Matamoros, Mexico: Washington, D.C.:

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Bangkok, Baby!

Yes, I realize that I was supposed to blog a lot more in February and March about the bidding process and the results of my future assignment. I'll post a new blog entry in the next few weeks explaining why that didn't happen.

I've been assigned to Embassy Bangkok, Thailand! This was my #3 choice, but in reality it was my #1 because I knew that my #1 and #2 choices were long shots anyway. (For those of you keeping track, my #1 was the US Mission to NATO in Brussels, and my #2 was Embassy Paris.) I really couldn't be more excited with my new assignment. I think Bangkok will be absolutely fantastic for me for these reasons:
  • Embassy Bangkok is HUGE. I'll be going from one of our smallest Consulates in the world to literally the 3rd or 4th largest. I'm in for a massive (but great) shock.
  • The city itself is also massive. 12+ million people. It's a major international hub, with a very large expat community. Not to mention that I don't think I could ever get bored there (as opposed to Matamoros, once again.)
  • Public transportation! Hoop yeah!
  • Easy and cheap regional travel. Expect me to be traveling somewhere in southeast Asia pretty much every weekend.
I'm also excited about the work I'll be doing there. I got a rotational assignment, so for the first year I'm there I'll be working as a Consular officer (like what I do now). I still don't know if I'll be doing nonimmigrant visas, immigrant visas, fraud, or American Citizen Services, but I'm sure that it'll be a totally different experience than in Matamoros. I can only imagine the types of absolutely, downright crazy American citizen services cases I'll handle there.

After that first year, I'll then rotate into a political officer position for my second year. Again, I don't know yet what my portfolio will be, but I assume it'll be fascinating.

In related news, I don't really know anything about Thailand. I know that they have a king, and that it's illegal to disrespect him or the royal family in anyway. The king (or another royal family member)'s face is on their currency. Apparently, because of the laws against disrespecting royalty, you should absolutely never stomp on a coin or bill that is rolling/blowing away from you because you'd be stomping on the king's face. That's a reflex I'll definitely have to work on.

I made some Pad Thai the other day to celebrate my new assignment. It was delicious - and I assume it'll be way better when it's actually authentic!

Until next time...peace.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds awesome. I am interested in entering the foreign service myself, and was wondering if you could possibly tell me what FS rank you are (i assume most FSOs start at FS-6 or FS-5) and if you have been promoted(?) at all since you started.

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  2. We loved Bangkok! Though can't say how life is like over there, we had a lot of fun on the 5 days we spent in January and the other 3 days when we were in Chiang Mai (riding elephants! Yay!). Here is one of the posts I wrote about it: http://carlarunstheworld.com/2012/01/30/bangkok-review/

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  3. Yay Bangkok! I was an exchange student there and loved every minute. It's beautiful, the people are amazing, the food is the best I've ever tasted, it's cheap... I'll stop there. I hope you have a fantastic time!

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  4. I love Thailand! It's the #1 escape from our current post. I hope your consular tour doesn't have too many of these moments: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brokedown_Palace

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  5. I lived in Bangkok on a diplomatic post I was so happy and made so many friends. Also the beaches are superb.

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  6. Hi Andrew,

    Just found your blog while searching about the FSOT process. Have you started your post in Bangkok yet? I was an intern at Embassy Bangkok in 2012 and will be working at a law firm there is fall. I just took the FSOT on Feb. 7th and am eagerly awaiting the results! If you are in BKK, hope you are having a great time- it is a great post and great city!

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