Diplomats, Cocktails, and American Soil

Friday night, I touched American soil, not one block from my Aşağı Ayrancı, home.  I went to the American Embassy for happy hour.  And boy, was it happy.  In a long, dark bar gathered dozens of Turks and expats with one thing in common – a dry thirst.  Actually, I think they all spoke English too.  Regardless, it was the liquor that brought us together.

This happened to be the same day that I posted my Rants about Ankara and Turkey – Vodafon, treatment of the eczane, white lies, and the theory that “Diplomats are King.”  At the bar, I spent time with our hosts the marines, met many Americans and Canadians, laughed with some Turks, and had a couple of conversations with said Diplomats, and at least one son of a diplomat.  While I don’t wish to retract anything I wrote in my post, I thought I might add to it – just a bit.

It’s not that I don’t like Diplomats, I do.  And after Friday night, I certainly like the kids of diplomats.  Here’s a brief summary of a conversation:

Young son of diplomat:  I’ve been here about a month or two.  I started studying Turkish.  But I want to learn more quickly.

Me:  Really?

Young son of diplomat:  Yes, at New Year’s, a group of friends raised their glasses and said, “Mutlu Yillar.” (Happy New Year) I raised mine and said, “Afiyet Olsun!”  (Something like, “Enjoy your meal”).  Everyone laughed.

Me: (too busy laughing to say anything else.)

Yes, I had a great time Friday night.  It made me wonder what I would be like if I were a Dip?  Certainly I would enjoy getting through traffic faster if offered the opportunity.  But what else?

It made me question who I am?  I am the daughter of someone?   Well, there’s a rumor of blue blood lines, and definitely gypsy.  Am I important?  What makes one important?  Is it who I know?  I have friends in the movie biz.  Dolph Lundgren tried to flirt with me once.  I was on a tv commercial.  I partied with Charles Barkley, spent an evening in a bar with Manut Bol, and have autographs from Dr. J, Mike Schmidt and Tug McGraw.  Senator Biden was my professor.  Um, Vice President Biden.  I knew a man that owned a large law firm, a Napa winery, and a jet.   I participated in multi-milion dollar settlements in a suit against the natural gas industry.  And Andrew Wyeth wrote me not one, but two letters after I sent him the only fan letters I have ever written.  In the second he gave me his phone number and invited me to his home.  I went.  The rest is history.

Am I somebody?  Yes I am.  But it has nothing to do with great-great grand-daddy.  And it’s definitely not who I know.  It’s who I am.  It’s what I do.  It’s how I make you laugh, and how I laugh with you. 

The big guy’s son had me rolling Friday evening.  He was a good kid.  Perhaps part of that was because of his dad.  But what I saw was a great sense of humor mixed with ambition and a will to learn.  The fact that he was the son of a Diplomat, well, that was just an aside.  That’s how he delivered the line – it wasn’t an opener.  I think he will go far in life – and if he becomes a Diplomat as he is determined to do – well that will just be icing on his cake!

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