Monday, May 07, 2012

family day!

Two Saturdays ago (the one nine days ago), we had a Family Day at the base. I mentioned its existence about a week ago in another entry. This past Saturday (as in the one two days ago) was the Family Day for the people in the Ashgabat office. As luck would have it, I was in Ashgabat (and I am still there). I have been here since Thursday for various secret CIA meetings and go back to the main camp/base/office tomorrow. However, the prospect of spending a forced day of socializing with people I don't really know after being bussed 40 km outside of town did not seem enjoyable. Thus, I stayed in the office and enjoyed the peace and quiet of getting stuff done. Now, what brought me to the big city were meetings and an exhibition. For the meetings, it's been a solid success. This includes a night of unusually heavy drinking on Friday with some potential clients. I never knew Chinese business people drank so much. It is quite at odds with many Asian friends who are "cheap dates" in the sense that only a couple drinks will do them in. Many toasts were made. Most of them were not understood, but that did not seem to matter. It is evenings like that where I am glad I do not suffer from "cheap date" syndrome and that I'm a big enough person to hold it all together rather well. Also, my capacity for extreme introspection becomes quite active after a few drinks as I constantly try to examine my behavior to ensure I have not made any treasonous statements or committed any seditious acts. Best I can tell, I just talk a lot during such moments but manage to say nothing at all. It is a skill I have been carefully cultivating throughout my many mealtime ramblings that I mentioned last week. That entry was quite the whopper. I wonder if I will ever finish it. Perhaps tomorrow? Probably not.

The exhibition side of my visit sort of fell through owing to some rather pathetic miscommunication internally. That's really too bad, because it looked like it would be interesting since it was an exhibition of businesses organized by the U.S. embassy. We did have a booth on Thursday and Friday and I was supposed to be the booth babe on Saturday. Well, by booth babe, I mean congenial fellow who would chat up the company and the services we offer to anyone passing by our booth. However, due to the aforementioned Family Day, the decision was made to rig it all down on Friday evening and not attend Saturday. Now, this decision was made but not communicated to myself nor my manager so I arrived into town thinking my suit would do more than hang in the closet. It seems I have been wrong. At least it still looks like a sharp suit.

It is at this point that I have realized I have picked a strange title for this post. While I can change it to something more relevant like "ramblings: part 2" I think the mismatched title is more fitting.

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