Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wait for Me!!!

While I'm slogging along in language training, interesting things are happening in Nepal. Our new ambassador arrived within the past week. A teenager from Big Bear is currently scaling Mt. Everest. My housing assignment has been made (is it really necessary to have "Pinky House" emblazoned on a bronze plaque outside my gate?).

And things are heating up politically. Journalists are being attacked. Nobody believes that a new constitution will be ready by next month's deadline. The Maoists have started military-style training of their youth cadres (and then they express disappointment that the US government won't take them off the terrorist list).

I guess the post-Baghdad adrenaline crash has affected my reasoning because all I can think of when I read about what's going on in Nepal is - "I hope they don't fix everything before I get there!"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'd like to report a missing sense of humor.

Several things trigger a bad mood for me: PMS, hunger, and a lack of chocolate (heaven help the world if all three happen at once). I can usually tell when the cranky takes over because I have angry thoughts that the world is conspiring to ruin my day, e.g. "The people in front of me are walking so slowly just to piss me off." And if the vending machine gets snagged on the last Snickers bar, I think, "Why is this happening to me???"

Yes, I can be a drama queen.

What inspired this post? I'm in month 7 of a 10 month one-on-one language training. Some days my sense of humor is strained past its limit.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Flash Forward

The other night while on a tour of the West Wing, we stopped in the press room. The lights were on, just as if an actual press conference were taking place. Standing by the press secretary's podium I looked out at where the cameras usually are and glanced down at the seats with nameplates saying "Helen Thomas" and "Reuters."

I indulged my imagination just enough to picture myself in a less glamorous version of this press room answering questions from Nepali journalists about American policy. In Nepali. "Ameriki aankama aatankawad samuhaa nuhuna, maowadile hinsa chodnu gaarcha."

I don't know how realistic my flash forward is, but it did ignite excitement (and, to be honest, a little anxiety) about my future work in Kathmandu. I hope all the pain of language training will prepare me to speak to Nepali audiences somewhat intelligently.

I have no fantasies about standing behind a podium like this in DC sometime in the future. State Department Spokesman is not a title I crave. But that's another blog post.