Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Of Course There's a Santa

It's not even December but the girls have turned their attention to all things Santa. They have written list after list and made all sorts of plans for what kinds of gifts they need to give to Santa. They are Santa-obsessed.

Kyra came home today with the by-now-traditional announcement: there is no Santa. This according to some snotty ruin-it-for-everyone kid in her class.

It reminded me of the article I wrote when Shay was this age: my very first article ever in Newsweek.

Click over and read it, won't you? I still like it, in part because of the subject matter and in part because I still remember how excited I was to get a call from the editor at Newsweek.

I'll be back with more Christmas posts once the calendar actually turns to December.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Favorite Holiday: The Cliff Notes Version

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and how many times do I have to tell you that it's my favorite holiday before you believe me?

This year was no exception. We had friends over for dinner - old and new friends alike - and it was fun to just relax and laugh and enjoy one another's company.

True to her name, Major WR brought the drinks, and she made some fancy drink with fruit floating in it, which was just so amazingly delicious - until I tried to get up from the table. Only then did she mention that perhaps she had soaked the fruit in straight vodka for a month or three before putting it it my drink.

Okay, well, as I recall, it was quite tasty. I think. I'll have to remember to ask for the recipe. Or, you know, just invite her to my next party.

Now that I've sobered up a bit, I'm going to try to post some photos. If they're blurry, blame Major WR's drinks.

I did most of the cooking. Because one of the spouses, who shall remain unnamed for the purposes of marital harmony, might have told the story of the time his wife roasted the turkey with the bag of giblets still in it. His wife brought the pies. Because pies don't come with bags of giblets tucked inside.

The next day, we all headed to the Dead Sea, along with some other families who had the same brilliant post-Thanksgiving idea. The good news: it rained, so there weren't any angry protestors shutting down the highway. The bad news: it rained, so we were stuck at the Dead Sea pool in the rain.

It's okay, though. The kids had a blast swimming, and the rain didn't last long.

At exactly 3 minutes before it was time to check out on Saturday, a few of us decided to lure our kids into the Dead Sea for "Operation Santa Hat Photo Op 2012." It was too cold and windy for anyone sensible to go in the Sea. But we convinced the kids that it would be a Good Idea For The Grandparents.

Unfortunately, perhaps because we were still suffering the after effects of the vodkaberries, we neglected to bring any actual working cameras with us. Santa hats we had, aplenty. Cameras? Not so much.

I did have my iPhone, so I tried to take some photos, but you can't see the screen on those suckers when you're outside. So I just aimed and clicked, hoping for the best.

Only later did I realize I'd had the camera lens covered with my finger the entire time, for a big photography FAIL.

Luckily for us, new friend Janet had her camera, and she took some photos, so all is (possibly) not lost. She is currently winging her way back to the States, so we'll have to hope she uploads and sends some decent photos once she recovers from the jet lag. Also, we'll hope she understands the finger-to-lens correlation better than I. Hey, at least I know enough to take the bag of giblets out of the turkey, right?

And that was our Thanksgiving weekend.

Oh, hey, a little something I forgot to mention earlier. I'm now officially an International Radio Superstar! That's right: I went on a radio show last week to talk about Thanksgiving. Me: the person who writes so I don't have to talk to anyone. Hilarious, the things a girl will do for a paycheck.

It was mortifying. But, sort of like fiber and exercise, I suppose it was good for me. If you want to hear my interview, go like US Embassy Amman's page on Facebook and you'll find a link there. Also, if you find it riveting enough to listen to the very end, you'll discover that I didn't know the actual address of the Embassy Facebook page when they asked me. And that's reason #46 why I am the most awesome PD officer on the face of the planet.

But you can say you knew me before I was an internationally renowned jackass. So there's that.

Hope your Thanksgiving was half as full of vodkaberries as mine. No, seriously. Because I had twice as many as I should have.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No Regrets

I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. Truly I do.

For starters, of course, there's my family, all of whom are healthy - unless you count Kyra's raging ear infection, which, if that's the worst that the universe is throwing at you, health-wise, the day before Thanksgiving, well, you're doing okay.

And if you do count the ear infection, then you have to be thankful for the husband who took her to the doctor's office in the morning while you drank your tea and cubed bread for stuffing.

And of course you'll also need to be thankful for the fact that, while the doctor wasn't there and the nurse couldn't prescribe antibiotics, you live in a country where you don't need a prescription for antibiotics. So you can just walk to the pharmacy and pick up whatever you want.

And then you'll need to be thankful for your pharmacist friend, who told you exactly what medicine to buy.

So yes. I'm thankful for my healthy, mostly-happy family.

And I'm thankful for my friends all across this globe of ours. I'm thankful that I can find people who are willing to text, or Skype, or call, or facebook, at pretty much any hour of the day or night when I need the company.

So of course I have to be thankful for the coffee that keeps me awake the next day. Because I'm often up way too late talking or texting with loved ones, but I still have to show up for work the next day.

Which leads me to my job. Of course I'm thankful for my job. Especially the paycheck portion of it. It's all kinds of fun to get a paycheck at the end of the week rather than an extra large pile of laundry to show for my efforts.

Today, though, I'm thankful that I didn't have to go to work. I took the day off so I could start cooking. Because tomorrow we'll have friends over, and I'm thankful for that, too. I hope they like cranberries, because I found them today at the fourth store I went to in search of celery. I found celery and cranberries both, under one roof! That never happens. Of course, I paid fourteen dollars for the cranberries. But, hello? Cranberries! This is big news, people. Totally worth fourteen dollars. I already used them to make Aunt Carolyn's sugar-coated cranberries. Also: I already ate about $8 worth of aforementioned sugar-coated cranberries. Damn if those aren't the best food in the world.

We still have no idea where we're going next, but our time here is winding down, too fast for me. I'm thankful for all of my friends here at post, who take my kids for sleepovers and invite me over for dinner and drive me home when I'm car-less and make me laugh when I'm lonely. If I count up my life's blessings in friends, well, then, I am wealthy indeed. Same, I guess, as if I re-sell those cranberries.

I've been on a crazy ride lately, but I'm going to say, again and again, that I have no regrets. I'm thankful for what I have and for where I am, even when I can't quite make sense of how I got here or where I'm heading next - literally or figuratively.

It's a crazy life, but I'm thankful for it. All of it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thoughts of Thanksgiving

We've celebrated 11 of the last 14 Thanksgiving holidays overseas, in Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, China and now Jordan.

Here's a little something I wrote about the holiday way back in 2008.

I'll be back soon with a real post.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

When Appliances Attack

There was the teensy matter of the fire in the laundry room shortly after we moved in.

It wasn't a fire, exactly, in that there weren't flames and firefighters and hooks-and-ladders and news crews. No, there was just a blackening, smoking outlet in the laundry room. An almost-invisible fire.

Someone came out from the Embassy. Multiple someones, actually, and they discovered that the American washer and dryer were overloading the Jordanian wiring. They closed off a few outlets, so you can't iron or anything else exciting in there. And all was forgotten. Maybe, they suggested, you shouldn't run the washer and the dryer at the same time.

Now, to understand the next part of this story, you need to know that I suffered some nerve damage in my fingers due to a previous pregnancy-gone-wrong. Long story for another time. Suffice to say that my fingers always feel a little bit weird. Not tingly. Not numb. Just weird. It's a good excuse to never fold laundry, because I can't stand the way it feels when I try to fold towels.

But it also means that when I touched the top of the microwave one morning and it shocked me, I didn't really pay attention. It was just a mild shock, and it just made my fingers feel weirder. I thought I was imagining it. It kept on shocking me, and I kept on thinking WTH, fingers?, until one day one of my kids got shocked, and I finally realized it wasn't my imagination.

Someone came back from the Embassy to check it out, and sure enough, the outlet for the microwave wasn't grounded. Neither was the computer outlet. Or the television outlet. Or, technically speaking, any outlet in the house.

Ah, life overseas. Thrilling! Exciting! Occasionally shocking!

So they fixed that somehow, and my fingers returned to their ordinary numb existence.

Until last weekend, when I made the mistake of touching the side of the microwave with slightly damp hands. I got shocked so badly that my entire arm went numb. An hour or so later, Bart was emptying out the dishwasher - and you gotta love a man who empties the dishwasher, though not as much as one who also folds laundry, hint, hint - when the same thing happened to him. The dishwasher shocked him and sent him flying backwards.

But it was a long holiday weekend and, not wanting to disturb the Embassy guys on their day off, I did what any parent overseas would do. (And this is where stateside parents will shake their heads in dismay, but overseas parents will totally understand my decision matrix...)

Don't touch the microwave, I told the kids. Or the dishwasher. Unless, you know, you really need to. Then just be careful.

And we carried on with our weekend.

Someone came from the Embassy again. And this time, after much shining of lights and touching of plugs and mumbling of Arabic, they determined that all sorts of things are wrong. Electrical things. Wiring things. I don't know what these things are, really, but I know that they involve electricity and sparks and things. (Yes, yes: I make my electrical engineer father very proud, why do you ask?)

There were people from the Embassy here for four hours today, muttering and rewiring and muttering some more. And apparently they aren't finished yet, because they promised to come back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, there was soup to be thawed and a lazy mom who didn't want to bring it to a boil on the stove. So I waggled my fingers and dared that microwave to zap me.

It was fine. No misplaced voltage; delicious homemade soup in a matter or minutes.

But, you know, we have guests showing up for Thanksgiving dinner later this week, and I find myself hoping there are no electrical fires, or inappropriate zapping, or anything else unpleasant. I have a turkey to cook, after all. I don't have time to deal with unruly appliances.

All this to say: living overseas can turn a parent Free Range. Electrical fires. Microwaves that attack. Lightbulbs that explode. That weird ever-present smell of gas in the lobby of the building.

All in all, an ordinary day-in-the-life of an overseas mom.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crazy Times In Jordan... Again

If you've been following the news, you know that all hell broke loose in Jordan two days ago, when the government lifted gas subsidies. They had to do it. There was no other choice. But as soon as they made the announcement, people took to the streets in protest.

This all started Tuesday night. And last night, from what I understand, was even worse, with road blocks and rioting all across the country. Lots of injuries; some deaths.

Here in my small corner of Amman, all is quiet for now.

Yesterday, though, I needed to drive through one of the main circles, one that had been blocked on Tuesday night and was blocked again last night. Just after I drove through it, I saw a group of flag-waving protestors heading the other way, toward the circle. As the car I was in came even with their caravan, there was a squealing of brakes, and a taxi came to a halt in the middle of the group of protesters, blocking their route. A carload of protesters leapt from the car behind him. The taxi driver got out of his car. The driver of the other car knocked him to the ground, and the group of men proceeded to stomp and kick him even long after he lay motionless on the ground.

I wasn't driving, so I could see it unfold as we continued past in the other direction. Other cars stopped on the highway and groups of men swarmed from their cars. By the time we crossed over the hill and out of sight, the taxi was surrounded by stomping kicking men. The Jordanian woman in the car with me was near tears. "They're going to kill him," she wailed, "and for what? Why do people act this way? This shouldn't be allowed to happen."


My husband was out on the roads half the night, doing some crazy things. If that boy had a blog of his own, it would put mine to shame. But no. I'm it, as far as blogs go, so let me just say I was relieved when he finally got home, well after midnight. Of course he's back at work today, despite the fact that it's a holiday, a three-day weekend in honor of the Islamic New Year. We originally discussed going to the Dead Sea this weekend, but I'm glad we decided not to, as all non-essential travel for Embassy personnel has been cancelled for the weekend, so we would have lost our reservations. Not to mention that the road there has been closed due to rioting on-and-off for the last 24 hours.

I'm guessing here - not as an employee of the USG, but merely as a person who reads the news and is on the ground here in Jordan - that the situation is not going to get better any time soon. People are angry and upset and I don't think they plan to go home any time soon.

Meanwhile, it's a weird parenting moment for me. Most young kids in the States can't find Jordan on a map, yet there I was last night over dinner, discussing gas subsidies and Jordanian blasphemy laws with my kids, who were wondering, no doubt, why their dad had just walked out the door dressed as a federal agent rather than a diplomat. They hear the muttered conversations and what-ifs when the adults gather for dinner at the Embassy, and so the boys know that we are living in strange times, with talk of tribal violence and tripwires all around. For them, especially for my eldest, I think it is a bit disconcerting.

They are getting a life lesson in the ways that poverty can bring a people down, in the ways that laws, once passed, have a profound influence on the populace, in ways both good and bad. Beyond that, they are aware of the problems on our borders, on all sides, and the world seems like a scary place to them right now.

I hope, for the sake of everyone here in Jordan, that this moment on the brink passes quickly rather than devolving into something much more terrifying for this country, and for the region.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

It's true. Sometimes I can be a little, well, judgmental.

(It's not my fault! Those other people just do stupid things sometimes!)

But the judgier I get, the more it comes back to haunt me. As soon as I criticize someone else's poor choice, well, it never fails but that I turn around and do the Same. Damned. Thing.

Karma is indeed a boomerang.

Before, when I worked part time, I took great pride in the fact that I cooked everything from scratch. Homemade wheat bread, and tortillas, and soups and stocks, and cakes and cookies and even ricotta cheese, for gawd's sake. Did you know I can make cheese from scratch? Yes I can! Shannon over at Cyberbones taught me how.

I'm not an arts n' crafts mom, or a birthday party planning mom, or a room mother mom, but I defy you to find a healthier house than mine at the dinner hour.

And not only did I love taking the time to cook for my family, but I'll admit it made me a bit - dare I say it? - judgy of the non-cooking moms. I'll see your Popsicle stick rendering of the Taj Mahal and raise you a homemade pizza crust, with chocolate mousse for dessert.

But now.

Now I've started working full time, and my judginess has vanished. Unless, that is, you count the heaps of judging I'm doing of my own self.

I wander the aisles of the store looking not for the perfect bunch of Swiss chard, but for the perfect shortcut. It reached an all time low when I caught myself staring at a $7 pack of frozen ravioli and wondering if I could serve that with plain melted butter.

Tragedy has struck. I've become what I've always before been able to mock.

There has to be a happy medium somewhere between freezer-burned cheese ravioli and homemade ricotta. Doesn't there? I mean, there has to be a way to make dinner AND hold down a job.

For now, though, I spend my weekends cooking for the freezer. If I don't cook it on Saturday, we don't eat it on Tuesday. And it bothers me. It bothers me a lot. Because that was the one thing I took actual real pride in as a mom. It was the one area where I dared go toe-to-toe with the other moms.

So now I'm learning not to judge them so harshly. More importantly, I'm going to have to learn not to judge myself so harshly, either. I know, I know: my self-worth shouldn't be caught up in whether I know why a double-risen whole wheat dough is better than single. But it is.

And so I'm forced to redefine myself in more ways than one because of this still-new job of mine.

And I'm going to try really, really hard to stop being so harsh in my judgements. Of you, of course. But also of me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lily's Day

We were in Beijing when the unthinkable happened to one of my nearest and dearest friends. She and her husband lost tiny baby Lily, four years ago this month. We grieved hard for her, all of us did. And still I think of her at this time of year, because I know that every Thanksgiving that rolls around for her is marked by baby Lily's death.

I wrote an article shortly after it happened, because that is how I process hard things. It ran in Beijing Kids Magazine a few months later - have I linked to it before? Anyway, click on that link, or this one, if you want to read it. When I wrote it, I was thinking of baby Lily and her mom. I was thinking of the things that have happened to me, and to my loved ones, and of the fears that we all have.

My mom was fretting a few years back, over coffee in Seattle, about worries she has for one of her kids (not gonna say which one!). She said that she thought maybe all of the problems she worried about stemmed back to this child's infancy, that maybe she'd done something wrong back then that somehow triggered problems down the road.

I was shocked, really, and surprised, because her children are all grown now, and shouldn't she really have stopped worrying about them by now? Shouldn't she have stopped blaming herself for the things that haven't gone right, or the things that she wishes were different for her kids? But she insisted that once a mom, always a mom, and you're always trying to fix things.

I guess I'm starting to understand that, more and more every year.

So I know my friend thinks of her baby Lily every day, and I know it's worse around the holidays. Know, my friend, that I am still thinking with you, and grieving for you, and praying for that small daughter of yours. This month and always.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Two Words: Bidding Sucks

In an effort to get my last whiny, self-indulgent post off of the home page of this blog, I'm going to write a new whiny, self-indulgent post.

You're welcome!

Seriously, though, have I mentioned before that there are people here at post who read my blog? And so I see them strolling the hallways in real life, and it can make for awkward moments. (But thanks, Stephanie - I needed that hug.)

And then, over dinner last night, Major Winerack told me she was reading back in my archives, all the way back to my early days in China. (geez, I make myself sound like Laura Freaking Ingalls when I say it that way...)

It is funny, though. Because I know that people read it, I temper my thoughts somewhat and limit my observations. But I also sprinkle my posts with all sorts of inside jokes and references that are directed toward specific favorite people, and that no one else would ever pick up on. Truth be told, I don't know if those specific favorite people are even picking up on it when I'm speaking directly to them, but whatever - it's a fun writing exercise, and it allows me to be more open about things than it might appear.

So. Back to self-indulgent and whiny, as promised.

Bidding sucks!

Here it is November, and lots of Foreign Service folks already know where they're going next. They've gotten handshakes - that's what it's called when you're promised a post but it isn't official yet. And they're researching and reading and chattering in the hallways at work.

Not so for DS spouses. Everyone except Jennifer is still waiting. And poor Jennifer - she knows where she's going, but she can't even gloat about it or the rest of us will reach across the interwebs and strangle her.

DS is, shall we say, a bit slow when it comes to assignments, in comparison with the rest of the Foreign Service. I'm not complaining, in the sense that I'm sure it's a tough process, assigning all of these agents across the globe, and from what I've seen, the assignments people take their task very seriously. But - and you knew there'd be a but here - it is beyond frustrating to wake up every day and wonder what's going to become of your family. There is a total loss of control over your own life - a sense that some great storm is spinning, moving, building, and you're just floating on the fringes, powerless, waiting for the storm to pick you up and carry you elsewhere.

On the one hand, it's fun to look at the globe - I ADORE globes! - and imagine all of the possibilities. On the other, well, all of those possibilities are slim-to-none, and what is so wrong with the particular point on the globe where you happen to be standing Right This Minute?

So my DS friends - Kolbi and Jen and Jill and JennD and the list goes on and on - spend hours on Facebook asking what have you heard? and of course, no one's heard anything, except Jennifer.

This week's panel has come and gone with no news. None of our bids have even made it to panel yet. They did go ahead and put us out of our misery, telling us one of our top choices ain't gonna happen. And then they threw some new posts out there for our consideration. This weekend, then, I will be trolling the Internet, looking on talesmag and facebooking my FS blog buddies, searching for information on all of these places. Thinking and waiting and stressing. Until the next panel meets - in faraway December.

I'm telling you. Bidding sucks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hitting The Wall

I hit the wall today, people. And damn if it didn't hurt.

I've been kind of running full speed ahead lately, trying to do too many things at once, keeping one eye on the next five minutes and the other on the next five years, which, if you didn't know, can make you kind of psychologically cross-eyed.

And then, last night, I couldn't sleep, because you know how it is when there are so many things floating around in your head that you just lie there staring into darkness, waiting for clarity. No? Is it just me, then?

Eventually I got out of bed and started writing: lists and emails and blog posts and all sorts of bits and scraps, until it was all out of my head and out of my heart and I could finally sleep.

Hate when I do that. Because it never bodes well for the next day's tasks.

Today, as you know, is Election Day in the U.S., which means I had a curiously large amount of work to do. I had been tasked, you see, with organizing the Embassy's election events, and I had two teams working the events, one at Hashemite University and one at the University of Jordan.

I myself went to work the event at Hashemite, about an hour up the road. Knowing that the drive would make me carsick, I cajoled the Embassy nurse into giving me some dramamine. It'll make you sleepy, she warned, but I took it anyway. Sleepy being better than nauseous, as you may know.

Off I went to the event, where I was required to be cheerful! And enthusiastic! And spewing All That Is Good About America! I was borderline manic in my fake enthusiasm, all the while fighting off my dramamine-and-sleep-deprived exhaustion.

Truthfully, the event was a lot of fun. We had tons of students at my school, whom we skyped in with the students at the other university for an election trivia contest. There was much shouting, and cheering, and chanting of school fight songs. Everyone was happy at the end, despite the fact that it was unclear which school actually won the contest.

We cleaned up; we drove home. The dramamine was doing its job, and I fought hard to stay awake. But I was so, so tired, and the effort that I'd expended to entertain all of those people had completely drained me. I'm fairly certain that I fell asleep and drooled down my chin, but the driver was too kind to say anything.

Back at the Embassy again, I decided to stick with my planned routine, so I went to the gym. Started out strong, but about 15 minutes in, it happened.

I hit that wall.

I was pretty much done, after just a few sets of weights. I sat down for a few minutes and just thought about things, right there in the middle of the gym, with big ole Marines stepping over me to get to their equipment, giving me all sorts of odd looks. I thought about giving up. I thought about getting up. I thought and thought and thought some more.

Finally, I was done thinking. I was just plain done. I got up from my mat on the floor, grabbed my bag and headed to the parking lot. I ran into some colleagues on the way. Wasn't it fun?, one said to me, and nice job, said another. I smiled and laughed and joked around with them while we walked to the parking lot together.

And then? Then I got in the car, put my head on the steering wheel, and just started bawling. Not for any reason at all, really, but simply because that wall was there and there was no climbing over it, not today. There was an armed guard a few feet away, and he sort of turned his back, I guess so he wouldn't have to acknowledge the crazy sniveling American lady locked crying in her car.

Then I dried my eyes and drove home.

I think maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Marine Ball 2012

The first year at post, I don't think the Marine Ball is very fun, because I don't know anyone and I'm just trying desperately to make small talk with random people whose names I don't know while not tripping over my high heels or otherwise making a colossal ass of myself.

The second year at post, it's a lot of fun, because I know enough people to know with whom I want to hang out. We usually get a bit goofy and laugh a ton.

The third year is the best of all in some ways, because I have a zillion best friends to run around with. But it's also kind of bittersweet because, you know, it's the last one. The last time to get dressed up and laugh and dance with my now-old-friends. This time next year, we'll be gone, to parts unknown. So I get a little sad, looking around at these people I've grown to love and wondering where we'll all be at next year's ball.

So it was this past weekend, when we all met up for this year's Marine Corps birthday bash. Fun? Definitely. But a bit sad, too. For me, anyway.

Before I get into that, though, let's travel back in time, shall we? We went to our first ball in the last century. I was still in my 20s (barely, but still). I was heavily pregnant with Shay at the time and wasn't even wearing a real ball gown - no way was I going to spend that kind of cash on a maternity ball gown. But dang if we weren't the cutest little couple ever! Frankly, I think it's a little bit scary how young we were. I mean, how did we even get passports, people? There oughta be a law.

Camera adds 10 pounds. Pregnant belly adds another 35. For the win. 

Okay, fast forward to 2012. Same me, but subtract the pregnant belly and add a decade or so. Also, do I have the best looking friends or what? Every single woman in this picture has made me laugh until I snorted inappropriately at least once in the past month. Love them all. Even the one who once told me that I am "so effing old!" What does she know, anyway? Some day she'll be posting decades-old pictures of a past Marine Ball, too. And she'll still be freaking gorgeous.

Love them all.

Not gonna tell you who these people are. Not sure they want to be famous on my blog.
The one in the middle, though - that's me.

Me and the Major. And some other awesome folks.

She looks serious. But she's crazy. (Yep. Describes us both, actually.)

The happy couple. Still awake at 10 pm.

I stalked this woman for months until she finally agreed to be my friend. Best decision she ever made.

Moments after this photo was snapped, I fell on the floor snorting with laughter again. Really embarrassing.

My favorite people in all of Amman. Right here in one photo.

These guys. The reason for the night. Happy birthday, Marines!

No. I am not grabbing her butt. How could you even suggest that?

Awww. Still cute, after all these years. I think so, anyway. But I seem to have misplaced my bifocals.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Small World

We had a visitor at post this week, and because she was here to evaluate the strength of my specific programs (no pressure!), I spent a lot of time with her over the past few days.

As it turns out, she's a fellow blogger. As soon as I knew that, even though I don't read her blog (yet), I felt much better. She's my people. This is going to be okay.

So we were at lunch one day, and we were talking about most embarrassing moments. I, of course, have no personal embarrassing moments. Ahem. But I shared a funny story that belongs to someone else, my blogging friend Four Globetrotters, without mentioning who it was. Another woman at the table laughed and said "that sounds like a friend of mine," and shared a similar funny story about her friend. Then we both sort of frowned and looked at each other. Do you think, we wondered aloud, that we're both talking about the same person? After all, not many people have that many similar crazy stories.

Turns out we were. 4G, you and your business attire are more famous than you know.

The next day, we were driving up to Zarqa together, me and my visitor, talking about the storm that was approaching the east coast at the time. And my visitor mentioned a friend who was stranded in a NYC hotel, waiting for her passport and a flight out to her next post. Turns out she was talking about Sadie.

Combine all of this with the fact that one of my bosses served with LAJ in J, and well, it's starting to feel like a small world, indeed.

Please. Write your own stuff.