It's called the New Embassy Compound, the NEC for short. It's pronounced like neck. Carting many bushels and pecks worth of computers, servers, switches, and other boxes of computer stuff took over my life at the end of August. The U.S. Embassy closed its old location in downtown Bucharest on September 9 and reopened at the NEC in the Baneasa suburb on September 12. As anyone who has ever moved computer networks for a large organization can tell you, our work was only beginning on September 12. Only now, at the end of our second week at the NEC, is life beginning to return to normal. In the course of three weeks, I worked a week of overtime.
For any of my Romanian readers who have seen the NEC and think it an ugly eyesore, a prison compound, or a mini-Pentagon, all I can say is none of us were involved in the architectural design. There are lots of things we, who work at the Embassy, would have done differently if anyone had asked us. On the other side of the coin, the old Embassy on Tudor Arghezi street was in a historic building that was beautiful on the outside but decaying, almost decrepit on the inside. Having a new, modern building to work in is a blessing no matter what its architectural merits.
The best news for me today is that tonight I fly to the U.S. for two weeks of vacation and a reunion with my sisters in Maine. This will be my first vacation in a year, and I am ready!
So where did I leave my story? In the retrospective I had just survived my disastrous, abortive coming-out summer of 1990. Today, in the year 2011, I am less than three months away from beginning the Real Life Experience of coming to the workplace and living my live full-time as Robyn. While in Maine, I will begin my legal name change through the Maine courts.
There is much still to tell both old and new, but having stolen today's opening lines from Frank Loesser's show tune, I will steal my closing from Pushkin. At the end of Chapter 3 of Eugene Onegin, just as Onegin appears in the lane, striding towards Tatyana after reading the letter in which she professes her undying love, Pushkin breaks the action -- he wrote and published Eugene Onegin in installments -- writing:
Сегодня, милые друзья,
Пересказать не в силах я;
Мне должно после долгой речи
И погулять и отдохнуть:
Докончу после как-нибудь.
My friends, I need to pause a spell,
And walk, and breathe, before I tell
A story that still wants completing;
I need to rest from all this rhyme:
I'll end my tale some other time.
See you all in October!