23 June 2006

Send lawyers, guns and money!

Yesterday, all American expats in Bulgaria received the following email from the embassy.
Subject: Information Needed for the Embassy's Emergency Preparedness

Dear American Citizen,

As part of Embassy's efforts to be prepared to provide assistance to the private American community in the country in case of an emergency, we need to know what resources within this community we may rely on. This is why we would appreciate it if you would tell us whether you have skills, such as languages other than English and Bulgarian, special expertise (for example, Engineer, medical doctor), as well as handy possessions (radios, helicopters, etc.) If possible, we would be grateful if we would receive your reply by June 27. Best regards,

Anna Radivilova
Vice Consul
U.S. Embassy Sofia

Ok, so I understand they would like to know of any doctors or medical professionals in the community which they could rely on in case of a disaster, but an engineer?! I can see it now: “Quick, we need someone to design a McGyveresque device to help us escape these villainous Bulgarians!”

And “…handy possessions”?! Again, I understand the value of a ham radio operator in case of wide-spread calamity, but a) what American expat has a private helicopter in Bulgaria, and b) would be willing to use it to—in fall-of-Saigon style—pick people off the roof of the embassy?

I’m sorry, but this email is just begging for ridicule, and—we in the expat community—are happy to oblige. Ryan wrote a humorous reply that he will hopefully has posted on his blog: TravelWithRyan.blogspot.com “He is a very shy and gentle man, but perhaps we could persuade him…Shall we ask him?”2

1 Zevon, Warren. Excitable Boy. “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.” 1978.
2 Abrams, Zucker, Zucker. Top Secret. 1984
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