Trivia question: What famous book is this post’s title the last line of?
It may be the last line in the movie version of the book as well, but that movie has so many endings I’m usually numb by that point (and still pointing out inaccuracies).
Anyway, yes, Mal and I are back in the US. We are in an apartment on the top floor of a building, and Mal has the upstairs garret. All the toilets and sinks work, in a refreshing change from the place in Venezuela. There’s a small gas fireplace, and we’ve been camping on the floor on an air mattress next to it. Thankfully it was (insanely crazy) warm when we first arrived, so we were able to acclimate, and had time to buy winter clothes. I’d had a coat for each of us shipped ahead of time from Amazon, but of course mine didn’t fit and we needed additional warm layers. These have been achieved, but it’s still cold! The snow today was a nice treat, though.
My departure from Caracas coincided with a Diplopundit post about Caracas, which asks questions we all ask a bunch there. I will say that the new Management Counselor is trying to make improvements, but otherwise the article seems accurate. I didn’t blog about any of that while I was there because I didn’t want it to come back on my DH, and as he’s still there I’m still going to stay pretty mild in this forum. But the pay adjustments for COLA and danger worldwide are not fair or accurate. Venezuela is extremely dangerous, and it’s dangerous for diplomats, and yet, no danger pay. Rome’s COLA is twice that of Caracas’, but I’m pretty sure a panini doesn’t cost $40 in Rome (and when you get your panini it probably has stuff other than bread in it).
I understand there’s no money for embassies…so maybe we shouldn’t have an embassy in Caracas.
On the other hand, Caracas probably represents the future, and maybe having an embassy to the future is useful.
This is all in a country where the President is in a foreign hospital and hasn’t been seen for 2 months, but no one’s upset. Imagine if Obama had gone into a hospital in a foreign country around Thanksgiving, and when it came time for Inauguration Day, the Supreme Court was like “Oh, he doesn’t need to show up,” and Biden was all “He’s alive, I just saw him.” I don’t think Americans, as slow to action as we are, would be mellow about this.
But that’s only a small part of our life now, and only because we left friends and the DH there. Now we are re-acclimating to a place where you can carry a smartphone in public and where the grocery stores have food.
It’s pretty nice.