Holy Crap. Tonight, we went to the Syrian National Day Celebration like good little diplomats. There were exactly THREE female diplomats at this function; and all three were western. Now as I have mentioned before, I'm from Montana - if you haven't been there, you probably wouldn't know this, but people from Montana are TALL. I am 5'9" - the lady I was with was also tall (not as tall as me, but blonde, so that upped the freak factor).
Needless to say, we stuck out. The night started out okay, but a little intense. There were paparazzi - everywhere! I learned after we arrived at the hotel, that these functions are pretty much the social scene in Khartoum. The who's who of Sudan - don't worry, I didn't know them either- were supposed to be there. So you walk in the door, and it is like a sea of flashes going off and TV cameras in your face. You go through the receiving line and the camera man follows you.
So naturally, all I can think about is that the camera adds at LEAST 10 pounds and I couldn't remember if I had put lipstick on before we went! (IT'S KHARTOUM; the shit literally slides off your face when you walk outside in the heat!!) So then I'm like, GREAT!! If this comes out in print, my boss is going to have a FIELD DAY with these pictures. They are going to be plastered ALL OVER the office - a diagram of my chin(s) and neck roll attached via post-it notes.
Because we were the only girls at this event and my friend was a pretty blonde - the cameras followed us everywhere!! So we had to stand for HOURS sucking in, making sure our heads were tilted just right so that we didn't have multiple chins or a googley eye, and stiff (obviously fake) smiles plastered on our faces.
And then the speeches started.
They went on and on about conspiracies and oppressors who want to colonize the Arab world. Let me tell you - it was really awkward to be the colonizing oppressor in the room. (In hindsight, perhaps seersucker was not the best choice of fabric to be wearing to this event.)
Every time the speaker would yell oppressor (a word I quickly picked up in Arabic after my friend pointed it out) - the cameras would all swing towards us. SINCE WHEN did any chicks oppress people!?!? WTF! There are colonizing oppressors over in the other corner Jackass! (I totally wanted to just point accusingly at any random French or British person in attendance, but those (smarter) people had already left. CURSES!)
So thankfully, the speeches ended and there was a painful moment of silence while everyone stared at us...(crickets)... and then the dancers came on stage and everything went back to normal. The Syrian Ambassador came over and asked if we were enjoying ourselves, trying to usher us to the buffet. We all smiled and said we were great.
And you guys thought The Real Housewives of (insert city) were two-faced! However, in my quest to fight for my country, I littered, spilled my drink, and stole a plate of their desserts on my way out.
I do what I can.
Get thee to an independent bookstore.
1 hour ago