The Pastor’s Christmas Shoes | A Short Story

Author Note: The crux of this short story came up in a conversation with a fellow Foreign Service Officer in Bangkok during the ‘70s. It is hoped that its theme captures the Christmas spirit. Bangkok, Thailand | December 1978 After three months of detailed work on an Abu Dhabi bridge design in the United Arab…

Portrait of a Foreign Service Secretary | The End of a Career

January 1977 | Karachi, Pakistan The Saudi Air flight from Riyadh touched down at Karachi International Airport at close to eleven p.m. The Pakistani embassy driver smiled and took my luggage. It was too bad that I hadn’t stayed here long enough to meet more Pakistani people, but I enjoyed traveling. From what I had…

A New Year’s Gaze Ahead | One Fearful Yellow Eye

Bangkok, Thailand New Year’s Day | January 1, 1978 On New Year’s Day, it wasn’t my intention to sit around and worry about what was going to happen in the future. I would play a small role in the upcoming Middle East Peace Initiative in three days time when U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance…

A Not So Merry Christmas | Bangkok, Thailand

Arrival: December 24, 1977 The Boeing 727 Nepal Airlines flight from Kathmandu had played like an accordion through the frigid Himalayas before the heavy aircraft plopped on the runway at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport. The stewardess opened the hatch. It was late morning in Bangkok, but the heat didn’t care, nor had it paid attention…

From the Middle East to Karachi | The Deep Blue Goodbye

Late November 1977 After completing my first Middle East trip I headed back to my home base of Karachi, Pakistan on the Thai International flight. It had only been about two weeks, but it seemed like two months. As the flight ascended to its thirty-some thousand feet cruising altitude, it forsook the stark blue of…