Monday, March 28, 2011

The week that was too much

As of today, I am officially a Foreign Service officer--today was my first day, appropriately filled with many, many many information sessions and mountains of paper and fingerprints. Today was the culmination of a life-long dream and a year-long grueling examination and selection process. I would like to take this moment and tell you how incredibly honored and moved I am to have this unique opportunity to serve the country that has given me so much in the past 15 years. America is truly the land of everyone. Anyone who has the ambition, the stamina, the imagination and the mental strength to conjure up a dream and follow it, can come here and make it a reality. I can only hope that I will represent our country's interests with the skill and dignity its people deserve.

The week that led up to this day was, to put it mildly, rather busy I should think.
--I came back from NYC on the fabulous Bolt Bus ($15 each way, includes wireless Internet and power outlets and cozy leather seats) on Wednesday night.
--On Thursday, I spent the day shopping and preparing for the Lend-A-Hand-India happy hour, which I then helped set up and get started that same evening. One Martini, straight up, was consumed. (Thank you, fabulous M and A for coming and supporting!)
--On Friday, we took Son to the Diplomat's Aunt and Uncle place in Maryland, deposited him there and drove off to Eastern Market to have dinner with friends. Exhausted, I swore to go to bed the minute we came back but there I found Auntie watching "Red Dragon" and the combination of a heavily tattoo-ed Ralph Fiennes and a fiercely cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter proved irresistible. Plus, there was a monstrously large bag of Costco chili chips made available to me. I finally dragged my fatigued, profusely spiced up body to bed.
--On Saturday night, I had the fabulous pleasure of helping set up a pre-happy hour for my Foreign Service class. It was fantastic to see folks and put some names to faces especially since we had spent the past 3 weeks emailing each other inane messages and questions over a google group devoted to the class. I got there at 6.30pm and mentioned casually to the Diplomat (who stayed at home to babysit, giving me morose looks as I was getting ready) that I'd be back by 8.30 max. Many fun conversations, a rather embarrassing money collection episode, a scotch and a cigar later, I finally made it home by 10.30 pm.
--On Sunday, we were invited to a party for all families heading out to Bangladesh this year. I baked 2 pies for the party and was in the midst of the third one when the inevitable happened. It was supposed to be a real marvel, the one that people would remember me by and talk admiringly behind my back. I (very laboriously) made the crust from scratch and then put it to chill in the freezer. And yes, you guessed it--when I opened the freezer 10 mins later, the darned thing flew right into my face and fell into million little crusty pieces all over the floor. I felt like pouring the prepared custard over my head in irritation. So, two pies it was. After that party, we quickly drove off to the welcome reception for my FS class sponsored by one of the preceding classes. I just want to mention that I had been wearing 4-inch high heeled boots since 2 pm that day and it was pushing 7 pm at that point. Not to mention that Son refused to let go of my legs/hid under my dress during half of the time we were at the reception, which was a bit inconvenient since I was trying to come off as really classy, elegant and poised. Instead, I ended up trying to balance off a large martini glass with one hand, remove the child from underneath my skirt with the other and smile effortlessly all at the same time.
--Needless to say, today the day ended with (yet another) happy hour with my classmates in downtown Washington. Apparently,tomorrow will have the same fate. I am not sure that even I can cope with that kind of a schedule...

Incidentally, last night the Diplomat had a dream that he was being chased by giant live baklavas. You make your own conclusions...

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