Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So ... Why?

Without much regard to the appropriate order of horse and cart, I've told a number of my relative and friends that I recently passed the Foreign Service Oral Assessment, to much excitement and confusion.  Inevitably, after the standard "what's that"s, "Where will you be going"s, and "when do you leave"s, I hear a lot of "Why?"s.

Why is, by far, the easiest question to answer:

BAM!  Look at that thing!  Are you kidding me?  It is black, and I keep it in addition to my civilian passport.  How can you see that and not want one?

Oh, a small book isn't enough?  How about this?

That's a series of golden statues of Saparmurat Niyazov in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.  He changed the names of the days of the week in the Turkmen language, wrote the principle holy book of his people, and made recorded music illegal.  I suppose you could rustle up the resources necessary to cross the Karkoram desert as a private civilian, but would you ever?  And even if you did, tourists are not particularly welcomed, and don't have near the access and freedom of diplomats.  How can you possibly say no?


Bfiles said...

hi, thanks for your kind note about my husband's OA. Just found your blog and I will wish you luck. BTW, I visited Turkmenistan years ago when a friend was an FSO there (way before I had any interest in the FS!). The Turkmenbashi's photos were hilarious. They were posted everywhere, and the dip community named them- eg "Cotton pickin bashi" (pic of pres in a cotton field), Contemplative bashi, etc. His abuses were not a funny matter, but his ego was entertaining...

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