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January 6th, 2009

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I had an odd day. I spent most of it in the company of the President of this place, his cabinet, and the diplomatic corps. Representational duties. I still really hate these things, but it's one of the challenges that I set for myself this year - get out more and schmooze. So whereas I would have passed on them all recently, I forced myself to go. I sat through most of the day and two observing and have concluded:

1. I don't have a personality cut out for diplomacy. I am an introvert by nature and prefer behind-the-scenes stuff. So it will definintely be work for me to meet my challenge.

2. Diplomats are far from the dapper, well-dressed folks I'd always imagined. I really marveled at the downright dumpy and sometimes weird appearance of many of the folks I spent the day with. The Africans, for the most part, were well dressed. A few exceptions: one old dude dressed in white, from head to toe, pimp style. I think he even had a gold tooth. And another lady wearing a lovely African outfit but with 3-inch platform shoes. ?? They should have been a couple, now that I think about it. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs official translator, a hulking man, was decked out with an outrageous striped suite, shiny blue tie and cravate, and diamond (faux, I'm sure) tie pin. Tacky, tacky, tacky. The Westerners just looked tired and wrinkly. Not particularly impressive, that's for sure.
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