Sunday, August 10, 2014

Diplomatic Mail

Male Trailing Abs

11st 6 (pesky lower fat on abs) alcohol units 0 (same old same) Jamaican woodbines 5 (that's me being healthy).

 

The diplomatic bag arrived at HQ in Atlanta last week. Inside the pouch was some mail from an ardent reader of the blog.

 

Hi Alex

 

Have just been laughing at your tales of arriving in Bangkok as a DfID spouse and how far down the pecking order you were. I think as the wife of someone who works for the NCA (National Crime Agency, used to be SOCA), we're even further down!

 

 

Anyway - I am writing a 'handbook' for trailing spouses - my background is that I am the daughter of a diplomat, was in the FCO myself for a time and posted to Kingston (I also did a short stint in Bangkok and Phuket as a press officer following the tsunami in 2004), then married my husband and had a couple of kids and as a family we have moved to Islamabad and St Lucia. We are now back in the UK.


The book includes loads of anecdotes, tips and stories from many different 'accompanying partners' to give it it's more PC term - and covers things like practicalities, health, children, schooling, when things go wrong etc.


I have a section about male trailing spouses and my question to you was whether you would mind me including a link to your blog and/or using a couple of quotes from it? I think it's a very honest read, something you don't get a lot of in the "official" information.

 

I do love a cheery letter in the diplomatic bag. Do I mind a mention in her book, a link to my blog? No, not at all. So I happily supplied this charming NCA spouse with my Skype ID for a banter.  Somebody is writing a book about the phenomenon of the trailing spouse. About time too.

 

UN office in Bangkok AKA "The Croissant"

 

I also got an email from an old colleague of the wife. He was back in Bangkok, on official biz with the International Labour Organization (ILO), and eager to hook up for a night out on the ha-ha-ha. Unfortunately, he likes a drink and I gave up boozing almost 4 years ago. So he started to bitch about my permanent state of sobriety and these books that he had lent me in 2010. I am usually good about returning books to people but this is how he broached the subject. Bearing in mind, I had not seen this high ranking diplomat for three plus years.

 

One of the books he lent me (since returned). Al's verdict: unfunny

 

What about my books? The ones which which you never returned, in spite of several emails/calls for them back. What the hell, I figure I'd take another stab at it - if you're still in Bangkok, mail them to me or drop them off at 50/65 soi langsuan (langsuanville condo), postal code 10330


Fucking shit book (returned YEARS ago!)



Alas, I was happily bivouacked on the other side of the world in Atlanta. I checked my bookshelf.  There was only one of his books, the other two I had returned. Several emails and calls for their return? That I did not remember. This was how I responded. 


Hey J***


We are in Atlanta, GA.  Been here since Aug 2012 and your book on North Korea is still on my shelf!




Pictured above, the book that was lent to me by the man from the ILO. Even though it has pictures, I have yet to read it. Why did he give me a book (with pictures) to read about Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea? Because at the time, way back in 2010-2011, I was planning a job for FHM in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The gig came to nothing because I stopped doing any work for FHM in April 2011. Why did I do that? FHM's parent company, Bauer Media, had a beef with the NUJ about syndication rights. And my union having a beef with Bauer over skanking contributors was reason enough to end the affair.

   

The book on my shelf was sitting unread. And I was only too happy to mail it to Bangkok.  But my old friend went a bit expletive deleted.



Depressed? Drunk at work? You might be suffering from diplomacy



HOTLANTA EH? ENJOY!

 

There were not 1 but 3 books I in good faith lent to you, I say you ought to donate them to the local library. Otherwise, enjoy you scouser cunt! 

 

Man, who the fuck is this American calling a scouser cunt? You NEVER call a fella from Liverpool out the blue with that kind of language. Not unless you want to get sparked (knocked the fuck out) or jooked (stabbed) with a West-Indian ratchet. And talking the big man on email, what an utter fucking pussyhole!  Maybe this jackwad was stressed at work and taking out his temper tantrum on me? Or, perhaps he was drunk on the job?  The latter reason was more likely. He was a diplomat. And diplomats are a supercilious breed who like to drink because diplomacy can get mind numbingly boring.  Thank God that I do not have to deal with such types anymore. 

 

 

When Diplomats had Wit

 

But are these dark days for diplomats and the art of diplomacy in general?  The answer is yes. Small conflicts are being waged all over the world, capitalism is failing the masses, extremism is on the rise and diplomatic bodies and officials are reduced to heads in a talking shop.  Welcome to the New World Idiocracy. But whatever your woes, just don't email the Male Trailing Spouse out of the blue and burden him with your professional insecurities and personal inadequacies. You'll live a happier life if you don't.