aaronmartz.com and annamartz.com

at your service in the diplomatic corps of the United States of America

Friday, April 07, 2006

Foreign Service Written Exam (and Tonkatsu Sauce)

Morgen ist mein fünfundzwanzigste Geburtstag, but more on that, appropriately enough, tomorrow.

Tomorrow is also the day that I take the Foreign Service Written Exam for the fourth year in a row. Since Aaron is already a member of the diplomatic corps as a consular officer, I've decided to change my career track to public diplomacy. I think it would be a good fit for me since I'm relatively outgoing and like social gatherings. I also wanted the career track that would allow most use of foreign languages in a variety of settings. I'm not too concerned about it (or at least I'm trying not be be) since I've taken it before. I speak six languages - English, French, German, Italian, Tagalog, and Mandarin Chinese - and I would love to be able to use a foreign language in such a capacity in my professional life.

My colleagues in German training had a birthday card signed for me when I walked into our room late this morning. It was okay that I was late, though, since I walked in with mustard and homemade pretzels that Aaron made for my birthday. My German instructor even gave me a present - a bottle of Bulldog Tonkatsu Sauce. I was lamenting (in German) how this particular brand of tonkatsu sauce was difficult to find in Houston, even with the huge Asian population there. I was so desperate for it that had my mother mail me several bottles from Los Angeles. I happened to mention that we were almost out of it, and my instructor suddenly got interested. »Können Sie das buchstabieren, bitte?« I spelled it for her, never wondering why she wanted to know. I opened the present from her today when I got home, and it was a bottle of Bulldog! Lecker, lecker, lecker. When I was asked what I was doing tomorrow, I answered: »Morgen mache ich um 8 Uhr die Außministeriumsprüfung.« So now everyone's crossing their fingers for me.

I can't believe I'm turning 25 tomorrow and celebrating it by waking up at 5 AM to take an exam. It's going to be great. :)


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