Pop Tart Diplomacy

Recently (well, before the summer. Is that recently? My sense of time is shot) the editors at the Foreign Service Journal asked me to write a little piece for their reflections column.

Now I’m not a Foreign Service officer but my father was. He served in several countries including the Soviet Union (at the time), the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Denmark. He also took part in nuclear disarmament talks in Geneva, Vienna and Madrid.

So I lived most of my childhood overseas. From age 2 to 6 in Brussels, 10 to 13 in Copenhagen, 13 to 16 in Brussels again. When I returned to the States and began my junior year in an American high school, I walked around with huge, amazed eyes. I was fascinated by cheerleaders, cheeseburgers and chilidogs.

So it’s a bit surprising (though probably doesn’t take much pop psychology) to find myself married to a foreigner, living in another country. I obviously feel comfortable being the outsider. Though a foreign service background can have the opposite effect. My sister has vowed never to leave her chosen state of Wisconsin again.

But even though I have lived much of my life away from the States I have retained a certain Americaness. A wilful Americaness. Which, as I explain in the article, I think comes from being the daughter of a diplomat.

So without further ado here it is: Pop Tart Diplomacy.

photo by striking_photography (flickr)

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Pop Tart Diplomacy

  1. And here I thought you were in Boston…

  2. ninakillham

    Hi Lois, it’s funny you should say that because I’m dying to bring my kids there one day soon.

  3. Hi Nina – I loved the article. As an Ex-Pat in Munich I know exactly how you feel. You could never explain this feeling to someone who is not American. And luckily to fellow Americans you never have to…we just get it.

    When I used to attend the Montreal Expos games (baseball) years ago, and I would hear them play the Star Spangled Banner – I confess I would always get a little weepy. It came from really listening to the words and understanding when and under what circumstances they were written.

    In spite of the headlines it is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. CG

  4. ninakillham

    Hi Catherine, thanks so much for your comments. We ex-pats are all over the place!

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