Then my husband became a diplomat, and the prestige of the word fell down a few notches - along with 'vice consul, third secretary.' I suppose that's probably true of most titles; they're much more impressive when they are attached to people that you don't personally know.
Along with our status of diplomat (yes, evidently I am one too because I have an official card from Egypt stating that I am a diplomat. Who knew you just had to marry the right guy?) comes the vaunted 'diplomatic immunity.' Although what exactly I'm immune from nobody has quite explained yet. I still get sick. I still have to pay the same taxi rates. I don't have a car so I can't run down pedestrians in the street. I can't really get away with stepping to the front of the line at the store while waving my card and declaring I'm a diplomat so I deserve to go first. Pretty much I'm just like everyone else (well except for the rent-free thing).
Recently, however, I discovered one of the perks of being a diplomat: diplomatic rates. This coming weekend is a long weekend thanks to our friend Christopher Columbus having discovered a whole new continent. This being the last long weekend before I leave Brandon a lone man for three months, I decided to arrange a trip to the closest beach, Ain Sokhna. Some friends had recommended the Movenpick resort based on a previous trip, so I gave them a call.
I asked for the resident rate, which the reservation desk claimed was an astounding 1500 pounds a night (I never trust anyone quoting me any prices). I like beaches and I like Brandon, but I couldn't quite justify that for one night, a beach, and a swimming pool. So then I tried a tactic the same friends suggested, I asked for the diplomatic rate.
Suddenly the price dropped to 850 pounds, a not-unreasonable price that includes taxes, breakfast, and dinner for a reportedly five-star resort. And plus I get the warm glow of unjustified pride that comes with asking for the 'diplomatic rate.' It almost makes me feel like a legitimate adult.