Sunday, April 02, 2006

Movin' Right Along

Allow me a minute to send a word of thanks over to Prince Roy. His is one of the first and longest-running blogs about the life of we itinerant Foreign Service Officers. Well, it was the first blog I ever found, anyway. I'm no blog archivist, but I remember well when I found his blog, and how I became hooked. It was December 2003 or early 2004. A younger PR was just starting work in Washington DC, experiencing A-100, and finding out where he would be sent. I was trying to find out just what this whole Foreign Service thing was all about. And there it was. Prince Roy's Realm was well written, honest, and personal without being maudlin; it gave me the inside scoop on what my life could be like if I chose to "enlist". It sounded good to me.

So hats off to PR. I am now in the Service, in India even. Reading his blog gave me a free preview of life in the Service and helped coax me in. He even answered a couple of my e-mails on how life was on the inside. So it was a thrill to meet him during my brief stint in Chennai. I got to listen to him adjudicate and see the style that produces 200 visas in one day. Like Hector in his prime, surely. I even got to witness a supersecret passing of the torch ceremony, full of arcane ritual, in which PR passed the mantle to the next senior junior officer. It wasn't Masonic, but, well, I'm scared to say more.

The picture above is from Prince Roy's "wheels up" party, some of his final moments in India. It's a picture of bloggers, including Kiruba, Beth, PR, and me. Kiruba and Beth also have excellent blogs that detail the joys of being in South India. I believe Kiruba is one of the first of the notorious Chennai bloggers, with perhaps 8 years of blogging under his belt. Highly recommended, both of them. (And he allowed me to snag this picture!)

Thanks PR for being an honest guide to the FS rollercoaster. You are a generous man, sir. Hope to see you soon, perhaps Christmas in Beijing? All the best.


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