Surreal end to US election for Tauranga ex-pats

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Carrie Brown with son, Chase, is shocked at the election result. Photo/file
Carrie Brown with son, Chase, is shocked at the election result. Photo/file

American ex-pats living in Tauranga are shocked at the results of tonight's election.

Donald Trump's win came as a big surprise.

Iowa ex-pat Diane Prizgintas was gathered with fellow ex-pats watching the election, saying she felt sick at the result.

"I never really considered this as a viable possibility. I was looking forward to the election being over but I never really considered the consequences of a trump presidency," she said.

Ms Prizgintas cast her vote for Hillary Clinton months ago.

She said the mood in the room was "hopeless".

"I think we're all a little nostalgic as well, remembering eight years ago - the anticipatory optimism of Obama's election."

Ms Prizgintas said when Pennsylvania was called for Trump, arguably the deciding state, pushing Trump to 264 electoral votes, it was devastating.

"I called my mom and she said to me 'you're so lucky you're over there.' And I am."

Californian Carrie Brown, living in Papamoa, questioned how it was possible Donald Trump could be elected given the revelations that came out about him before Election Day, such as his discrimination against women and minorities.

"It is history. Though we all thought it would be history made the other way around."

Her six-year-old son even realised the enormity of the election, turning CNN at 6am yesterday instead of cartoons.

"He ran on the ticket of changing the political system but I don't think a person with zero experience can move forward that kind of change."

Ms Brown said Trump made a lot of promises, gave the American people a vision a lot want to see happen but she doubted he had the specifics to make it all happen.

"Also, how can you not compare Melania as first lady with Michele Obama. they will have big shoes to fill."

The New Zealand coverage of the election had been surprisingly huge, and people here would not be immune to the implications of a Trump presidency, Ms Brown said.

Karen Kressin, a Colorado ex-pat, said she was disappointed in the American people.

"I'm in total shock. I'm afraid for all of us.

"I still don't quite believe it. It's surreal and will take awhile to really sink in."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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