Today Stick and I went down to the embassy so he could take the foreign service exam!
I’m really excited that Stick is doing this, I think he’ll be a great consular officer. Actually I think he would make a great rock star or nuclear physicist or deep-sea fishermen, but that’s because I’m his girlfriend. A bit more objectively, it’s a perfect situation for his personality, his skills and his goals, especially those two competing goals of continuing to travel and live abroad while maintaining a steady income.
It also means that if all goes according to plan, in a few years I’ll be an embassy wife. This is even funnier than that time when my dad decided to go to seminary, and I became a preacher’s daughter in my twenties.
While Stick was taking his test, I walked down to Guiyou silk market. I’ve been there before but hadn’t fully explored the endless stalls. I went downstairs to the shoes and bag universe, and had a good time shopping. I also discovered a new-to-me bargaining tactic. Basically, the vendor starts at, say, 600 for a pair of sneakers, and when we get down to a reasonable price, like 45, and are about to agree on it, she says “How about 2 pairs for 60?”
Now, I don’t need a second pair of Converse sneakers. (One might argue that with 4 other pairs of shoes, I don’t need the first pair, either.) But… it’s works. It’s enough of a bargain that I’m now the owner of my desired black hi-tops, and a pair of bright green ones. “How about two?” worked really well for quite a few vendors today, making two sales instead of one, but it also tipped me off that my bargaining is not going as low as it could be.
It turns out that Stick’s capacity for exam-taking exceeds my capacity for shopping, so I went to drink coffee and read my book until he finished.