Odd but Predictable
Every once in a while we hear that diplomats from the American Embassy--maybe even the Ambassador herself--will show up on one of our Rambler walks.
Two weeks ago they did.
Here's how a conversation went with one individual who joined us from the Embassy. I'm not going to comment here or editorialize (well, not as much as I usually do. Just the facts).
We--a group of about 70 people of all ages--had gathered in around the Floriana bastions for a three-hour walk on a gorgeous Maltese winter day. One of the Ramblers took me over and introduced me to a man from the American Embassy. That’s how I knew they had finally showed up.
We say hello and I notice a British accent, which makes me curious.
I ask if the Ambassador has come:
Man: No. I think she’s traveling.
Me: Oh, that’s too bad.
Me: Could you tell me something, if you don’t mind? Why doesn’t the American Embassy host any events for the Americans who live in Malta? I mean, the Germany Embassy does for the Germans here. So does the British Embassy for the British. And the same for the Italians here.
Man: Well, I do think we have some Americans over sometimes.
After a moment of uncomfortable silence.
Me: So what do you do at the Embassy?
Man: I’m married to the Ambassador.
Me to Myself: “Huh?”
Mr. S thankfully approaches at this moment. Earlier that morning before arriving at the Ramblers meeting place in Floriana, we had been arguing about how you would address the American Embassy’s female ambassador. I insisted it had to be a politically correct Ms. Ambassador.
So now I introduce the Ambassador’s husband to Mr. S. Then I pop the question:
Me: How should someone in the public address your wife if they meet her? Ms.? Or is it Madame? Mr. S asks.
Man: Your Excellency.
I burst out laughing. But it wasn’t a joke.
Mr. S, who is actually leading the walk today, decides to get things going and takes off, leaving me there. But I exit quickly, not wanting to cause any more civilian damage (mine).
Ahhh...so close but yet so far to the American Embassy.