Thursday, September 23, 2010

Truckin' My Blues Away

The Keep on Truckin' Man is an iconic image of optimism to old hippies - according to Wikipedia, anyway - and he is doubly appropriate for me today. First, because I am packing my bags for another road trip. And second, because I am truckin' to some of those embassies and consulates that my hero, former Ambassador Ronald Neumann, calls carbomb-prone places, and where I will have to put a big security foot down.

I dislike being the skunk at the garden party. I would much rather be the helpful problem solver when I visit the field, but some places call for being the troglodyte security guy instead. When I worked at the World Bank as a field security advisor, we headquarters types traveled to country offices only when they wanted us to (and funded our travel), so a TDYer could always count on being welcome. It's a bit stickier for me at DOS, especially when I am called upon to crush the hopes of people who are already working in one of the most difficult and stressful environments in the world, and just want a little lightening of their oppressive security environment.

Gilbert and Sullivan were right. When constabulary duty's to be done, a policeman's lot is not a happy one. But I'll keep my spirits up all the way to my destination by truckin' my blues away.

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