And off to rainy Brighton we trecked, where the Brighton Pride festival was in full swing. You do have to admire the spirit of folks who will not allow mere rain and wind to put them off their determination to parade in little more than their bikinis and glittering body paint. Pride goers, I salute you!
But before making our way to the parade, we stopped for a sip of coffee and a bite of cake in a little cafe near the route. I was, as always, sporting my treasured Barack Obama badge and after a few minutes my friend gave me a little nudge and a point - sitting one table over was a group wearing Barack Obama badges of their own, augmented with anti-Bush t-shirts. Clearly a conversation was in order.
It turns out, these ladies - Americans all - were South London Social workers excited about Barack. No, they hadn't registered yet but yes they were absolutely planning on it, all the more so when I gave them a leaflet about Vote from Abroad and told them how easy it is to register using the online tool. E-mail addresses were exchanged and much good cheer ensued.
Later that day, at the home of our friends -a German couple recently moved to London - the subject of the election came up again. Our friend mentioned that she actually has an American friend in Germany, definitely a Democrat. Is she registered? We're not sure. Cue another leaflet - can you post this to her? Absolutely. You know, says Friend, there are lots of Americans at our old Church in Munich, perhaps someone should see about doing a voter registration there? Details are recorded for follow up.
And it occurred to me - THIS is how we are going to track down Americans all around the world. We'll do it on our days off. On the bus. In the office. Over lunch. By e-mail. With friends of friends and aquaintances of aquaintances and people we see on the street.
(Just keep some flyers handy at all times!)