex location is in the middle of nowhere shanghai. i never, ever would have gotten there on my own.

we got in the cab after school and jess had quite the conversation with the cab driver about where we were going. he, apparently, had no idea where the fed-ex was. 18 rmb later he slows down in front of a dilapidated strip mall in an equally run-down, very chinese neighborhood and informs us that this is the address on the post-it. it's definitely not the fed-ex and we have no idea where we are, but he's right. this is the address on the post-it.

we drive around for a minute looking for it and finally jess tells him to stop so she can call someone to figure out what's going on. lucky for us, while we're sitting there, a nice gentleman on a motorcycle drives by slowly enough that our cab driver can shout at him out the window, to see if he knows anything. luckily he seems to know something and points us in the direction of an alley close by.

alley might not be the right word. it wasn't that dirty. but it was sort of an industrial area, with several different company office/warehouses, security guards and a couple loading docks. (it reminded me of that area off 14th and old cheney in lincoln where nebraska book company and weever's are.) the farther we drive, the less it seems like a place for a fed-ex and the more i can't help but laugh. who the crap would mail stuff from here? but we've got nothing to lose, so we keep going and finally, all the way at the end, like a beacon in the night, we see those beautiful letters: FedEx. the world servce center, even.

the rest of the process was actually completely painless. the man at the desk spoke pretty good english and he knew exactly what we were doing and how to handle it. which was really nice. i can sleep easy knowing that my ballot will be there by wednesday at the latest. which rocks. it's a great feeling to know that i just voted. especially in this year's election. it's kind of a big deal. in case you didn't know.

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