So we all converged on a creatively named Georgian restaurant - Georgian Restaurant - to enjoy khachapuri, eggplant rolls, spicy sausages, and good company.
As I kissed Brandon goodbye, he asked what time I thought I'd be back. I hesitated, trying to calculate, and he sighed, "It's a Georgian restaurant, and you're with a bunch of ladies and no children. Ten o'clock? Eleven?" I nodded, not trying to deny either fact.
As everyone assembled, we started passing around dishes and chatting about Christmas and children and packout and traveling with pets and traveling with children and sleep training and squat toilets and lag time of HHE. We kept passing around dishes and talking about the horrible customer service in American airports and traveling with eighteen month-old babies, and traveling while pregnant and losing strollers. As we finished the food and the last dumpling sat forlornly looking at a solitary piece of khachipuri, we laughed over friends who worry themselves sick about 45-minute plane rides, and things performed at school assemblies and wondered how it was possible to go grocery shopping in America with all of your children.
I looked at all of my friends - none of them that I have known more than one year - and thought about how much I love this Foreign Service life. It may be a life that moves us around to strange places for stranger reasons, and leaves friends scattered behind us, and makes us travel unholy amounts of time in in economy class, but it's also a life that gives me friends. Friends that I can stay out until 9:45 at night (take that Brandon!) and still chatter with on the way to our parked cars. Friends that I can feel like sisters with after only a few months' friendship. Friends that don't care how cool I am or if I wear the right shoes or even if I'm funny. Friends that are friends because that's what we do in this crazy lifestyle. We make friends that laugh with us and take care of us and keep us sane.
So this lifestyle is fun when I get to travel to fun new places, or see the pyramids, or understand new cultures. I like having a nice place to live and people to help me out, but that's not the best part. It's not seeing the world, because the world doesn't listen to and laugh about your story about going through customs when terminally pregnant.
It's about friends. That's the best part.