Monday, May 4, 2009

Embassy sweetness

After having spent so much time in the embassy district in Bern lately, I find Lugano to be somewhat lame by comparison. Where are the security cameras and the machine guns and my police escort? I kind of miss the suspicious stares and the pat downs. And that taco stand. I miss the taco stand. All we've got in Lugano is racial profiling and graffiti. And, if I must be fair, an overpriced Mexican cantina.

I'm not sure why no one has decided to gather up all these little consular offices into one big old building. I, for one, though the ambassador who has to answer his doorbell twenty times a day to tell confused tourists that the consular office is around the block would likely disagree, am glad the have not done this. Probably Vatican City is also happy - no need to admit they require a cubicle rather than a golden mansion to run their consular services branch. Anyway, it is nice that a few things in this world have remained quaint, if only for the sad, pragmatic reason that it makes bombing more difficult. (Not sure, but I don't think diplomatic missions actually have extraterritoriality.) Who doesn't love flag-identification, house-gawking, and potentially famous people? I am so glad I got to walk two hours to the Belarussian embassy. 

The black Mercedes seems to be the vehicle of choice for most diplomats. Except, of course, for the Italians. 

The quality of this photo may have been compromised by my realization that taking a photo of a guarded embassy might actually be a bad idea and subsequent desire to have my arm back outside the high iron gate with the rest of me immediately. I'm sorry that the true festive nature of this FIAT does not come through. In this setting it really did shout viva l'Italia!

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