Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The suckage

We've done alot of traveling in our day across Europe and in the US. While we love to see new places, experience new things, eat new foods there is one old constant that remains. It sucks traveling with 4 kids! And, there is no way to escape the suckage. It's the price you pay being a parent with wanderlust.

Think about it. How can 6 people be happy all at the same time? Forget the 6, I'll go for 4. Cause really if the 4 little people are happy that's all that matters. Really. Think of how the odds are stacked against you. Now cram those 6 people in a small car (where touching is unavoidable, because minivans are scarce here) for a three hour tour. Are you singing the Gilligan's Island theme song yet? The suckage is under way!

First there is jockeying for just the right position in the car, but not next to your archrival sibling of the moment. This makes actually attaining your perfect seat in the car impossible! Then there's the radio. We get some arabic songs, horrible euro-pop, horrible american pop or I have one Stone Temple Pilots cd I brought because I almost left it in the glove box of ghia for 2 years. Thank god the kids like STP, but there's only so much "Flies in the Vaseline" one person can listen to at one sitting. So then there's the fight for what to listen to or nothing at all. Again not all 6 of us can be happy at the same time.

Then there's lunch. Now I would have packed lunch except that we have this transportation issue and getting to the store is a whole separate issue, so this complicates matters. So, we MUST stop and eat. There is no Wendy's, which in the states would make all my kids happy. So we stop at a random gas station because they have a restaurant and that was the only qualification at this point. Now in Germany rest stops have amazingly good food. So we give it a shot. What do we have to lose? Of course, the whole menu is in French and well we don't know that much French. From what I can discern, there is schwarma (flat bread with meat and spicy sauce) and a hamburger served with a fried egg on it (don't ask's a Moro-cuckoo thing) and pizza. Of course the kids don't like the choices and they are complaining about the food situation. We order pizza for all of us which turns out to be the worst pizza known to man. Seriously, I'm not a picky eater, but it's really horrible. I think that they put green chilis in the scant bit of sauce and they topped it off with some sliced cheese on top. After finishing our truly disgusting lunch, we're back in the car and of course re-jockeying for seats again! Uggghhhhh.

All along the two way road we see kids riding donkeys loaded down with branches doing their chores. I don't know where they were taking the greenery or for what purpose, but there were donkeys are going in both directions all along the way to and fro. So here my kids are going on vacation to a beach none the less and bickering about all the little minut details along the way and the Moroccan kids are slaving away doing their chores moving the soylent green from one place to another, but strangely look a hell of alot happier than my kids. How can this be? This proves my theory....less stuff= less stuff to fight over and thus more gratefulness and happiness. That's it we're purging all their stuff when we get home and I'm getting them a donkey, we're not going to need that gardener at the new place after all.

So we get to our destination the beach town of Oualidia and find the apartment that we'll be staying at for the next few nights. It's beautiful! Definitely the most beautiful place I have ever stayed in my life. Great ocean view, three bedrooms, three pools and decorated with a tasteful, tropical flair. I tried to take pictures of the inside, but it just didn't do it justice. So does the whining stop now that they are out of the car? No. Lets let them get some play time. Beach or pool? It's split. It's gonna be the pool. More complaints. After some pool time we have to get groceries. Of course no one wants to do that. It goes on and on. One kid wants this and another one wants that, but no one ever wants the same thing at the same time. You know when they were little and we traveled I always thought it would get easier as they got older. Nope. What no one tells you is that they become far more articulate and can just tell you in excruciating detail and ad nauseum how much they don't like something. It sucks.

Then there's the question of what to eat (again). We ate out the first night and it was awful and overpriced. So today we'll go to the beach and buy some fresh caught fish while we're there. And then we'll get some simple ingredients at the market where they have meat hanging out in the open air. (I tried to take a picture, but I got scolded with the ultimate knockdown a madam instead of a mademoseille.) This is a small town, so they don't have much at the market here. Two things that are very good in Morocco are olive oil and capers. They will go great with fish with some fresh garlic. If I haven't said this before, I love to cook and escape in the little kitchen at the apartment. It's got windows on 3 sides and not only can I see the ocean, but I can open the windows and catch the ocean breeze. So the kids are kicked out and I'm cooking in my little happy place. Happiness further helped along by the wine we brought with us from "home", cause they don't sell it in the stores here. So I pour a glass (or two...but who's counting) and I cook a very simple, but very delicious meal. I feel like my Hungarian grandma.

The kids are excited for the fish. A truce is called and we all sit down to eat. (Or maybe that was the wine I had. I'm not sure and I don't think it matters really.) We ate alot of salmon back in the states, but I don't think that they have ever eaten a fish with the scales on before. I know for certain that they have never had one on their plate with the eyeballs still intact. So this reminds them of a Man vs. Wild episode in which Bear Gryllis eats fish eye balls. So, it's now survivor dinnertime. Who will try the eyeball first? Chew or swallow? Mix with food or fish eyeballs a la carte? So for 45 minutes at the table everyone is happy all at the same time and all because of a fish.

So what was Oualidia? A great photo op and a great meal? It was a beautiful place and I'm glad to have seen it albeit in whine-o-vision. I just wish I had more reserves to enjoy it, but as we all know that's how it is with kids. One day I'll be old and senile and look back at the pictures and time will have soften all the arguing, poking, yelling, discontent and exhaustion and I'll have the most vivid fond memories of it. I can't wait til that happens. Until then, I'll remember the meal, the wine and those magical 45 minutes when none of the rest of it mattered.

Bonus math problem:

You have 4 kids traveling in a small Peugot how many different seat combinations can you make? And if they are traveling 330 km at a speed of 100kph will they make it to their destination before they kill each other?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

House Hunters International

Craig and Marie have recently arrived in Rabat, Morocco where Craig will be working for the Peace Corps for two years. They have four children: Sky 11, River 10, Jade 8 and Ember 5. The oldest three attend the Rabat American School in an area called Agdal in Rabat. Currently the Loerzel family is living in a 3 bedroom, 5 bathroom apartment, but hope to find a house near work and school.

House #1:
Located in the popular family and family friendly area of Hay Riyad near a mosque (with five loud daily bellowing calls to prayer). This is a five bedroom 3 bathroom house without a basement. It boasts an enormous yard with lemon trees and rosemary bush. It is on the lower end of their price range.

House #2:
Is an enormous home with 4 bathrooms and 5 bedrooms and a large open basement with a second Moroccan kitchen located there. It has two fireplaces and a medium sized yard. Most houses in Morocco don't have heat or air conditioning, but this house has units in all the bedrooms. It is in the middle of their price range, but may be too big to be approved by the housing office at the US Embassy.

House #3:
This house is located right behind a supermarket. It has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. It has a traditional Moroccan room with mosaic tiles covering the walls and a Moroccan fountain in the entryway, but only has a small yard with an orange, lemon and loquat trees. It is the smallest house in the middle of their price range.

So which did they choose?

House #1 Noisy mosque house

House #2 Too big house

or House #3 Moroccan Barbie Dream House

They choose house number 3. Habib (his true name and identity are uknown) the owner of the house doubled the price once he found out they were American. After several attempts to try to negotiate with Habib, he would not reduce the house to a reasonable market price. Then they chose house number 1. The owner let's call him Kareem, renigged on a verbal agreement to rent to the Loerzels. By default they settled on house number 2, that while in their price range, was in fact deemed "too large" by US Embassy standards.

After all was said and done a house currently in the American Embassy pool (and due to be dropped) and again deemed "too large" by US Embassy standards (by a mere 7 meters) was pursued by the Loerzels. Located near the Korean Embassy in an area called Souisse, it boasts a large manicured lawn (and gardener named Mohammed to care for it), 3 bedrooms, a long driveway for the kids to ride bikes on. After a security clearance and a waiver sent to Washington DC regarding those extra 7 meters, the home was approved and the Loerzels will move in in April. Now about those spies wire tapping the current occupants...

DISCLAIMER: This is but a representative fraction of the houses viewed in the frustrating quest to find a home in Rabat.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A prelude to Earth Day

Behind the apartment we are staying in is one of the few parks in the city and it's a bustling place. There's a soccer field (on some nice hard asphalt), basketball court and a playground. Numerous buses pull up and bring the local school children here, men come out to play a mid-day game of soccer and neighborhood parents bring their kids to play. Sweltering heat and physical activity have consequences one of which is the need for liquid refreshment. Mix in the kids on the playground and you can add a snack as an essential in the the mix. The inevitable result of this rehydrating and snacking? Garbage. And lots of it! Since this is a third world country there is no trash can at the park. And recycling? It doesn't exist. So where do you put this rubbish? Wherever it lands when you're done.

So we head to the park and I bring a trash bag and instruct the kids not put any glass into it because we're going for quantity of garbage and the glass would weigh us down. Ready, set....go! My kids have never seen so much trash all in one place and are anxious to help in the process. Plastic bottles, cigarette packages, lighters, orange peels, socks, shoes and anything else you can imagine. You name it, we picked it up. We only brought one bag and it's abundantly clear we can't clean up the whole park in one trip.

Actually physically picking up the trash I now see there are so many levels to this. Especially because we're foreigners here and I know that automatically makes us more visible. I am aware that all eyes at the park are on us and what we are doing. They are looking with suspicion. Do they think it's condescending? Do they think that I think I'm better than them? Do they think I'm less than them doing this? Are they embarrassed? These are the thoughts running through my head.

After watching us for quite some time some others at the park start picking up the trash too. They say thank you ( in english) and smile. I say thank you in french and smile back. The school children in particular are so eager to speak english to us and come with one question and then quietly confer on proper phrasing before they ask another. Before we know it the bag is filled. We could have filled bags and bags with all the litter, but we got the bulk of it from the playground where the little kids play. We've only made but a small dent. I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but this small thing has turned into something so much bigger than picking up trash. Suddenly, we cease to be "the foreigners" and it turns out we're all just parents and children, patrons of the park. And all of us are working together for a common cause. It's a beautiful moment. (Trust me, I know how corny that sounds and I don't care!)

So now it's tradition to bring a trash bag when we go to the park. Every time we do there is far more garbage than there is bag. And when others are at the park some will help or at least throw their own garbage in our bag. My favorite helpers are the school children who are so eager to speak english to us. They bring us garbage and come with one question before scooting away quietly conferring on proper phrasing before they return with another. My ultimate dream would be to see trash cans in public places and recycling, but it's so much more basic than that. Right now being there at the park and actually physically picking up trash are both meaningful and important. Not only as an example to my kids, or being the right thing to do, or extending some community spirit, but just because it's there.

In the greater scheme of things I would hope that maybe..... just maybe......a seed is planted and someone, just one person, who didn't put a thought into litter before is thinking about it now. In time maybe those that go to the park will start to be a bit more responsible for their own refuse. For those more inspired souls who see trash, pick it up. . Perhaps in time someone else will bring a trash bag too and will contribute to keeping their community clean. Til then we will continue to pick up the park one piece of garbage at a time and we'll look forward to all those that we meet in the process. I am silently singing kumbaya in my head just thinking about it!

Reading suggestion: The Tin Forest by Helen Ward (If you haven't read it, it's one of my favorite childrens books with beautiful illustrations.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Parlez-vous anglais?

Another day of waiting. Today it's the plumber. Previously it's been the internet guy, delivery guy, security guy and the repairman. As if it isn't hard enough without a car, it's even worse when you must be in the house waiting for someone to come at some unknown hour. We have an empty apartment because our stuff hasn't arrived, Ember has no friends to "have over", we really don't have much to do in the apartment besides some borrowed games and library books from the school. There are only so times I can read David gets in Trouble and so many times we can play sorry, trouble, go fish and uno. So that

Ember and I have discovered Little House on the Praire in French. I figure this is educational on two levels: life of the pioneers (I'm talking before they adopted Albert and the show gets all weird because they needed to add a fresh new character to save the series) and learning French. I hope one day to be able to say useful phrases such as: Hitch up the wagon Charles, Can I stop churning the butter now mama I have blisters on my hands or the emphatic, Look mama....Mary can see! a la francais. I'm pretty sure that they will come in handy one day and Ember and I will be better people or knowing them. Or that's what I'm telling myself.

I have not ventured into the arabic chanels. I can't differentiate the sounds of the arabic language. They range from hacking up a real big phlegm ball to the more croupy cough tone and everything inbetween. Plus I don't really want to watch anyone from the Golden Girls dubbed to make any of those noises or really any noise at all. The thought makes my stomach turn. I would however watch Baywatch re-runs in Arabic to see if there is a sound that they can dub David Hasselhoff sucking his gut in. Oh my god, I have to channel surf to see if I can find that now!

There is one...yes..... one channel in english. CNN. If you have watched enough CNN, as I have recently, you know the best show on CNN is Christiane Amanpour. She's on right after the kids get tucked in bed. I look forward to watching her all day. Intelligent interviews, fascinating people and all in english. Who will she interview tonight? Desmond Tutu? Annie Lennox? That fascinating new Palestinian author? It's been the link that connects me to the rest of the world from what seems like total isolation in the apartment waiting for the plumber and pondering whether Moroccan plumbers also have plumber's crack. That was until earlier this week when Moroctelecom guy came. I could have cared less if he came when Amanpour was on, that's how happy I was!

So now with my newfound internet freedom of information, who do I find in the news today but Christiane Amanpour. ABC wants her on their morning show to replace snuffleupagus. Oh I'm sorry... I meant George Stephanopoulus. While this is all well and good for Ms. Amanpour, I DON'T GET ABC here damn it! I think I've developed an unhealthy Amanpour obsession either that or I just need to get out of this apartment, go for a walk and breathe in the 3rd world exhaust fumes! I'm sure with a little time out walking in the polluted city and I will be able to identify just the right arabic sound to convey David Hasselhoff's gut sucking in case they haven't found one yet. I'll let you know...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Allah provides

Rabat American School, home to segregation. Those who bring their lunch (and eat outside on the picnic tables) and those who buy hot lunch and eat inside at the cafeteria. It's a big decision. Not only does it determine what you eat, but who you eat with. Whatever you like from home or the healthful meals (not reheated from a package like in the states) actually cooked in the kitchen at the school. Of course this makes the bring from home option highly popular, except on fridays when hot lunch comes with ice cream. That's incentive to eat the couscous, chicken and the vegtable of the day, at least a nibble or two.

So one day Sky comes home and announces that a Moroccan girl in his class brought McDonald's for lunch. I always take these stories that come home from school with a grain of salt. Really? Where did she get the McDonald's from? Sky says that her parents will get her anything she likes for lunch and she said she could also score him some of whatever he would like. I'm more than a little suspicious, she sounds kinda like a drug dealer to me. He said he asked her for pizza. Yeah. Okay. Whatever. The next day, much to my surprise, he brings home a Pizza Hut pizza. "It's from Allah" he says. Allah? God of the Muslim world? Really? Did she give him hallucinagenics? Turns out her name is Allah and I'm pretty sure that she is the god in her household.

Note to Loerzel children: We will live in Morocco for 2 years. This is temporary. You may go to school with rich Moroccan princes and princess, however you are neither rich nor of royal blood. No, you can not have a camel at your birthday party, you will not be dropped off/picked up at school by a private driver or the maid and I will not send you to school with whatever you want for lunch. Just remember... Allah provides. So why don't you ask her parents?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gratefulness lesson #1

We must get out of this apartment! Time for a road trip and to see beyond the capital city of Rabat. Pack a lunch, a camera (oh man, the battery is dead) and 4 kids and lets head to the Roman ruins in Volubilis. Right now our mode of transportation is the Peace Corps loaner car which is some peugeot coupe model. So going anywhere requires the kids to cram into the back seat. There is no escaping the ensuing "touching" this involves. As we all know, touching is not good. Neither is having only 3 seatbelts in the back seat. Our kids like having the "lucky" seat without the seat belt and if you saw the way people drive here you would realize this really is a game of Russian Roulette.
We were told that the drive to the ruins would only take and hour or so by car, not so. By hour one we had already living through several scenarios of he/she is touching (tickling, biting, spitting, kicking and almost any other verb you can imagine... please feel free to fill in the blank). Heading into hour two, driving back to sit in the aparment all day sounded pretty appealing! At our wits end and wanting nothing more than to get out of the car so the little hellions could roam free, we came upon the city of Meknes. Original plan diverted. We're going to Meknes.
We pulled up to the wall of the kasbah, parked the car and got out to picnic. Already spent on yelling at the kids for two hours it was a very quiet and resentful lunch. Why did we even come? This sucks!
Thereupon enters Abdul. He's a man of about 70 years of age with a slight built with large friendly eyes and a large scar that runs from his cheek and over half his nose, as if it was severed and reattached. Abdul can muster his way through English and offers us to show us the city. Why not? We enter the most ancient part of the city which was named after Mecca. The city with its narrow mazelike alleyways littered with trash, boasts over 100 mosques. It's bustling with activity, kids playing, shop owners transporting their wears, mothers and children getting from here to there, stray cats everywere (much like in Greece) and us following Abdul wherever he takes us.
Normally we wouldn't take someone up on their offer to show us the sights, but immediately we're glad we did. Abdul knows every inch of the city and our kids are distracted from each other trying to make out what he says with his thick accent. They are quiet. This alone makes taking a guide worth it. Abdul knows not only everywhere to go, but everyone. He runs into a family member or a friend and stops to talk to them briefly several times throughout our tour. We stumble accross one of the 100 mosques, but this one has it's door open so we can peak inside. We can't enter as non-muslims, so this is as close as we can get to the mystery that lies inside. Moroccan mosaic tiles, marble floors and prayer mats. In a dirty litter filled city I can't believe how beautiful this mosque is. I also can't believe I don't have a camera to capture this!
Next up, the hammam (turkish baths). The women are able to use the baths in the morning and the men in the afternoon for only 10 dirhams (a bit over $1). You buy the soap which looks more like brown vaseline sold in big bulk barrels at the hanut. When we continue to walk and head around another corner and Abdul opens the door to a dark cellar with a huge fire in an enourmous furnace and the man tending it throwing in cedar chips. It's his job to keep the fire burning and heat the water for the hamas. He's also roasting a cows hoof in the fire for his dinner. Now that's multitasking!
Everywhere we go there are people carrying jugs and headed to to local water spicket for water. In this old part of the city there is no running water. And while the water appeared fresh, the jugs and their hands were filthy. And filth well, lets talk about filth...we next journeyed to the market. In the covered medina they had almost any meat you could want and it was all laying it on the marble slab counters with the flies flitting from the beef, to the lamb, the rabbit and the fish. Yum. Not only could you get any meat pre-cut and prepared right in front of your eyes on the unfrigerated marble slab where it lies all day, you could also get the the whole chicken or rabbit for those of you do-it-yourselfers. Of course with livestock come the smells that make it authentic. This made an impression on all of the kids. I'm not a germaphobe or squemish, but there were just so many levels of unhygeneticness (I'm sure that's not a word, but it is now). Lack of refrigeration, the heat of a warm day, stray cats, flies, the "clean" water in dirty jugs and the fact that the merchants handling the food have filthy hands. Needless to say we did not linger here and proceeded through there in the most hurried of paces.
Abdul of course took us to all the local artisans he knew. The wood carver (they use cedar and of course carve by hand), the iron workers, the jewelry maker, the women drying cumin in the open square and the tapestry dealer. Adul looked worn and tired and our kids were too, so we parted ways with our gratitude and a nice tip. We made the trek back to the car when the necessity for the potty presented itself. So, we packed the kids in and headed to the closest WC we could find. Gratefulness lesson #2, the squat potty. Hole in the floor, aim and shoot. This of course was "fun" for the boys, but confusing and required a delicate balancing act for the girls.
The ride home was a quiet one. I would like to think that they were silently meditating on how truly grateful they are at having running water, refrigeration and pondering their new found respect for hand washing. Hey, I can fantasize can't I? I'm pretty sure they were just exhausted from all the walking. We arrive back at the apartment. Last one out of the car has to light the fire and cook the cow hoof for dinner!

Ass Olympique

  There are a few things you should know about me: I'm very uncoordinated, I have no belly or hips to speak of and I have never had a dance class of any kind ever before in my life. I could barely pass aerobics in high school PE. In fact, I still have recurrent nightmares to this day that I fail gym and can't graduate.   

  I was never much of a girly girl. In my youth you could find me digging in the dirt, riding my brother's skate boards or flying planes.  Not only did I act more like a boy, I had super short boy haircut all the way through school.  It didn’t help that I had no curves to confirm I was a girl.  I was a tom boy missing that genetic component that other girls seemed to have that made them want to do fun, frivolous things like dance. So why at 40 years old, with some kind of weird genetic mutation and two left feet, would I start now?   

  We pull up to the gym and I see a sign above the door.  ASS Olympique, it proclaims. I assume this ass has a meaning other than turd originator. It’s hot, so the door is already propped open, but there is a privacy curtain preventing passing men on the street from seeing in. The class is strictly for women only.  A place where women trade in their headscarves for hip scarves.  In the dressing room, modest flowing djellabas are replaced by sparkly, tight, midriff bearing belly dance costumes.  I'm way too overdressed in my tank top and stretchy Old Navy jersey knit skirt.  I look like I'm shopping for hummus and Tom’s toothpaste at Whole Foods.  

  Zeinab, the instructor is originally from Egypt.  She married a Moroccan diplomat  about 25 years ago and has lived in Morocco ever since.  Her family disowned her for this act of treachery.  At first, her name sounded so extraordinary.  Later, I'd learn it's the Arab equivalent to Jennifer.  The class is taught in French with some Darija (Moroccan Arabic) thrown in when the conversation gets very casual, which happens with some frequency.  I don’t know either, so I resort to forced smiling.  So, I’m pretty sure it conveys the exact forced aloofness I was trying to conceal. 

  Right foot where?  How does she move her hips like that?  Wait.  What the hell are my arms supposed to be doing?  Shit. My smile disappeared and was replaced with self commentating my screw ups and peppering them with swear words.   No one knew English anyway, so, I figured it didn't matter how loud I cussed in public.  Until I remembered that the first things you always learn in a foreign language are the swear words.  Shit.  Who cares?   No one knows me here. Maybe Ass Olympique needs a mascot.  I’m gifted at being an ass.

  I clumsily stumbled through the rest of class.  Trying to bury myself discreetly in the back of the room.  Which doesn’t work when the room is wallpapered in mirrors. Dammit. My captive belly dance audience, Ember, is judging me. I can feel it. Oh, I know she looked like she was collecting the coins that the other dancers shimmied right off their hip scarves.  But I know she was thinking, "My mommy is an uncoordinated ass.  I wonder if I gouge my eyes out with these coins?”  Then her worst fear was realized when the class ended and the other dancers kissed her.  On the mouth.  In America this would have another context entirely.  CPS would be called, but it doesn’t exist here.  Nor does the concept of personal space.  

  I’ve already decided I’m coming back because I love a challenge.  Plus, I need to get out of the house on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the expense of my daughter’s boundary issues. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One week

We have been in Morocco for one week now and here's the short list of likes/dislikes:

Pistachio yogurt
The beach
The turtles in the pond at school
Moroccan mint tea
Warm balmy weather
Rabat American School
Palm trees, bamboo and lots of tropical plants/smells
Liberal Muslimness...I have worn my holey jeans and think I may be able to do a tank top come summer without being stoned to death.....yahoooo!
Bulk spices at the grocery store
The smell of the medina
Insane "no rules" driving
Pain au chocolat
Belly dancing (or Classic Oriental dance as the rest of the world calls it....who knew?)
Fascinating, friendly welcoming people
Fresh produce (Proof of freshness: it's still covered in dirt)
How big the couscous isle is in the supermarket
Eating lunch outside at school
Morocco as a springboard to see even MORE of Africa.

Avocado juice....really anything exotic that we don't have in the states must be tried!
Duplicating the Muslim call to prayer. It resonates through the city 5 times a day. It sounds like a bleeting goat or a moped or a sick bleeting goat riding on a moped.
Being conservative. I tried it for a couple hours and I didn't like it.
Strangely there are more hookah bars in Colorado Springs than here!
Who am I kidding? We must try EVERYTHING!

Constant rain. I feel like we live in Seattle. (It is supposed to end soon.)
Parmalat shelf milk (fresh milk is very expensive and sold in SMALL containers)
cold houses
BUGS.... cockroaches, mosquitos and and ants
The OTHER smells of the medina which are supposed to get more fragrant as summer approaches
The blonde kids being kissed by strangers for good luck.
How every house is white with a cement fence around it. It's really hard to navigate your way around because everything looks the same and no one knows street names. Double bonus!
How polluted the beach is...
Endless amounts of paperwork
Wearing a uniform to gym class

Time's up! Must go to the Embassy now.


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