For years I kept journals -- in composition, spiral bound, and French graph paper books. This blog is an attempt to get back to writing and documenting the world around me using photos, newspaper headlines, and other articles.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The traveller's inn

When I got back to the flat today and logged on to my twitter, the first post was from the Rumi Quotes sites, and is a perfect companion to my thought patterns today, "Why are you so enchanted by this world when a mine of gold lies within you?"

I began my day in the Special Citizen Service section by helping itemize the belongings of an American who had died someplace here in England.  I typed up the list while the other officer opened up the bags of belongings that had been collected and made sure that the contents written on the outside of the bags matched with what she took out.  We made the list so that family back stateside could decide what would be shipped back, donated to charity, or tossed in the trash.  I'm looking at the stuff and thinking foremost of all the crap I have at home and how hard a job it will be for someone when I die.  And secondly, about all the lines in scripture, bhajans, and satsangs that remind us that this world is not our true home and we can't take anything with us when we die.  This world is like a traveller's inn...

The people in this section are amazing.  Their jobs are stressful and difficult in a completely different way than the other sections that I have been through.  They are dealing with American citizens in crisis -- in jail, destitute, victims of crime, making welfare and whereabouts checks for concerned loved ones back in America, death notifications, and all the other stuff that goes along with a dead person.  The officers must love or hate, be energized or drained, by this rotation.  It is fraught with emotional mine fields.  It is one thing to learn about this stuff in training, and it is another matter all together to watch someone deal with these issues in real life. 

In other news of the day, I saw the Ambassador.  He came walking through the section with the Consul General.  Apparently it was a surprise visit to the area.  I was logging onto the system before lunch to help out on the passport line.  They had gotten behind and I filled in for an our or so.  But now I can say that I have seen the Ambassador.

I broke out of my lunch time rut and went to the Lebanese place up by the Marriott on Duke Street.  The food was excellent, but it took them almost a half hour to bring my food.  Next time I won't go there when I am on a schedule.

And I think that is my day.  One week from the day after tomorrow I will be home!

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