Thanks to our Post Management and beyond, both Beth and I were able to go to CLO Training in Bangkok a couple weeks back. It was an adventure, as only Bangkok can be. I easily kept away from all things "What Happens in Bangkok..." and what did cross our paths won't be mentioned here.
|At the airport. M&Ms sharing Arabic coffee.
Signs of the times. Flights to Cairo and Kiev... canceled. Flight to Bangkok... delayed. Everything else... On Time. We were only an hour late leaving, but an hour at 1 a.m. makes for a very long hour.
|Dinner out. The ambiance was lacking, but the food was good.
|Something you won't see on the streets of Amman.
Among many many many other things.
|Spent a lot of time here.
The training was good. We came back with a lot of ideas, some good clarifications on what's expected of us, and several items of note that we "are never ever supposed to do." Some articles in the FAM and the FAH are intentionally blurry, which is good and bad, so it was nice to have people in the know to bounce questions off. The folks at training varied so much, from first time CLOs to those who've done this multiple times (!), from people at huge Unaccompanied posts to those who have a total of 15 Americans as their clientele. Everyone had different concerns.
I guess the biggest news that came out of our time there was the restriction placed on our movements. Limited time was always an issue, being tired after a long day of sitting in a cold room didn't help, but the protests stationed apparently at the entrance to every market and mall meant we were strongly urged by RSO Bangkok to stick to about a 3 block radius. The day after we left, the protests shifted MO and moved to a park, which was great for the folks staying an extra few days.
I was glad to come home to our crisp, clean, dry, Jordan air, to my home and my family. The week was good and I'm glad I went, but I'm a homebody and introvert, so really the best part was returning to the norm of living in the Middle East.