Wednesday, October 28, 2009

God I Miss Milk Duds....

No, that's not the subject of this post - that's just a fun fact I thought you needed to know.  It's all part of my new segment entitled, "Getting to Know Michel Better than you Ever Wanted To and all with Facts You Already Probably Knew."  It's gonna be a hit fo sho!

Okay, so I was chatting with Liz today, and I was telling her all about my day and, after I noticed that Liz was continuing on her conversation while I had my own - it's why we're BFF's.  Because we understand and accept that the other is likely not listening.  It's the beauty of our friendship -- when I realized that it has been a while since I have posted about my day here.  And I am sure you want to have a snapshot of the exciting world of (my version of) how diplomacy works.

Here you go:   Today, I went to a meeting with a very nice Sudanese man in his office.  There I was, minding my own business, pretending to listen, and having a nice conversation that actually sounded kinda like I knew what I was talking about and I was even throwing in a few big words there for good measure to demonstrate my smarticity. 

And then his assistant brings in the tray of amenities for the meeting.  It was a big tray of 2 cups of tea, one piece of what looked like USDA approved chocolate cake and what also appeared to be a Cinnabon Cinnamon roll.

So then I'm all distracted, right?! Because HOLY SHIT! Was that a CINNABON!  It totally smelled warm and toasty.  So i can't really focus on what he is saying, and the man just kept on talking....but I can't even listen because I now have this raging internal debate in my head where I am trying to game out whether I should go for the chocolate cake or the Cinnabon - because they were on two separate plates.  I mean, the cake was clearly a larger portion, and had what appeared to be fudge frosting on the top, but the Cinnabon was warm and smelled like heaven. 

It was a Damned Diplomatic Dilemma!!!

So then, as he is talking I'm trying to game out which one he will likely go for, and should I make a run for it, because everybody knows that Cinnamon rolls are notoriously iffy.  They are either REALLY GOOD, or taste like bread.  But it's UNPOSSIBLE to tell by looking at gotta try it, and hope for the best.  BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, I've been burned by foreign cakes before.  They look all tastylicious, but when you bite into it, there was obviously no sugar involved in the baking process, but for some reason there is a lotta what tastes like white bread with crisco, in it instead of sugar. 

So then the man appeared to realize that I was staring intently at the table and not at him - and he says, "Would you like some tea?"


Although I was screaming this on the inside, I am a trained professional, so on the outside I said, "Oh, thank you.  That would be lovely.  What? Oh, no.  No sugar.  I am not a big sugar fan." 

So then I'm really freaked now out because, WTF!?  WHY DID I JUST SAY THAT!?  What if he offers me the damn cinnamon roll because he KNOWS there is no damn sugar in it and I'll be stuck with a piece of dry bread with crisco on top while he scarfs down the cakilicious chocolatty goodness in front of me!

But he just hands me my sugarless tea and then grabs his fork and says, "Shall we?"  But then I realized that the chocolate cake was closer to him, and it totally appeared to me at the time that he was going to for it.  So, unable to control myself when faced with sugarless tepid tea and a stupid cinnamon roll, I grabbed my fork like I was in some kinda gansta gunfight, and then made an awkward lunge toward the cake.

I honestly think I might have freaked him out a little. 

He goes, "Please.  You like chocolate?  Help yourself."  (I totally swear I heard sarcasm) So then I said, "Oh no, I don't care. I like both the same " (WTF?!  WHAT KIND OF STUPID LIE IS THAT!?  Seriously! Now I'm starting to get pissed at myself!  What the hell is wrong with me?)

So, then he says, "Why don't we just put them both on the same plate and we will share. ... and it will be the start of sharing between our countries."

February 28, 2009, at 11:22 am; the official time diplomatic relations were severed. 

I think I have already articulated my feelings about sharing.  I DO NOT SHARE!  What part of that is not clear?

So then I'm torn between how to respond diplomatically to yet another touchy foreign relations situation.  -- I mean, do I throw the cinnamon roll at him and storm out of there in a huff? Or do I just take huge bites of the cake (as if I were back on the "healthy living" plan that I was on (back in the day) when I decided that I was going to allow myself to have dessert, but I would limit myself to three bites of it, and then I pretty much figured out how to eat an entire piece of cake in three bites.)??   I mean, my options were pretty limited at this point and the fate of US-Sudanese relations were resting in my hands!

I KNOW!  How exciting is this story!?!?

So then I take a bite of the cake - and it ROCKS.  So, emboldened now, I take a bite of the Cinnamon Roll and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, that might be CINNABON!  Obviously, I now suspect that Sudanese Government is working on a secret Cheesecake Factory Program with a Cinnabon research institute. I mean, there are a lot of indications here.

And then I hear this noise in the background, and I realize that he is actually talking to me and may have been talking to me the whole time while I was trying to determine whether the stuff really was that good, or whether I just too far removed from the real thing - like you know how that sugar free jello pudding is really yummy unless and until you taste the sugared up jello pudding? just like that....

So then I wonder for a minute if he might have said something that maybe I should have paid attention to, like, "We intend to go to war with America and I want you to know why."  Or, "I showed the terrorists where you live, they said they'll be there Tuesday."  But then I figured that if it was important enough, he'd tell me again.

So then, he puts down his fork and sits back on the couch to continue his discussion and I totally had free reign of the desserts.  And like some kind of tourettes victim, I blurted out, "HA! I totally get the frosting! SUCKAH"

True story.  I shit you not (on this one).

And he was silent... and he stared at me... and I think his mouth might have been hanging open....

And he said totally deadpan, "Typical American!  Taking the best part and leaving Sudan with the dry leftovers."

So then I was silent... and stared at him... and my mouth might have been hanging open... 

And then he laughed.  And then I told him that he scared me because I was never good at cake metaphors!  And we both congratulated ourselves our on ability to solve tense situations with our dessertey wisdom.

And then he tells me that he has always loved American cakes since he went to school in the States. SO naturally, he's my new BFF (Sorry Liz, but this man speaks "Cake" fluently.)  Plus, we also agreed that words like committmmenntt and itinerariarary were too hard to try to spell, so we would just try use smaller, easier words -- So I learned something very valuable today being overseas, living in a different culture: NOBODY can spell that shit! It's not just me.

Spell Check -- making government employees all over the world appear smarter since 1996.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Really Hope There Isn't Some Kinda Test Where They Review Your Ipod Tunes Library and Then Judge You Because I Just Realized I'm a Freak.

Okay, before I begin, I totally cannot seem to grasp the rules of Capitalization in Titles.  (See?? I capped it like I think it should be done, and when it is all short and shit, it's pretty easy - but what if there was a "then" in that, or a "you"?? Do those get capitalized??  WTF grammar police!?  Where are you when I need you?)  PLUS, titles are hard.  You totally gotta try to be all creative and make some pithy reference that makes sense for what you're going to talk about - and that means you have to know what you're going to talk about - It's frankly exhausting.  AND, as you all probably know by now, I'm waaay too lazy to look that shit up and read through to the end - Therefore, I'm just going to capitalize random words and call it a day.  And I will likely also continue my love affair with run-on sentences too.  Deal with it. 

Soooo, last night I'm driving home after working really late at the stupid embassy and I had a little wee bit o' road rage.  Turns out, I should probably get a driver to take me home when I'm really tired and crabby.  (For future reference and the state of relations between the US and Sudan, someone write that down).  ANYWAY, in Sudan they don't actually obey any traffic laws and there is no courtesy driven social contract.  These people just effin go, and they drive on whatever side of the road they feel is most convenient. I get that.  I usually just take advantage of that and do whatever the hell I want.  In truth, I was kinda enjoying having no speed limit, obeying traffic lights if you feel the mood coming on - but last night...i'd had enough. 

So I'm turning left onto some road whose name can never be known because Sudan has not decided on a name for its streets yet.  Everyone calls it whatever the hell they feel like.  So for your reference, it was the road just past the burned out donkey carcass and just before the large pile of tires near the airport....(are you with me?) SO anyway, I make a run for it when there is a break in traffic and there is a little amjat (which is like a little wee van-bus) that decides HE wants to turn left and goes out onto the side of the road that I am trying to turn.  SO THEN that guy gets PISSED AT ME because apparently, I didn't get the memo that he has the effin right of way because he is in a hurry.

So he starts yelling out the window and waving his arm at me.  he's all fired up.

So what did I do??  I stopped the car in the middle of the street.  I had to GET OUT because the windows do not roll down in my stupid armored car, which is very frustrating, fyi - and I screamed at him, asking what the hell is his problem, and would he like to explain to me why the hell he thinks he should be allowed to turn from MY SIDE of the road.   And I pretty much created a scene.  However, that guy didn't speak english, so he just stared at me like I was "mashnuna" (crazy lady) and then he got pulled over by the traffic cop. 

I think I scared the shit out of him. He totally didn't see that one coming.

ANYWAY, my point is that when I headed back to my car, I realized that I had Miley Cyrus' new song that OH MY GODDESS made me listen to and then got me hooked, so it is not my fault. She's a pusher --  blaring out of the Ipod over the car stereo and it was pretty loud. 

So I would like to apologize to America for giving the Sudanese population that the American people are all a bunch of teen aged girls.

Nobody could have known.   It was unknowable.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dear GSO,

It has come to my attention that you have "fixed" the dryer in my residence.  I sincerely appreciate your assistance in this regard, however, I would like to note that my dryer was not broken.  Rather, it was the washing machine.  As I specified in the work order I submitted approximately 3 weeks ago, wherein I included the technical description of the problem that the middle thingey is not spinning in the spin cycle.  I guess I should also clarify that the miggle thingey is also not spinning during the wash cycle.  As a result, the clothes do not actually wash so much as soak up water and make laundry soap crystals on the clothing. 

I would also like to bring to your attention that my dryer no longer works after you fixed it.  Although I fully admit I am not a qualified washer/dryer repairman, perhaps the dryer did not need a middle thingey to be fixed?  But this is just a guess on my part. 

In addition, I would like to just raise a few more issues for you to consider when you finally do come to my residence to repair both the washer and the dryer:

*  When I commented that the AC in the bedroom does not cool the upstairs, I was not asking you to send someone over to turn down the main thermostat to 42 degrees farenheit in order to cool the bedroom.  Granted, the bedroom was markedly cooler; however, there were snow flurries in the living room.  Perhaps we could come to a better solution?

* When I asked someone to check out the AC splitpack unit in the kitchen because I thought there was a bird or something equally scary running around inside it, I did not mean for you to simply plug up the hole on the outside.  What I wanted, and perhaps I should have been more clear, was for you to remove said animal from INSIDE the unit and THEN plug up the hole.  Please return soonest to remove the AC Monster (because God only knows what part of Africa got in there when we weren't looking) before it DIES in there and I demand a new house because this one will be too yucky to live in anymore.

* My request for storage for towels and soaps has been filled.   However, for your future reference, pretty much nobody puts a dresser in a bathroom these days.  Perhaps you should consider other storage options? I hear IKEA has some nifty options that can be easily assembled by someone who is not me.

Once again, I appreciate your continued assistance in this regard and look forward to your new and half-assed solutions to my housing needs.

Best regards,


Saturday, October 24, 2009

After All the Posts About How Sudan Sucks, Here is One About Why it Doesn't....

So I thought I would post a post with good news for a change.  One where I was NOT ranting and raving about some unspeakable outrage perpetrated against me by someone.  I KNOW, right?!?  Exciting change of pace for me!

But then I was blocked from Blogger for the last three days.  I would try to go to my homepage and it would give me this big error message I assume was about why it didn't want me to write a nice post for you guys, but it was all in Arabic except for the words "Blogger Help Group", but then I wasn't going to go join some 12 step blogging program and have them ask me to stand up in front of the crowd and explain my problem, "Hi.  I'm Michel.  I'm unable to log onto blogger for some reason that can never be known because it is all in Arabic and I can't read Arabic, well, technically I can read the letters and the numbers, but I don't know what they MEAN unless it says some sort of greeting or is calling me a crazy lady (Which I don't think it was, but I gotta admit I didn't look that closely to really check b/c that is a LOTTA work)" and then have some jackass ask me why I didn't ask someone at the Embassy who does speak arabic (your neighbor perhaps, who speaks it fluently) translate it for me - because then I would have to go into the whole why I'm so lazy thing and that tends to take FOREVER and then people are not so willing to help me when they know that most of my problem is simply because I was too lazy to do anything and had decided to just wait it out because I was sure that eventually, our blogging standoff would come to an end.  (Someone check! That might have been the biggest run-on sentence EVER!)  

But I was right.  I ignored it and my blogging embargo was ended. 

SO, I'm here to tell you some good news (following a small rant that was none of my doing). . . I found ALL the babies homes.  It is amazing what one bawl-baby diplomat can accomplish.  I should actually think about using this skill in my official meetings.  The Sudanese will be so uncomfortable that I am crying in their office that they might actually sign all the peace agreements just to get me to leave!  Admit it!! It's BRILLIANT!!!   (Seriously, I'm going to try it - I managed to get one man to take all 3 dingos so they wouldn't be alone!!!   You know what they say, "If it ain't broke! Don't fix it!" )

So this morning I went out to say goodbye to the babies (which I have been doing for the last 3 days, frankly because I cannot seem to tell when the people say they are coming to pick them up, and I don't want to be caught off guard and not have snuggled them before they left me) and little Stinky's eyes have opened.  Both he and Squeaker are now able to kinda walk - although they keep falling over because their bellies are so big that I think it unbalances them.  They honestly might be the fattest babies in all of Sudan.  The guards seem to think they are amazingly big....So here are your last pics of the babies!


 Stinky, eating (again) -- He totally takes after me!

Although you can't really tell, Squeaker (the all brown one) is totally complaining and that little guy is LOUD!  (He was pissed that Stinky was touchin' him) . . . He also totally takes after me because I don't like people bothering me when I'm trying to nap either!

So, goodbye sweet Pippy, Riley and Jinglebells....Goodbye sweet Stinky and Squeaker....Goodbye Smelly Pirate Whore Mommy Dog! I think I may miss you most of all!! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Got Nothin!

So I'll copy this email I received and hope you "enjoyed" it as much as I did.....

Looks Good; right???

We were raised on HERSHEY chocolate as kids and even into adulthood. I will never eat it again. I hope from now on you will throw yours away whenever you are given any. It seems as though nothing is safe to eat anymore.

This is what happens when you eat HERSHEY chocolate!

It could happen to you, your family and friends!!

HERSHEY Chocolate can cause

Warn everyone!!  

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Year of the Dingo

Well, I think we all knew this day was coming -- and I was just hoping I could ignore it, and it would go away (which is how I like to solve all my problems, frankly) -- but the Embassy has found out that we have been harboring a pack of dingos in the housing compound.  Apparently, that is not allowed on USG property.  So, we have to now either take them into our houses and let them out only on a leash, or find them homes.

Yes, you heard me.  Apparently, we have leash laws in Sudan now too.   Soon, they won't let us drink and drive here or self-medicate on prescription drugs you bought at the local pharmacy because you saw an ad on the internet where the people looked like they were happy and thin.  (Now I realize that I should probably READ the articles where it tells you what the drug is FOR, but I'm more of a big picture person.  I can't let myself get bogged down in the details.)

Normally, you'd think I would be despondent.  I have about 10 days to find homes for 6 stray dingos.  Some of you new to this blog might not be aware that I am a crazy dog lady and wouldn't remember that I actually got into a HUGE fight with my hubby when we watched a Discovery channel special about a super-volcano eruption when he told me that, No, he wasn't going to get a "special mask" for Kernel and Jack to use when we had to walk to Ohio to save ourselves.  I KNOW! RIGHT??

Shit! I'm still mad.   HATEFUL! 

That reminds me, I really should get a special mask made for doggie noses and send them to the guy who is taking care of the boys in the States.  You never know when a huge volcano will erupt and you have to walk to Ohio. 

So anyway, I'm actually NOT despondent because I have a plan.  Well, a few plans.  (My plans don't always seem to work....) I've already convinced the local guard who loved the Smelly Pirate Ho Mommy Dog to take her and the babies.  (And a 50 lb bag of dogfood).  So there's three down in just one day.  Now we intend to harass the others (who like the babies) to take them home with them and just let them run around their yards. I can totally do this.  Even the local guards are freaking out that we cannot let them run around in the street because the Sudanese Government will have them killed.  Someone will take them.

Who wouldn't want little Pippy, Riley and Jinglebells?!?!?!

In hindsight, we probably should have trained them to do some kinda circus tricks so that they could earn a living. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

OMG! My Lie Came TRUE!

You know the old adage about where if you say something enough times that you start to believe it and then it comes true?? What? Is that just me?   Is that not an adage?  Wait.... Maybe I don't know what the hell an adage is....

ANYWAY, so I was spouting my "justifications" about how my clothes were all shrinking and how I wasn't getting fat, but it was actually society that was labeling me.  WELL, last night I received the new clothes I ordered in the mail.

Which reminds me....I started ordering crap strategically in stages so that I would ALWAYS be getting mail, but the stupid effin mail fairy has been holding everything and then giving me this big ole pile of boxes - which, at first, is all waaay cool because, I have a big ole pile o'boxes!   but then, it's not as cool because you realize you have to bring all those boxes into the house and carry them from the car while you dodge the dingos you thought were soooo adorable when they were babies and wondered what could possibly go wrong if you allowed them into the housing compound to just live in the yard. (Note to self: You are not dog whisperer.  You are not cut out to raise a pack of wild dingos.) SO THEN, after you open the first box and you're like, "Yaay! air fresheners! (listen people! Don't you judge me until you come here!  This place is effin stinky! You'd totally say that too!)  But then you're like..."oh, air fresheners...yeah..that's cool.  Smells nice."   SO you rip into the next box and you're like, "Yaay! thank you cards." then you come to your senses and you remember that you're lazy and don't like to write thank you cards and now you have no excuse NOT to write a thank you card. 

You realize you just might hate the mail fairy!  That bitch.

So anyway, my point -- where was I going with this?? Oh!  So I get a box from Ann Taylor, which is REALLY a "YAAY" and I go running upstairs to see what I ordered. (Actually, that is kinda a good thing.  It takes so long for shit to get here that you totally forget what you ordered so it is a big ole surprise when you get it and you're like, WOW! I really like this! Wonder who ordered it?!)

And then I try them on....They're all a little big. (but nobody panic, I'm sure they will shrink to unwearable size within four days.  I've decided I need to just order disposable clothes...)

SO the moral of this story (or adage) is that if you tell yourself (and others) a lie enough times, it will totally come true.

Feel free to pass that wisdom onto your kids. 

PS I'm totally rich and can quit this job.....

Saturday, October 17, 2009


As you may or may not recall, about a month and a half ago I was on this big ole kick where I was going to lose weight and exercise because Josh is going to be arriving here in Khartoum in November and I figured it would be nice if I were somewhat the same sized person I was when he left.  However, then I got to Sudan and was left unattended and there were some boxes of Little Debbie's that arrived here, then the water started to shrink my clothes, and the Sudanese shove your face with food because they think fat chicks are hot here, so they tell me I need to eat.  (I KNOW! You'd totally think I would appreciate this fact more, wouldn't you? Go figure!)

So now I have no idea whether or not I'm normal anymore because I've lost my frame of reference.  It's not like I can just go into Ann Taylor or some other store and try on clothes that I figure are my size (which will never be spoken aloud, thank you very much!) to see if they still fit!!

So then I spoke to Josh last night and was like..."Oh, you'll be here soon, that will be so great.  How much longer is it now?  Three? Four weeks??"

Turns out, (and this may shock you all) November is about 2 weeks away.  WTF!? When did this happen??

So now, since I can't really figure out what kind of damage I have done being unattended for the last 7 months or so, I just have to take a guess and assume I need to lose about 73 pounds in 2 weeks.  Or maybe it was 23?   With all these metric figures running around I have no idea what is needed. 

So this morning I got up to exercise, I put on my clothes, got out my stuff, started up the iPod playing so that I would be all entertained -- and then I decided I needed coffee.  So I made a pot of coffee -- because you can't just exercise when you're tired.  It's EARLY. 

So then as I was drinking my coffee I realized that I was supposed to make and bring garlic bread to the office today because we were having a going away lunch for a lady that was here temporarily working.  So I got out all the stuff to make bread.

Then I remembered that you have to let the bread rise for like 1-2 hours before you bake it for another 30 mins or more and that it was 0630. 

So then I put away all the stuff for bread and gathered up the stuff to make storebought bread into garlic bread and packed it for work. 

Then I remembered that I was supposed to be exercising

Then I looked at the clock and it was now 0730 (obviously bread math takes me longer than the normal person to do) and that I needed to get ready for work.

Then I remembered that I had not written and blog or read anyone's blogs for a full week now and felt really guilty...SO here I am at my computer in my exercise gear writing this blog about how I am not exercising.

SOOOOO, my point is...It is pretty much all YOUR fault that I am going to be fat when Josh arrives

Therefore, I'd really appreciate it if you would all write me a note to excuse my fattiness and remind Josh that he married me in Sickness and in Health (the sickness coming first to remind him that my inherent laziness is a sickness and needs medical help to cure me).

Thanks.  I really appreciate it. 

In return, I will try to be a better blogger. (I'm still lazy though.  See the whole blog above. I probably can't be trusted... DOOY!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No, I'm Not Dead....

Thanks to everyone who sent me accusatory emails asking why I didn't bother to inform you all that I was dead - pointing out that it is RUDE to simply die and not tell people you planned to do so in advance.  I did, indeed, make a note of it. 

However, I am NOT dead.  I am brain dead, but that is a bit different.  As I think I mentioned, much like how it is USG holiday season, it is also National Day Season here in Khartoum.  Honestly, we have 3 months where it is one National Day after another and then a circa 5 month dry spell where you have to plan your own activities and potentially PAY for booze.  I find this to be an unspeakable outrage and should not be tolerated.   

Therefore, in order to avoid this in the future, I would like to ask a small favor of, say, South Korea, Spain and Saudi Arabia.  Would you please be a lamb and move your national Days to the months of March, May and June respectively?  I'd REALLY appreciate that.  You're not wedded to those days right?? It's not like it's the 4th of July or something like that! SOMETHING important.....because we can't move ours because it is an important day.  I'm not sure why you thought 04 October was so cool, but it will help me plan my weeks better and will ensure that I am not cranky if you could just move it. 

Thanks!  I think we can all agree that nobody wants me to be cranky.  It's just better for all involved.

ANYWAY, the reason why I have been out of touch is because I am now a single mom.  

Yes, you heard me.  I now have parenting responsibilities in addition to my regular "being the face of America" duties.  (You know, now that I put it like that, I realize that I should probably think about combing my hair on a regular basis..whatever...)

So meet our new babies!! I have found a for-sure home for one of them, and am looking for someone to take the other. 

Unfortunately, there was a third little baby who died this afternoon.  He was kinda deformed and wasn't eating.  I briefly considered taking him into work with me and making everyone in the office feed him with a eye dropper as part of their "other duties as assigned," but then I remembered that you're not allowed to bring your pets into the I devised this elaborate plan where I would make a little vest that said DEA on the outside and would tell everyone he was a bomb/drug dog, but then I realized that there aren't really that many bomb/drug sniffing dogs that are 3 days old. (there's always a catch, isn't there!)  But I still think I could have bluffed my way through this - I mean who really KNOWS about training bomb dogs...maybe smelly pirate ho mommy dogs can pass that info on the womb...they don't know!

Anyway, it was very sad for us - the local guards and I buried the baby and made a little marked grave for him in the housing compound (in the guy from USAID's yard, I'm sure he would want us to have that there...granted, he wasn't home, but still...) 

I feel awful, but I think it is better that I didn't try to save him - mostly because he would have ended up in my house as a pet and I think Josh would likely leave me.  (I've been given strict instructions not to adopt anymore strays.  However, define adopt...)   In my defense, however, meet my enabler:

 Smelly Pirate Ho Mommy-Dog....

LOOK AT THAT LITTLE FACE!?  You can't call her a whore and abandon her?!  SO, my new plan is to turn to a life of crime - but ORGANIZED crime so that I can make big money and then make an orphanage for stray pets....and maybe buy some shoes. (I like shoes too.)  And maybe some candy.

Damnitt!!  You know I'd totally squander all my ill gotten gains on candy and shoes and then the poor puppies would end up back on the street selling tricks for a piece of chicken.

I'm going to need to devise a plan B. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Okay, So It Is Apparently NOT Appropriate In the Workplace...

Turns out, it is no longer cool to pour yourself a drink in the workplace during working hours - EVEN if you think it is a good idea and you think it will help you get through the rest of the day listening to your whiny co-workers and random people who call you on the phone and open with "I need a favor!"   I believe that starting with "Hello Michel.  How  are you?  This is blah blah" might help your chances of getting said favor (but likely won't.)

So after my atrocious day (and I'm really not even sure why  -- I just know I didn't like it) I looked up at my little post-it note I stuck to my computer that said, WWDDD? (what would Donald Draper Do?) and promptly realized that what I am MISSING is a drink!  A drink would make everything better - you know, take the edge off.....

So I went on a mission to find myself a drink.  First of all, Why in God's Name do we have PIMMS in the office??  Who let the British into our Embassy?? Plus, WTF IS that stuff?!  For the record, Donald Draper would NEVER drink PIMMS.  It even sounds sissy! (No offense pimms drinkers, well, technically you're sissy, but's rude to say so.  I should only think that INSIDE not say it outside.)

And then I found it: SCOTCH.  Not just any scotch, but a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label that I forgot I bought for my hubby when I was bored at Duty Free in Dubai and couldn't figure out the conversion rate so I just figured it was a good deal because it was free of duty.  God only knows how much duty adds to a product.  Obviously, the conditions were perfect for the purchase. 

So I found a little glass (of course, it was a juice glass - so it kinda ruined the whole Donald Draper effect) and I poured myself a scotch rocks and after my co-workers confirmed that yes, I was having a drink...yes, I knew it was only 4 pm and yes, I can and will have this drink while I am sitting at my desk in a non-happy hour situation - I took a big ole swig! 

That shit is NOT yummy!

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH DONALD DRAPER!?  I'm considering breaking up with him and no longer telling everyone he is my boyfriend.  But then I remembered: that was Josh's scotch!


I wonder what Pimms tastes like...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh Oh...

So remember back in the day, when I posted the pictures of the rains and the floods in Sudan? When I was searching for materials and instructions to build an ark?? Remember also how the doctor told me to take malaria medication, but then I was all "I don't need that shit! It's a desert!" But then I got bit by a mosquito so then I assumed I was going to die, so then I immediately bought those Off! Wipes?? But then I lived, so I promptly forgot to use them?

Remember that?? (NO!? Pay attention!! I shouldn't have to say this shit twice - although, technically I probably repeat myself four or five times because I forget who I told what because I don't even listen to me...)

ANYWAY, today the Embassy doc was briefing everyone on the multiple cases of cerebral malaria here in Khartoum after those damn rains!  WTF!?!?  Apparently, we were supposed to be taking the malaria medication more than once.  SOMEONE REALLY NEEDS TO TELL US THIS SHIT (more than once).

So anyway, after my rounds of National Days (which still haven't ended, fyi) I noticed that I have approximately 72 mosquito bites on my ankles and feet (stupid sandals!)   I can only assume I will be dead within the week.  WHY? Because the stupid nurse handed us a hand out (WHY won't they learn that I cannot be given documentation about shit!?)  that said that the symptoms of cerebral malaria are:  

(1) impaired consciousness with non-specific fever; (2) generalized convulsions and neurological sequelae; and (3) coma that persists for 24-72 hours, initially rousable and then unrousable.

Seriously! I think I might have impaired consciousness with non-specific fever.  I'm sleepy, I'm hot...and although I'm not sure exactly what it IS, but I'm almost positive I have a sequelae!!!   

What the hell does that mean?!?!

Goodbye cruel world.  But just for the record you should know that I'm going to be SERIOUSLY PISSED if I die in Khartoum and I'm all crabby and sleepy from these national days.   

Make no mistake, the malaria may get me, but I'm gonna haunt your asses!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Damn You Mad Men!!

So I'm sitting here in Khartoum, minding my own business (as naturally I would) when I am offered the first season of Mad Men on DVD to watch in my copious spare time.  Now, granted, from looking at the front of the DVD box, it frankly didn't look that interesting.  However, because I'm not a judger, I decided to try it out.

Obviously, I'm now pissed at my mother.  CLEARLY, they had it sooo much better back in the day when women didn't have to work - when their hubbies wore suits and they sat around in their pjs (even answering the door) until just before their spouse came home - if they even came home at all.

MY GOD! Those were the good ole days.  What the hell were you thinking MOTHER!? Now look what you've done!?!?!  Now I have to try to con Josh into LETTING me stay home and not work.  I have to give a REASON if I intend to stay in my pjs all day. (not really, but I sometimes feel like I should at least give a "Screw you! I can do what I want" speech...)

I'm also kinda pissed that we don't drink and smoke all day.

Seriously! Drinking and smoking are sooo cool! Why the hell did we ever stop??  I really feel like my work would be much more "enhanced" and "creative" if I could just start drinking martinis at 10 am.  And, I kinda think it would reduce a lot of the stress in the workplace.  I might even work overtime without bitching!  (Probably not though, let's not push it!)

Plus, if you think about it, nothing really says "job well done" like a nice slap on the ass.   It's like I always say, It's only sexual harassment if you're unattractive.  Otherwise, it's just flirting.

People just don't care as much these days....It's a crying shame!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

You'd Think They'd At Least Get a DJ...

My God! I truly hate, HATE, HATE National Day Events!!  Right now, they're in in full swing here in Khartoum.  Every other night I'm at some other location walking around a reception making small talk with people I never really want to talk's nothing but men in dresses and juice, as far as the eye can see. 

PLUS, those men in their dresses?  They never want to talk to me - all giving me the stink-eye because, I can only assume, they think I have cooties.  OR, more likely because they know I simply cannot resist asking about their dresses and then end up pointing out that their dress is not really flattering and that they kinda look like they just showed up in their jammies for this event.  Not that I blame them, mind you.  They might be onto something here.  In fact, to save time, I may wear my jammies to the South Korean National Day tonight.  I bet I could gets me an extra 30 minutes of valuable sleep time!

Maybe I shouldn't mock it until I try it!?!?!

However, as my next public service to foreigners who wear the jammies - or Jalabiyah's as is your formal name for it - I feel like I must point out to you that, when you stand outside in direct sunlight, your lightweight, shapless dress is SEE THROUGH! 

WTF MAN!?!?!

I do NOT want to see that shit while I'm driving to work. I'm just sayin', you really should think about wearing a slip with that shit!   I think you can find some pretty reasonable prices for slips at   Think about it.

Also, in keeping with my public service message theme this am, I feel like I should point out that NOBODY LIKES THAT JUICE!  It's warm, it's thick, and it's sickly sweet.  Also, grown men and women do not drink orange soda.

That's all I have for today.  Once again, you are very welcome!!!!