FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Sunday, November 9, 2014

FAO Pro Tip #1 or Ode to VapoRub

UPDATE:  I brought back this tip with me stateside for some of those sporty short flights on regionals in the western US.

The first in a series of post offering professional tips for Foreign Area Officers.  As a FAO you will likely find yourself doing a fair share of travel on small, regional, aged, dated aircraft of questionable safety and sanitary standards--especially if you cover more than one country such as the case for me.

When there is so much that you CAN'T control--its important to control the things you can.  Below is my ode to that most essential of travel aids: VAPORUB.


As I board the crowded dated plane
i'm oppressed by the stale stank air
stagnant and seeping hot.
a cold bead of sweat
        down my side

As the last passengers are
crammed and shoved inside
I am slapped with such
a stankfunkystink
that I nearly gag

heart racing panic descends
as I am assaulted
my every effort consumes me
to not wrench my disgusted face
in the direction...directions?!
of this ancient sour stench

Surely I hope
surely you are with me
                                          my confidant my savior

ahh yes, yes

you rest silently in my pocket
the smooth small curves of your cylinder body
always at the ready

Quickly I uncap you
my fingers dive in and swing
from your eucalyptus branches
I plunge your menthol rub                             the
into my nostrils                                    to
and                                       soaring
 goes my countenance
as I am enveloped in your
analgesic caress
that blocks out and protects me
from the vile olfactory siege
laid up on me.

I close my eyes and smile
safely ensconced in your
mentholated eucalyptol

1 comment:

  1. Ha! This is why I always bring a long scarf with me, spraying it in perfume as I go through the Duty Freee shops :)