Ups and downs

John and Tariq in their traditional garb

The highlight of the week was the staff party that John hosted for his staff in Housing. He is soon rotating to another management position, so to say goodbye, he hosted everyone at a local restaurant. They surprised him with some traditional Pakistani clothing: a pair of sandals, a topi (hat), and a wool man shawl – it was great! The ladies on the local staff dressed up in beautiful shalwar chemises and just looked stunning! It was a fun evening. Click to see all the photos from the dinner.

Sana, Lubna, Nayaab










Another highlight was seeing our good friends Howie and Petit again! You may remember that we first met Petit in Mexico, then she married Howie and came to Tel Aviv…and now they are here in Islamabad! The Foreign Service is a small world indeed! They joined us at brunch on Sunday with my co-worker Kelly from Karachi – along with my good friend Scott, John (of course), and Howie’s fellow RSOs Mike and Justin (we also worked with Mike in Tel Aviv). Follow all that? Simply put, it was wonderful to have a table full of friends, old and new!

Monday night, Scott, Michael and I took Kelly to dinner at a local Asian restaurant – quite nice. The next day, Kelly headed back to Karachi. It was interesting to hear about her life there. The officers all live on the Consulate compound, so she basically eats, sleeps and works with her co-workers. Forays into the city have to be carefully coordinated, so her movements are  pretty limited. Makes me glad we have the freedom we do here in Islamabad – fingers crossed that our security situation will remain stable. I just heard on the news that there were problems again in Peshawar, with reported Taliban attacks at the airport there. It’s a few hours from us and is a completely different world, but we do have staff there, so I hope they are keeping safe.

I’m so lucky to work with my good friends Scott and Michael (I also knew Michael from Juarez.) They never cease to have fun and tease – it seems this week they were in full force. We usually have lunch together, but one day I needed to have lunch with another girl to talk about some specific things. Mike and Scott acted devastated that I would forsake them, and sat at a nearby table. All through lunch, they sent me text messages saying “I miss you” “Why do you hate us” etc., while casting exaggerated sad looks in my direction.

The next day at lunch, the manager of the restaurant came over to my table (where I was sitting with Scott and Michael) to inquire about two pie pans I had neglected to return to the Club. I explained that I would bring them back the next day. Then he came back to the table as I was trying to eat my lunch to keep talking about it. I got a little irritated with him, but explained I would bring them this week. I stopped on the way out to talk to the manager again. When I returned to my desk there was a phone message for me, inquiring about the pie pans! (Obviously the manager had sent it before he saw me at lunch.) I told Scott and Michael about it, and we were all laughing about these darn pie pans. (Honestly, in retrospect, maybe it was Scott or Michael who left the message…I’ll have to check into that!)

The next day, I stayed home sick (the down part of the week) and John took the pie pans to the restaurant manager to deliver them personally.

Well, at the end of the day, I got an email from Michael on my Blackberry. He forwarded a note with the sender shown as the restaurant and the subject was “Mrs. Crippen’s Pie Pans.” The note basically said the restaurant had been trying to reach me about the missing pie pans, and could Michael and Scott please ask me about them.

I hit the ceiling! I immediately dialed the restaurant to complain about the harassment about these pie pans! As the phone was ringing, another message came in on my Blackberry. “Just kidding,” it said.



Comments are closed.