Monday, August 19, 2013

Transitions

I've left Kabul and am enjoying several weeks of Home Leave before starting my new job in DC. There are several layers of transitions I'm working through. Strange as it may seem, it was a bit difficult leaving Kabul behind. Ok, not really leaving Kabul behind, but leaving behind good people and unfinished work. I suppose there's a little guilt as well. Anne Smedinghoff came home in a box and I came home in business class. How is that fair?

Transitioning to the real world is not as traumatic as some might expect (I've done this before, so I was ready to face the abundance of choices available in the real world instead of selecting from two brands of men's deodorant available at the ISAF PX). It only took me a few days to get used to having to pay for things. I've been enjoying the Home Leave version of real life - doing household projects, preparing my own meals with fresh ingredients, and catching up on the latest American TV shows I've never seen (and a few classic reruns as well).

My next transition will be moving to DC. In the 8 years that I've been in the Foreign Service, all but 2 years were spent overseas and those 2 years were in Arlington for training. This will be my first time working and living in DC. Do I need to buy pantyhose, or can I get by at Main State with bare legs in the summer? How do I find an apartment and where's the best place to live? Will I be able to find a good Zumba class nearby?

Is there a Washington DC area studies class at FSI that I can sign up for?

4 comments:

Cyndi said...

Hi! I've been reading your blog for a few years - since I initially grew interested in the Foreign Service. I've lived in DC for three years and am more than happy to offer recommendations on neighborhoods, restaurants, zumba classes, farmers markets, activities, etc!

I covered the State Department as a news producer for almost two years, and you'll probably want to live off the orange or blue metro lines (Foggy Bottom - expensive, Eastern Market, beautiful).

Good luck on the new assignment! :)

Mom said...

I still can't believe your new apartment - whenever you get it - won't have a guest room (you've already decided)....

Unknown said...

Best of luck in your transition and your move to DC. I haven't been down there in a few years and hope to pay a visit sometime soon (especially now that I have someone to visit).

Much love,
Ally

Anonymous said...

I just clicked on your blog by chance. I have been following the two crabs blog for a while and I wanted to check out another. I have been to Kabul and I've also been to Baghdad. I have had problems with survivor’s guilt it is rough and can eat away at you, if you dwell on it. Then one night after a few rounds at the bar, when one of my buddies was getting it bad, I asked him if it was you would you want him to feel like you do? Little haard to follow I know, I am not a wirter. I don't know if that will help you but I just felt I had to say it, or type it in this case. I hope the best for you, and keep your head down.