The Adventures of April

We shall not cease from exploration - And the end of all our exploring - Will be to arrive where we started - And know the place for the first time. -- T.S. Eliot

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dinner at the Deputy Chief of Mission's House

A few weeks ago a new intern arrived in the Political Section, Adam. Like the rest of us, he didn't have a place to live and landed a sweet deal - staying with the Deputy Chief of Mission. The DCM is second in control on the Embassy, directly under the Ambassador. Needless to say, it is a very high position, and one that comes with a pretty nice pad. Every day, Adam is waited upon by six maids who serve him breakfast and dinner and pack him a jealousy-inspiring lunch.

The Interns, from left to right: Gabe (American Citizen Services), Jeff (Consular Services - Fraud), Carolyn (Jeff's Wife), Yours Truly, Anthony (Foreign Commercial Service), Adam (Political Section)

Adam was nice enough to arrange a dinner for the interns at the DCM's house. I think we were all little nervous and intimidated; it was formal and required that the guys wear suits and ties. The DCM's house was very nice and provided us with about a dozen different options for seating areas to enjoy some appetizers.

This time with feeling - jazz hands! Some people have a better understanding of the concept of jazz hands than others... way to rock, Carolyn!

There was a lot nervous energy among the interns - not wanting to screw up, trying to avoid awkward silences, choosing the right utensil, etc. We sat down to eat dinner and Gabe remarked "well, this is formal!" Smooth. During dinner we did a good job of keeping the conversation rolling. Second hand, the stories aren't funny, but at the time, I had tears in my eyes.

Relaxing after dinner - Gabe sabotaging my efforts at a candid photo.

I think we all did a great job eating the first few courses, but the desert provided more of a challenge. It was a pudding/fruit medley in a little chocolate cup. Screw the 'chocolate' part - that thing was cup-o'-steel. The little desert spoon was no match for its edges, and manners were not going to get in the way of me and a cup made of chocolate! At first I thought I was the only one having trouble, but then I looked over and Gabe was double fisting it with a fork and a spoon. I tried using the spoon like a chisel and hitting the top of it with my hand, but I think we all sucumbed to stuffing large, awkwardly shaped peices of chocolate into our mouths while the DCM was looking away.

The DCM excused herself after dinner and then nervous chatter and laughter ensued. We played Apples to Apples and had a good time. It was a great intern bonding experience and will make me chuckle for some time to come.


At 7:20 PM, April 12, 2007, Blogger Tbot said...

my favourite part was when the dog walked into the room! (next time, follow that puppy!)


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