While no one will really be interested in this post, I am currently sitting in my office roasting. It’s 31degress Celcius / 88 F and with high humidity. Sort of like being back in Saigon but without all of the pleasures Saigon had to offer. I’m here in Frankfurt until the end of September, Sept. 30th being the last day of the U.S. gov’t fiscal year. I’m here to help spend your (and mine) tax dollar supporting the U.S. Government’s diplomatic efforts around the world. The office provides support to embassies and consulates all over the world with the possible exceptions of Canada and the countries of Latin and South America. I, for example, will be off to Brussels next week and then to Stockholm the week after, working with the embassies in those countries get some construction work done. Not all of the travel is to European countries…last year I was in Syria and Nigeria. But the trips are short, usually just a couple of overnights and then back to Frankfurt to work on the paper side of a project.
If you’re retired, you ask, why are you working and the answer is twofold…one, I enjoy the work. Of all the places and jobs I had in my 32 years with the State Department, the last 4-1/2 years was the best and so when the office asks me to come back to help out at the end of the fiscal year, I gladly agree. Reason number two is the extra income I get for my time here. It helps a lot when one considers the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro (one dollar buys .63 euro cents) and gas is over $8 a gallon. Living in Germany is expensive but life is good. A country with good wine and good beer has to be high on one’s list of places to live, right?
You know, I may have written this before, but here goes…..I find it interesting that many of the Saigon Kids returned to the U.S. and remained, married, had families and just settled down. As an Army brat, I just know that somewhere in my pettigree, I must have picked up gypsy blood…running around the world just seems natural to me and the idea, earlier in my life, to settle in one place was scary. Not so today, in fact, I think the gypsy blood must have been lost somewhere, cause traveling is not so important anymore. Just too much hassle.
OK, bored you to tears, no doubt. I hope everyone I knew or even didn’t know in Saigon is having a good summer. I wish you all a good day. Be good and be safe – Ken (somewhere in the wilds of Frankfurt).