At noon, nothing happens. The train keeps rattling south. I wish I had a radio, a television, an American friend. A few hours later I join Lou, an Australian mother, and her 6-year-old daughter, Charlie, in the viewing lounge at the back of the train. We talk about the scenery, and our home towns, and then Lou brings up Obama. "What did I tell you, Charlie? About why today is special?" she asks. The little redhead looks up from her coloring book, scrunches up her freckled nose and quickly recites, "A black man is the president of the United States of America."
"I want her to remember this when she gets older," Lou explains. "This is historic."