At 7 am Arnold shook me awake shouting "Get up! It's gringo day". I dragged myself out of bed, dressed up as instructed in attire "appropriate to the dignity of the event" and drove downtown to Memorial Auditorium. What we didn't know is that there would 1550 people at the ceremony. It was like the U.N. Very cool!
After a two-hour processing time, the ceremony was... I kid you not. 10 minutes. Then it was another 30 minutes for everybody to get their Naturalization certificated on the way out. So Marlene and I went to all-American Starbucks to get some breakfast. That's where Arnold met us and showed off his new "gringo certificate". As you can see Marlene is the most patriotic person we know. Red, white and blue baby!
That night we met up some friends to have a celebratory dinner at Pooja's, an Indian Restaurant in West Sac.
Fun fact: AT the ceremony there were 150 people from India becoming citizens. There were 5 Colombians.
Justina and the Wong contingent brought a cake. Justina thoughtfully decorated the box. I especially liked the little blue star with 50 written in the middle. Johannes did point out that Arnold cannot actually become president because that position is restricted to natural-born citizens. Justina stated that it was her intention to have the cake decorated with a flag and the words "Herson for President" but it that it seemed it would be too complicated at the Chinese bakery. After we stuffed ourselves with Naan and other Poojan delights everybody began quizzing Arnold on various U.S. History and constitution facts. Problematically, Arnold knew all the answers as he had to take a test recently for the Naturalization process. Next up Debi suggested we sing "Happy Gringo day to you" as Arnold opened the cake. Obviously, this was a most excellent idea. We sang "Happy Gringo Day" good and loud! I think the Pooja's staff thought we were having the weirdest birthday party.... ever. Also, does the cake seem radioactive to you?
The moral of this story? Become a citizen. You will be surrounded by beautiful women and rewarded with a certificate, an Indian feast, a radioactive Chinese bakery cake and the right to vote. Not bad, eh?