Last week, Prof and I attended a U.S. Embassy function hosted by the new U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus. Anyone and everyone was there: The President of Cyprus, the Archbishop, the Foreign Minister, and then there was us.
Prof and I took our short five-minute taxi ride. It had been our first night excursion, seeing the sights and sounds of the city. There were people walking their dogs and brightly lit neon lights from the local sports pubs.
The taxi took us to the embassy, and it was heavily guarded with security guards, a check-in post, and metal detectors. Once we passed through security, we walked right by the beautifully manicured grassy lawn. We noticed in the far off distance passed the lawn was a large metal-gated swimming pool. It looked liked it belonged in one of those architectural design magazines.
Before entering the building, I looked up at the architecture. The embassy’s creamy stucco/stone building had two very distinct geometrical structural features: a cylindrical dome entrance attached to a large cubical structure that resembled more like a modern tower that would hold a princess captive in fairytales or a prison.
Once you walk through the first set of double wooden doors, there was a steel encased double glass door that was more fitting in a vaulted bank. The Ambassador was the one of the first people to greet us in a line of hellos.
We passed through a lovely wooden ornate hallway into the courtyard. Under the midnight blue sky, we saw an open courtyard packed full of people. A server greeted us with all the drinks you could ever want: Sprite, Coke, cocktails, and even whisky. (We picked up the Coke and Sprite glasses.) Several new Embassy staffers greeted us. And within minutes, Prof gave out all his business cards.
After eating some hors d’oeuvres, which some looked like they came heated straight out of the frozen food section of a grocery store (which, by the way, reminded me of some yummy food back home), the Ambassador gave his evening debut speech. He spoke about the political, economic, and cultural divide that exists within the country. He tried to end on a promising note: to see a brighter future for Cyprus and the U.S. relationship with Cyprus in this transatlantic region. At the very end, he said something eloquently in Greek that impressed me, even though I had no idea what he said. He demonstrated that he an excellent grasp of the language.
For the rest of the evening, we mainly talked to other Fulbright students. Everyone had such a good time that we stayed after it was well over.
Our crowd was probably one of the “lowliest level” people at the party, but nevertheless, we had an absolute blast. It will probably be one of the highlights of our journey.