Saturday, September 24, 2011

What I wouldn't give for a strawberry ripple

Alright, I admit it: the jazz group was fun and well-received. From orphans to blue bloods, Lahoris like the jazz. I'm not too proud to say that my skepticism was unfounded. I've heard rumors that the PD Powers That Be are plotting revenge on my lack of faith by sending me Broadway singers this summer (searching for the emoticon that conveys 'shuddering-in-horror-while-offering-a-meek-smile-of-acceptance').

Still, despite a program that I have tentatively labelled a 'success' -- i.e., fulfilled the somewhat amorphous PD goal of keeping populations A, B, and C in touch with concepts D, E, and F -- this was a rather trying week. Not strictly for jazz-related reasons, though after Dengue took over Lahore and our trip to Faisalabad was cancelled*, I had desperate visions of the group being reduced to playing for the guards on the Consulate grounds. No, more trying in that one's full-time desk job doesn't stop just because a program is in town. Which leads me to my first ever PD Rule of Thumb:

Schedule ye not a jazz tour if that jazz tour shall coincide with the end of the fiscal year procurement push, grant push, IVLP nomination push, award nomination push, your boss' R&R, a mosquito-borne epidemic, two official delegations, and the arrival of a new Consul General. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain of work, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall be sorely disappointed.

After over a week of twelve to sixteen hour work days (shades of ACS!), general exhaustion finally caught up with me today. I was still bleary-eyed and unwashed when the guards rang the bell at noon asking for their ice; I was no better at three when a vague and annoying desire for ice cream prodded me out of my sleep state. Annoying, since of course I have no ice cream and no chance of strolling out to buy some. Browsing through ice cream makers online didn't really satisfy the craving.

And blast if I can't get jazz 'Happy Birthday' out of my head.

*Aedes mosquitoes and Faisalabad police, I shake my fist at you in impotent CAO rage.

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