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Monday, October 5, 2009

Diplomatic Privileges

I've always been impressed with the title 'diplomat.' It conjures images of men in dark power suits and leather attache cases deciding the fate of the world over stiff drinks in a very chic restaurant.

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.


UnkaDave said...

Ooooohh! A diplomat rate!! Growing up in DC, I know all about diplomats and ignored parking tickets and DUI's. Remember, the Egyptian gov't may let you out of your sins, but St. Peter will make you wait for a while.

Tyler and Rachael said...

sweet-- enjoy your weekend.

PaulaJean said...

Mom and Dad trips are a True Principle of Marriage. And a sweet deal makes it even better!

Sherwoods said...

Oh the priviliges (sp?) of living in a foreign country as a diplomat. We get none of that... and I have a car so I could run over people. Darn...

Nisa said...

I was gonna say, diplomatic rates, diplomatic rates! They're great here too! Glad you got a nice rate! Hope you're enjoying Ain Sohkne! I loved it there! :)

mindyjeppesen said...

Wow, I would have thought that the "Diplomatic Rate" was like the 'gringo' rate....i.e. 5x more expensive.

Way to go!