Friday, October 16, 2015

Foreign Service Christmas

I love Christmas. All of them. There's the Christmas you normally think of; there's Ethiopian Christmas, which I will discuss in detail at the appropriate time (January); and then there's Foreign Service Christmas, which I am celebrating now.

Foreign Service Christmas is the day your personal effects finally get delivered to your house at your new post. You get to open dozens and dozens of boxes all at the same time - big ones - and it doesn't matter that all of the contents are things you previously owned because you haven't seen them in months (or in the case of long-term language training or a PSP tour, years) so it still kind of feels like a surprise. Also, you're pretty much guaranteed to like everything you get because you picked it all out. At any rate, if you do open a box to find an ugly ill-fitting sweater there's no one but yourself to blame.

It's all for me!
I am especially delighted by this Foreign Service Christmas because I've been getting by from suitcases and the welcome kit for six weeks now, which is a personal record. Everything so far has arrived undamaged and in one piece, even my piñata! I am only slightly disappointed that the delivery I thought was my UAB (air shipment) and my HHE (general personal effects) turned out to be my UAB and my consumables shipment instead. That means that most of my stuff remains firmly in the clutches of Ethiopian customs for an undetermined period of time. But it's okay, because tonight I can celebrate with a frosty Purple Haze and sleep in my very own sheets, and tomorrow morning I don't have to get up early and feed the cat because his autofeeder will do it for me. This is much, much better than my situation this morning. I am happy.


  1. Replies
    1. I liked that too. They wrapped it very carefully in bubble wrap and then used an entire roll of bubble wrap to fill the rest of the heavy-duty box. And it worked! My piñata is in absolutely pristine condition, all set to be smashed to tiny pieces next March.