The first Tuesday in November

Today in the United States, registered voters will go to polling booths to vote for the next President. I usually spend much of Wednesday constantly refreshing news feeds as voter polls close across the U.S. getting a sense if blue or red will prevail. Me, I’m supporting the Joss Whedon view on the whole election shebang…

Meanwhile today in Australia, everything stopped at 3pm to watch 24 horses run around a race track. I was one of millions who tuned in to see the Melbourne Cup.

Everything stops. Melburnians celebrate it as a public holiday, often taking the Monday off as well, and many Victorians in regional areas work the, morning and take the afternoon off. Schoolchildren watch the race on their smart board (I watched it on a TV right through primary and high school), ladies lunching watch it on plasmas, quaffing champagne and nibblies, those unlucky to be still at work watch it on their computers, gripping their sweep tickets firmly in their hands. I have even been in university exams where the exam has stopped so students could listen to the race on the radio.

It’s a day where it is de rigeur to wear silly flowers in your hair, silly shoes on your feet, drink too much alcohol, and place bets on horses, even if you have never set foot into your local TAB.

Now, my feet are a little sore, my head is a little sore, but a lovely day was had mingling and lunching.The watching of 24 horses race around a track was a bonus :).

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2 thoughts on “The first Tuesday in November

  1. It really is amazing – the pull of this race. I wouldn’t dream of even thinking of horse racing any other day of the year … but the first Tuesday in November sees me grasping my betting slip and shouting when my horse crosses the finishing line in front of 22 other horses (there was one in front of him but hey, that doesn’t matter when you’ve put the money on for a place). 🙂

    • Congratulations on your win! Even watching it on TV you can feel the excitement build up as the horses enter the final straight. I’ve been on picnics on Melbourne Cup Day and seen total strangers gather around a radio to listen to the Cup. It really brings a nation together.

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