You'd think foreign service officers - getting to travel around the world and having such different backgrounds and all - would be interesting people. Coming up on our first month here, I'm becoming a bit concerned.
Almost whenever I go out with Natalie and a group of her colleagues, inevitably the conversation starts to head toward work. Then after about 20 minutes of I-275 (not a highway near Cincinnati, by the way) and 214b, I feel myself slipping into a coma.
On one particular evening, I think I sat through any where between two to four hours of such talk. I couldn't fall asleep that night because I had just spent the evening sleeping with my eyes open. Something I always thought was just an expression to describe boredom, but no, it really is possible.
Now granted, most of the officers here are on their first post, so they have less travels to discuss. But still, we're talking about at least 25 years of life experiences to share, and instead they opt to talk about the guy who shows up for a visitation visa with his "concubine" and their children. (Actually, that was one of the more interesting ones, but it is like a five-minute story or less to tell. Now imagine enough of those five-minute stories to drag in access of two hours. I'm drifting away just starting to think about it.)
Sometimes given the option of meeting up for drinks in the evening or staying home by myself, the latter is more appealing.
Spouses, what do you do? Do you just glaze over and nurse the drink in your hand (or start drinking more)? Do you attempt to hijack the conversation into something interesting? Or is this interesting to you and I'm just being a jerk? Or this is boring to you, and I'm still just being a jerk?
Not having a television, I can deal with. Being relatively isolated, I can deal with. Missing some of the familiar luxuries the States offer, I can deal with. An unforeseeable future of conversations about visa applicants, I cannot deal with. Please tell me this is just because everyone here is relatively new to the foreign service and this post.
P.S. No offense intended toward our Hermosillian colleagues.
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