As soon as the Foreign Service became a reality for us I began daydreaming about where in the world I’d love to go. Three places quickly rose to the top:

  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • Cuba

I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland and Australia, and Cuba, c’mon — I could finally own a ’57 Chevy. Alas, none of those countries ended up on our bid list, but that was okay. After all, we really wanted to learn French, we wanted the hardship differential, Alex wanted to work in her cone and we thought it would to cool to go somewhere that most of our family and friends had never even heard of. Benin definitely fit the bill. Which was why it was our first choice. And why we’re very happy with our assignment. And why it’s going to be great.


I happened to sneak a glance at the 153rd A-100 class’s bid list, and guess what’s on it. Yep. Lots of cool places, including — surprise, surprise — Ireland, Australia and Cuba.


Even more frustrating is the fact that Alex was almost in the the 153rd class. This could have been our bid list! We were going to take some time off to travel and bum around before she joined the Foreign Service, but we ultimately decided to just get the ball rolling and start in March.

Did I mention, grr?

But it’s easy to dream about cool cities when you don’t take any other factors into consideration. And as they told Alex in A-100, Benin (which really will be cool) is just the first of many posts. So, I’ll meet you in Australia… one day.

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8 Responses to grr

  1. Bridget says:

    oh, I totally hear you on this! Bummer. Of course, even if they were on YOUR bid list, doesn’t mean you would have gotten one of them.
    Cuba is interesting…when I heard that FSOs can be posted there, I too was longing for it, but the reports are pretty negative. 🙁 Still, that would be cool.

  2. Andy says:

    It also doesn’t mean we necessarily would have bid high on them. Ireland sounds great, but we wanted to learn a language and get some hardship benefits. Plus we do think now is a good time for us to go to Africa. Like I said, it’s easy to fantasize about how great living in Ireland or Australia would be, but there is a reason we didn’t bid similar posts on our list high (New Zealand or Norway).

    But oh man, Cuba. That would have been interesting. Oh, and Cape Verde! Sigh…

  3. David L. says:

    We had Istanbul and Athens on our bid list, which were two of the cities that I ranked the highest as soon as we received the FS invite. Of course, once we started the bid list evaluation process, it quickly became evident that these locations, while really cool, just weren’t a good fit for our plan…yet.

  4. Bridget says:

    I have been dreaming like crazy about those two places, too, David, esp Istanbul! And yet if I was invited to A100 (and they were on my bid list…) I probably wouldn’t bid them high, as the practical part of me wants to go to Latin America. It’s funny how it all pans out.

  5. Al says:

    While all three of those places do sound awesome, you have a dog, right? It is always tough to take pets to islands cause they often don’t have rabies. I know pet considerations knocked out a couple of potential ‘highs’ on my bid list. I personally feel it is better to not have to deal with the temptation.

  6. eve says:

    Aside from Australia, bc of the quarantine (read: doggie prison) we are bidding high on the other two- even against our better judgement- Dublin… perhaps we should reconsider. (Madrid is there too and while it doesn’t offer a hardship- you can get the language and consular rotation out of the way! My fantasy dream post) IT IS AGONIZING! I think our one and only priority for the CDO is that our dogs can come.
    I’d love to meet up with other spouses in the area. I think you mentioned it in a comment on my last post. How should I get ahold of you?

  7. Acacia says:

    wellington was on there 🙂 and it was PD too! But Benin sounds cooler, especially given your preferences 🙂

  8. Acacia says:

    ps – i guess New Zealand might not count in your book anyway 🙂

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