Russian presidential elections in Shanghai

04 Mar 2012

Today, March 4, 2012 is the special day of my life. What is so special about it? I went to vote, and it was the first time in my life.

So, how is it to vote abroad for Russian people? That was easy, actually. Russian Embassy in Shanghai, located in nice area near The Bund, was the polling place of election. Russians, who are willing to vote, had to take their both passports (internal and international) and come to embassy from 8 am to 8 pm, Beijing time. After registration, where you have to leave your signature and tell them the address you live in Russia, you go to small cabin, mark the candidate and throw your blank into a box. Very similar to how it happens within Russia.

I came to East Nanjing Road metro station in afternoon. First, I walked a little bit on The Bund. Last several days weather in Shanghai is extremely gloomy. And forecasts keep on drawing clouds and rain drops on their websites for next few days. Photos of Lujiazui I took look dark, but marvelous.

The closer I came to embassy, the more Russian people I could meet. I did not talk to someone except when I had a registration procedure. The representative guy did not know how to spell the name of my hometown. But Gatchina is, actually, rather famous among Russian people. It was imperial residence of Russian tzars for some time of our history. Then I went to that cabin, voted against Putin, dropped the blank and left.

But there was one sad thing I saw at the polling place. Couple people before me were refused to be able to vote, because they did not bring their international passports with them. They said their passports are not with them, because they applied for visa extension. Alas, I a bit regret I did not stay there for a little longer, for these people were not in a hurry to leave. They stayed outside and smoked. But I left without talking to them. Now I don’t know how this story finished.

Today I had a very special feeling, as if Russia does have fair elections, as if it has a real democracy. Alas, I understand it is only the vision and my and hundreds of thousands of other people’s votes will not be able to change anything. At least, this is a good attempt to affect on my country’s future.

Also, yeah. Yesterday I attended Barcamp and have something to show to you people. I will upload some photos later and blog something about the event. After Barcamp and free beers, Greg and I went to Fred's party at his SPA spot and it was fun.