Yesterday was a bit rough for me. For some reason I hadn't slept well Thursday night. Selim was missing Nan and Grampy, swimming, our regular sized couch, familiar foods -- that he cried himself to sleep. So painful for me to hear; I felt helpless.
I wish I could write about work. Coming in on a temporary duty assignment is really interesting and great for me and my career, but at the early stages, a bit hard for everybody else that I'm with. I'm the new person who has no embassy experience and didn't go through the weeks of Foreign Service orientation that they did. Granted, I did take the basic Consular General course, but that is only the tip of the other training that they had. So I require quite a bit of hand holding. I have been able to work independently at my desk doing some tasks in the system. But my actual interviewing is another story. My line officer is either behind me or just a few steps away to help me out. It is hard for me not to feel like I'm a bother.
My goal by the end is to feel like I have pulled my weight and have the regular officers think that the program works. At my next post assignment, I would hope that the learning curve wouldn't be as high. I will always have to learn the post specific ways of doing things, but once I understand the interview process, that should stick with me from one post to the next. I've learned a lot in one week and I have five more to feel solid about it.
When I got back from work yesterday Selim opened the door and I had to school my facial expression not to show the shock and dismay over his haircut. Clearly, he had gone to the Turkish barber. This buzz cut is even more severe than the one he got after my surgery in January. The first question was, "Do you like my haircut?" What could I say? I ended up with, "You must have gone to the Turkish guy with Dad? It certainly is short!" Later he said that he hadn't really wanted to get his haircut but felt that his uncle was making him do it. At least hair grows back.
For dinner Ogun picked us up and we went to some fish place in the heart of the Turkish section of London. While I can't understand most what Nedim says in his native language, I did get the consternation when he asked his brother what we were doing there since I don't eat fish. He was mad on my behalf. Ever trying to be the peace maker, I just smiled and said I would be fine. What could I really do? It was already 7:30, past the time I like to eat and I was tired from the long week. Good thing Selim had eaten pesto noodles before we left because otherwise he would have left hungry.
The meal was pleasant. Sadia, Ogun's girlfriend, met us there. She is from Izmir, and has been in London for years. Conversing with her is very easy. Selim has accepted her friendship and finds her easy to be with as well. There was a lot of laughter and we didn't end up leaving until 9:00. Towards the end Selim was trying to lay down on the narrow banquette without much success and began to whine, but he held it together for the most part.
Today Sadia is going to come over and head over to Covent Garden with us. The Transportation Museum is supposed to be fun for kids so that is out first stop. I told Selim that the weekend is about what would be fun for him. We might see Buckingham Palace as well. It might rain in the afternoon, which might alter our walking plans. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunny all day, so we might ride the tourist double-decker bus that goes all around the touristy places. You can get off the bus if you see something you want to explore and then get back on and continue riding. I should have some pictures to post after today.