Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bidding, going back to NYC and an abstract painting

I have spent the past few days locked in the Foreign Service Institute, watching videos from various posts to help us with the decision. Sadly, most videos are made by kids. Yup, kids. Apparently, there is some program within the FS to have FS kids make videos of their lives, and management has deemed those representative enough so that it now offers them to budding and bidding diplomats deciding on their preferences. After watching a particularly painful, jumpy video of a little girl's yard and front steps in Somewheristan for over 10 minutes, I had to stop--I actually got motion sickness from the constant chaotic movement of the camera. If the little girl is reading this blog...sorry :(. Guess which was the best video, done professionally--yes, the Chinese one. It was superb and made me want to run to the airport, throw my bags on the plane and beg to be flown to Beijing this very moment.

On the home front: I had to go back to NYC this past weekend as I decided that we do not have enough crappola to live with so far. Our 600 lbs shipment of spices, cookbooks and evening gowns has not yet arrived and I plan to entertain this weekend. That will be interesting...

On the way to NY, it took me 7 hours of mind-blowing traffic to get home (NYC home). Since I left the boys at home (DC home), I decided to crack the top of the covertible open on the way up there, and look supercool for a change (despite the huge carseat in the back). As you can imagine, that was a particularly stupid move given that the sun was blazing and the temp was over 90. While I was in motion, given the speed, my face and arms went numb from the windtunnel. While I was stuck in traffic, the sun painfully scorched my limbs. I am currently sporting a a very attractive white strip across my chest left from the seat-belt. Being cool comes at a price.
Horrified by the traffic, I decided to leave early on Sunday to drive back to DC. On my way down, I stopped at a food plaza and, OMG, I saw the group from the Jersey Shore (not that I have watched that intellectually stimulating programming, but I have seen enough of them in the tabloids, which I read religiously)! Whoa! Wait, no! It's not them, it's a bunch of kids from NJ going to the shore. Then I turned around and saw another group, JUST LIKE THEM. And another, and another. So, it turns out that people like that DO exist in NJ in real life. Who knew...
I made it back to DC in record 4 hours. I was slowed down momentarily by a huge minivan full of animated Indian aunties who had hogged the left lane on I-95, driving 60 m/h (good for them!), and would not budge to my honking and flashing of lights. When exasperated I finally took them over on the right, they all yelled and gesticulated madly at me with what I gather were not especially kind words. I waved back pleasantly. That drove them into a fury. I sped on happily.
Son has been moved into the toddlers-over-2 room at daycare--I believe he is happier there than he was in his previous room with the smaller kiddos. He is being very clingy when I drop him off and refuses to let me go. I am puzzled by this since he loved his previous daycare and didn't give a flying fig about my presence there. Even though I love the daycare facility and the women who work there, I must say that I see the difference between his previous place, which was a Montessori school and here. In the school, they actually taught them things; here, it seems they just get to play a lot. I did burst with pride yesterday though--as I entered his room, I noticed a big easel with a huge yellow abstract painting, the type that made Picasso famous. It had Son's name on it. My pride subsided somewhat whe I saw that part of the abstract painting had found its way also on Son's shirt and pants and shoes. Oh well, sacrifices in the name of art!


  1. I thought u gave up the blog after joining the service. Nice to see EMIL blossoming into an abstract painting art at this tender age. I am sure u both will settle down fast in the new environment. has the 900lbs luggage arrived< I never knew it takes days to reach such a short distance!

  2. Just for the record, those Jersey-ers only live in the north. We're normal south of Cherry Hill....
    Love your blog, and can't wait to see where you land!

  3. @Appa: I will maintain this throughout the entire journey, whenever, wherever that is!
    @Beth: I LOVE that you call yourself Jersey Beth :0 And yes, I know that--I used to work on aproject that took me to Cherry Hill often--beautiful area!

  4. Personally, I haven't bothered going to the OBC in years and never watched post videos...though my daughter used to watch Mary Poppins in one of the video rooms while I did research.

    I'm guessing you've looked at the PPIs and the post reports (which really aren't very objective), but have you tried the Real Post Reports at www.Talesmag.com (sorry if this is old news). Any expat at any post can contribute, so you generally get a better overall picture. They may also have movie recommendations and/or book recommendations.

    You could also do a shout-out on FS Parent or Livelines for personal home videos. The video program you mentioned is actually run by FSYF, the Foreign Service Youth Foundation and there is an annual contest to determine the winners. Guess something is better than nothing :-)

  5. @Jen: we read talesmag religiously, so we got that one covered; the idea for FSparents and livelines is good though.

  6. After reading this, I'm glad I didn't bother with the videos. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. Animated Indian AuntiesAugust 21, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Learn to drive, white girl!