Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Surprising Reason I Need to Work....

Okay, so remember how I told you guys that I was coming back to the US of A and how excited I was because I was going to take Home Leave (a little known vacation the State Department gives its officers after they finish an assignment I mentioned, it's a rough transition from being a diplomat where everything is done for you -- to being a regular person -- with no immunity from The Man -- who also has to pay for EVERYTHING (which is an unspeakable outrage)!  You have to ease back into that....)  Anywhoo, I'm on week two of my vacation (and when I say "vacation,"  I mean running around doing stupid errands, like finding a home, changing my address with everyone, getting know...dumb, not-fun stuff) and it has become blatantly apparent that I am not suited to a life of leisure. 

Why you ask?? Because I'm officially bored.  And poor.   What the hell happened to all that overseas locality pay they were allegedly giving me?? Josh is going to be totally pissed when he realized that I pretty much squandered it all on candy and shoes.  In my defense, however, nobody could have known that candy and shoes would not be the best investment option.  It totally seemed like a sure thing.

Plus, it has become apparent that when I do not have a job that forces me to attend it on a regular basis, I lose the ability to care for myself.  I've lost the ability to dress in anything that is non-sweat pants and/or to comb my hair!  Honestly though, what's the point?? The people at Target accept me in my sweats and ponytail....the lady at Geico can't see me over the phone....It's gotten so bad, I'm considering applying for a job while I'm on vacation -- mostly so Josh won't leave me for another woman who wears actual clothes and combs her hair (that whore!)

Plus, living in a hotel has lost it's "charm" -- turns out, hotels don't think that we should be given separate bathrooms or an extra room unless we PAY for it....chaa!  What happened to customer service??  I'm guessing the maid here will be happy to see me leave when we finally get to move into our new place!  I'm hoping that once I have a house and no longer live out of a suitcase I'll be motivated to ensure that my "look" is a little less homeless  and a little more our new neighbors don't judge me.

I think we all know I'm the only judge-er around here here!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear GSO,

Now you know, I don't like to complain.  However, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn't bring this important issue to your attention.  It seems that your workers are not really doing their job and you might need to counsel them.  Although you know that I don't like to point fingers, BUT, even though I have left my car parked in the parking lot for DAYS now, NOBODY has put gas into it, cleaned it, or checked the oil.  

Also, I submitted a work order for this hotel room we're living in, and, to date, nobody has shown up with the extra garbage can or battery for the remote.  Now normally, I would just suffer in silence, however, I really don't think we should start out on a bad foot in our new location; Washington, DC. 

Although it would have been nice if you guys had explained that we were going to have to now find and then PAY for our housing, I can understand why you would want me to find my own place after you issued me a house with no closets in Khartoum.  Naturally, I will be submitting my accounting for reimbursement soonest.  I'd appreciate it if you would process that quickly. Everyone is making us actually PAY for things here.  I'm not sure when this procedure was implemented, but it's clearly going to be an accounting nightmare for all of us. 

And finally, Josh received a parking ticket yesterday.  Someone should really send us those diplomatic license plates soonest.  Although it is obviously not my area of expertise, I would think that it would be easier for us to just avoid being issued the ticket(s), rather than for you guys to contact the host government to explain why we shouldn't have to pay them.  You should also know that the local law enforcement here does not seem to respect my diplomatic passport.  The man rudely stated that I no longer have diplomatic status because I'm in Virginia.  This cannot possibly be right. 

Don't they know who I think I am??

Anyway, the car is still in the parking lot and I'm running out of gas.  As it is obvious that I have now lost the ability to care for myself, and since you guys were basically my enablers for the last year, I think it would be in everybody's best interest if you just continued with your duties while I am posted here. 

Best regards,


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free At Last!!!! recall how last week I said that I was OUT of there on the 15th, right?? (Just in time to set foot in the states on the DAY that taxes are due, essentially forfeiting my right to an automatic 2 month extension because I'm overseas)....well, as you may have noticed...there was a large volcano that was spewing volcanic ash...So.....

NO SHIT! There I was....trapped in Europe....unable to get a flight back to the US!  So, because Josh and I love America just that much -- we rented a car and we drove to Morocco, then we hopped on a ferry to Egypt where we joined a camel train down to Cairo, and from there, we took a plane to Dubai then flew back to the US via Japan....WHEW! What a journey!!

Okay, nothing happened.  We were actually the last flight to make it out of Europe before they shut all the shit down.  There was a group of obnoxious businessmen who were on the flight to Chicago that was canked!  Ha HA! SUCKAHS!!

HOWEVER, my in flight entertainment totally did not work.  I was forced to read and/or make conversation with my husband for the ENTIRE flight.  (God Bless Kindle!!) (tee hee).

So now, I'm sitting in a hotel room, after buying two cars (seriously! If I'm giving you a damn check, just give me the damn car!!!  Why the hell does that take FOUR HOURS!?) finding a home, and a gym to join (after I noticed that chubby girls with bad hair are not as fashionable in the US as they are in Sudan). 

Plus, would it have killed one of you to let me know that it is no longer cool to expect the store to bag your groceries?? That EVERYONE has those recycle bags??  WTF people!?  Now I looked like a damn chubby, ratty Sudan infested clothing wearing, bad hair having, resource wasting, Earth Killer!   I'm just sayin...a head's up would have been appropriate. 

So, believe it or not, I gots NOTHING to bitch about.  America Rocks and I am reacquiring my obsession with TV.  (I totally missed you Jack McCoy!)  However, rest easy my friends...I'm going to go join a gym here -- I'm sure SOMEONE will insult me soon enough...mark my words...there's an unspeakable outrage in my future....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Can't I Ever Think of Cool Stuff to Say!?

Okay, so you know how we're in the midst of national elections here in Sudan, right?? No?  GSO didn't either.  It's nothing to be ashamed of.... However, I gotta admit that I'm a bit disappointed.  Why?? Because after all the hulabaloo and over-analysis of every statement or gesture from the various political parties, what has happened here in Khartoum, the heart of Sudan, the pointy tip of the spear??


I'm actually not really sure that we remembered to tell the Sudanese it was their first national election in over twenty years and that it was supposed to be contentious.  They don't really seem to know. There were supposed to be angry protesters, we were given emergency supplies for when the shit hit the fan.  So what did I see today, or for that matter, yesterday??  NOTHING DAMNITT!

I was promised an uprising! 

Now how am I supposed to start all my conversations with, "No Shit! There I was..."  when the rest of the sentence is "watching people line up in an orderly fashion to vote."   That shit's just embarrassing!

WTF Sudan!?  You couldn't even turn over one measly car?? Maybe light some trash on fire and yell arabic words really loud?? (Arabic always sounds like you're kinda angry.) 


Now what am I supposed to say?? Did you ever think about ME Sudan??   Well, I certainly hope you enjoy your peaceful elections, Sudan!  WHATEVER!

Anyway, so I'm all spouting my nonsense, trying to see if I can get Christina to look like maybe she could have been part of an angry mob and someone has to go and ruin everything with the comment:

You see that woman? She carries her house on her head, her baby on her back, and the future of her country in her hand. (about a nomad who showed up to vote)


Worst part?  It was not me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dear GSO (the Final Edition),

I just wanted to send you one last note to let you know that Josh and I have officially completed our pack out.  Although i have to admit I was a tad bit miffed that you called me at 7pm to let me know that you have decided that you needed to move my pack-out date to the next morning because you found out that the Sudanese Government was hosting National Elections beginning on the 11th. 

Although I admit I was a bit confused why your office was not notified by any of the 250,000 emails which circulated around the Embassy on the issue, or in the 27 newspapers that published the dates of the elections and the relevant drama surrounding the event on a daily basis since the day I arrived here at post, the news coverage on CNN, al-Jazira,  and BBC, the 472 billboards plastered around town asking everyone to vote for Bashir, or even the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was signed years ago that outlined the dates of the national elections -- obviously, there has been a failure of communication somewhere along the way.  I apologize that you were not given advance notice of this event.

It must have been very inconvenient for you.

As such, I find I cannot blame you for giving me what amounted to less than 12 hours to prepare all my shit for pack-out.  Although I suspect you were in cahoots with Josh, who claimed he could not stay home to assist with the pack-out because he did not have time to cancel his very important activities -- I simply cannot prove it (but I will.  Rest assured, I will.)

Why, it's not your fault that I threw all my shit into two randomly chosen suitcases, and then ran around trying to figure out what I needed for air freight and what could wait to go with the rest of my household effects in an effort to prepare for the movers.  And, you will be pleased to hear that, in a total change of your responsiveness to my multiple requests throughout the year, your officers decided to show up at my house TWO HOURS early to pack me out. 

I was really pleased to see them there.  Early.  For the first time in their life.  Ever. 

So GSO, we're departing this week and you will not have to read anymore of my emails requesting your assistance.  I just wanted to let you know that I sincerely appreciate everything you have done for me this year (no I don't). 

I assume since you've been so helpful to me during my time in Sudan, that is the reason you are now asking me to fill out a survey for the support I received from your office.  Believe me, this is one Survey, I intend to fill out (in triplicate). 

Best of luck to you in your future efforts to make other diplomats miserable,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's Like Sudan WANTS Me to Mock It...

Before I start my rant on how I am currently in a living hell and why it is all Josh's fault *we'll save that for tomorrow*...I just HAVE to show you guys one of the going away gifts I received yesterday.  I'm now trying to figure out if Sudan hates me and is trying to kill me....or they're just helping to ensure I have some final blog fodder before I bust up out of this mother effer....

Because mere words simply could never do it justice...I'll just post it and let you guys see for yourselves.... 

 My new purse....

That shit's sooo authentic, they even added the crocodile ass to the backside....

And, just in case you thought maybe it was just a tacky design, a close up for you.  Notice the snaggle tooth...The teeth are actually stabby! 

I named him Joe.

I'm guessing Canada is calling Peta right now to have them meet me at the airport.  However, I don't think even Peta will know what to do...they'd want to throw paint on me, but would be worried that Joe would attack them back.  (He would.)

Sooo, Sudan gave me Joe yesterday and I simply had to photograph him because nobody would ever believe me if I didn't.  I brought Joe home, told Josh we're going to have to make sure we have extra room for pets in our house.  But I made Joe sleep outside on the patio and I locked the door.  You just KNOW Joe is just waiting until we're not looking, then he'll sneak up and try to kill me while I'm sleeping!!!!  I swear one of the local guards is missing this morning.   That is BAD Joe!  BAD!

Just look at him... Just sitting there smirking at us....pondering if I would be delightfully marbled or just too fatty to eat...  EFF U JOE!

 Joe's totally not getting a visa.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Can You Guys Keep a Secret???

No?? Me neither. 

This is why I waited this long to tell you all....

They set my people free!!!!  No Shit, y'all! I'm coming back to DC after the elections in Sudan.  (If they delay these elections one more damn time, I'm going to freak out on their collective asses!)

ANYWAY, I will be headed back to DC soon...I would rather the Northern VA area not be notified of my impending arrival...I'm just sayin...some people might not be as excited for my return as I am.....I KNOW!  Unpossible!?  Right??  

Apparently, it's possible  WHO KNEW!?

So, in advance of my return, I thought it might be a good idea to actually list for you some reasons I am so very excited to return to America...the best country.  EVER.  I said EVER.  Write that down....  And maybe some cons that I may experience to prepare you for any subsequent blog postings...(Unless of course the State Department realizes I write this blog and tells me to shut it....oh yeah, it could happen. Apparently,  we're not supposed to acknowledge that foreign countries honk. I am guessing I might have let that slip....)

Pro:  There is an actual right of way that is acknowledged in traffic.  Street lights are not merely a suggestion for people who are not in a hurry and think they are importanty.  People in America realize that it is not appropriate to simply fill up the entire street if you plan to turn left, effectively blocking anyone else from using that road. In America, that is frowned upon....(and a cop will bust a cap is your ass if you try it.) 

Con:  I will have to obey traffic signals, speed limits, respect parking spaces and won't be able to just go around traffic whenever I feel like -- because I'm in a hurry man..and I think I am importanty.... I will no longer have an armored vehicle to protect me from aforementioned busting of cap in my ass....

Pro:  Eating vegetables will no longer be referred to as the "Suicide Option."

Con:  I will have no excuse not to eat more vegetables.  PS I'm still not eating lima beans.  Eff that.  Nobody should have to do that.  NOBODY.

Pro:  There will be actual "hot" and "cold" settings on your washing machine, rather than the  "hot" and "scalding hot lava" settings we enjoy in Khartoum.  Clothing will not shrink to Barbie size after washing. 

Con:  I will no longer be able to utilize the "it must have shrunk in the wash" excuse for why I can't fit in my damn pants.

Pro:  Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Con: Turns out Pumpkin Spiced Latte has more calories than I am supposed to consume in an entire day. 

Eff it!  I will be in America yo!  There is no possible downside!!!

Or is there??

Thursday, April 1, 2010

HOLY CRAP!!!!! This is Totally Going to be a Bit Awkward....

So you know how everyone knows  you have to do your taxes by April 15th, right??  (Well, if you're American.  If you're don't know..shut up.  It's bad, yo.)  Well, THAT is untrue...not everyone knows this...some of us forget that we still have to pay taxes because some of us don't like to open mail unless it is from Ann Taylor or Anthropologie. 

Anyway, so I was gently reminded when our friends ran into the Embassy all happy-schnappy that they were getting $4000 dollars back from The Man, and isn't that wonderful?? blah....blah blah....So I decided I should probably do my own taxes (and maybe Josh's too) -- ALTHOUGH, for the record, I would like to state that I have NEVER, in my ENTIRE LIFE, indicated that I had any ability to do math, finances or to actually give anything up for Lent like you're supposed to -- I tend to give up things like Paprika or lima beans -- AND I am inevitably surprised by the arrival of Lent (I really think the Christian Right has failed in its duty to publicize the Easter-Lent season.  Would it kill them to run some commercials suggesting what we should up for Lent?? Also, I think it would be helpful to remind Catholics that it is I don't order a damn cheeseburger and find out when I get home that it's not only Lent, but it's FRIDAY...)  Anyway, needless to say, without people wandering around with ash crosses on their foreheads to notify me that I need to remember to be a better person until the bunny arrives and gives you a chocolate bunny and Cadbury Egg as a reward for your attempt at  holiness over the last couple of months...I pretty much missed the whole damn thing.  CNN had to tell me it was holy week.

That's probably not good.  Nobody tell my mom....

So back to my point - taxes!!!  I totally sat down and did my taxes, I filled out the forms and even tried to figure out what the hell they were asking me... and then I came to the end...

TURBOTAX pretty much just robbed me at gunpoint, stabbed me in the face, and THEN had the nerve to tell me that they have found multiple errors  on my return and would not stand by me if the IRS decided to audit my submission.  Then, if that wasn't rude enough, it told me that I OWED the man $10,000.00.


THAT IS NOT A TYPO....$ addition to the taxes I already paid to The Man, the amount of which he already stole from me that was more than The Man paid me for the entire first year I worked for him....because I totally effin WORK for The Man and he still punched me in the face!!!  -- I got that Man coffee and a damn microwave.  I'm totally not letting him use my milk.  HE can use the damn Coffee Mate.

Does anyone else think that is punitive??   W...T...F...???!?!?!  Not only did I NOT succumb to my daily dream of running the other drivers off the road on my way to work, I also did NOT kill even one of my colleagues at the Embassy -- and frankly, a few of them had it coming.  NOBODY should be allowed to over-pronounce their words and then throw in flamboyant accents when they say foreign words and live to over-enunciate another day!!  

FURTHER, I am in SUDAN..I should totally get a pass because I've been here LONGER than a year and have not caused even ONE -- okay, less than incidents...OKAY, so the actual NUMBER of incidents I may or may not have caused does not really matter here -- it's that the Embassy has not been kicked out of the country!  I count that as a victory, frankly.   Plus, I think I should be able to list that as a tax credit.  If you think about it, I'm SAVING the USG a lotta money here in moving expenses....if you think about it.....(think harder). 

SOO, after I showed Josh our return and told him to give me $10,000, he pointed out that maybe  I don't know what the hell I'm doing... and, after the Turbotax online consultant asked me not to return last year, that maybe we should consider asking a professional to do our taxes. 

WHATEVER don't know!  Don't tell me nobody else thinks it's fishy that The Man taxes  you on the taxes you already paid to him last year....  That shit's just wrong.  I don't want any part of it!!

So...I was thinking....(and this is where it gets a little bits awkward...) I'm probably going to have to flee to Canada to avoid my US tax liability.  Now I realize I might  have previously said some things about Canada and judged them unfairly (no I didn't.  You totally know what you did.)  However, I've also totally stereotyped Canadians as bleeding hearts...THEREFORE, you guys won't EVER be able to turn me away!  ha HA SUCKAHS!!!   I totally told you guys you'd regret your liberal immigration policies! 

You hosers!

Anyway, after I flee to Canada I'm going to need you guys to send me some actual bacon.  I won't be able to survive yet another year in a non-bacon environment. 

I know you guys won't let me down....nobody should be forced to live without bacon.  Friends don't let friends buy Canadian bacon.