Monday, July 28, 2008

First Goodbyes

I said my first round of goodbyes tonight - a good friend is leaving this week for a month-long vacation overseas, and he won't return in time to see me before I go. (Actually, he gets back to New York at about the same time I'm leaving... unfortunately, our overlap of 2 hours is useless because he's at a different airport.) Oofh. It's finally beginning.

Housekeeping notes, also known as I'm too tired to make this into anything more coherent than a collection of sentence-long updates.
  • I ought to have my second assignment by 8 August, and things are just getting more exciting in my first-choice city. If I go to Istanbul, my arrival date there is June 2010. A lot can change between now and then. (For that matter, the summer of 2012 is probably the earliest date that State will discover how well qualified I am to work in Baghdad, and a lot of developments, hopefully all for the better, will occur between now and then.)
  • I've been following a new website, Crossroads Arabia, for the past few weeks, and I think it offers a refreshing look at Saudi society, which isn't the uniformly oppressive and scary face that we so often see in the media. The author, a former FSO, does a good job highlighting the often glacial attempts to reform civil society and governmental structure in Saudi Arabia. Keep an eye on that author for a more nuanced view of the Kingdom.
  • It's official: I will be the next-to-last person in my class to leave the country. I'm excited.

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