What can you recommend to me and people in my position in terms of meeting young people abroad, getting involved in post life, and whether or not the possibility of meeting “Mr. What is post life like for a young Singleton’ a la Bridget Jones’ Diary?
Dear Single Young Female: Congratulations on joining the Foreign Service!
For some reason, this is probably the number one thing I’m asked about. There can certainly be some events to go to but we don’t really go to that many, and we don’t host that many either.
For us, we tend to host quite a bit privately but that all comes out of our own pocket, i.e.
The whole system is really built on the assumption that there is another person organizing the myriad tons of paperwork that go along with moving, that there is always someone at home to open up for maintenance and movers and security companies and what not, that there is someone who will go and view and interview schools and pick up kids and come to briefings at 10am.
All of this has to be done while your spouse is actually doing their diplomatic work, which usually starts right away after a move.
And if there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to know about being a diplomat, just go ahead and ask -after, one thing that is not a myth is that the job is really all about sharing what we do. In some posts, having a car with diplomatic plates still means you might get a little leeway (for example, in Salzburg we were allowed to drive all the way up to the entrance of the music festival) but generally speaking, if you’re not the ambassador headed to a special event with an official car, you can park with the meter just like everyone else. And since I love a good party, no one is more bummed about that than I.
But if you’ve ever moved, even if its across the street, let alone across the world, you know that there is a slew of things that go along with moving in terms of set up and take down and for us, this happens about every two years.
We’re perpetually in a state of coming or going and getting all that organized, and especially once you have kids or pets or more family members, it really does become a team effort.
At the end of the day, while there is certainly enough to go around, people don’t do this for the money.
People do this job because they love it and they believe in it.