Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This Week

Yesterday (the 26th) I had lunch with the new U.S. Ambassador, Robert McCallum, the Vice Chancellor of the ANU, people from the University, and Fulbright alumni. I hope to have pictures soon -- there was an official photographer. Ambassador McCallum went to Yale College and Yale Law School.

It was my first experience with security; there were several plainclothes officers who secured the building and shadowed the Ambassador. After a while, you got used to them (they work at fading into the background).

Today, I had lunch with several members of John Howard's staff and representatives from the U.S. embassy. We mostly talked politics, and they were very interested in what I thought would happen in November (for the record, I now think that the Republicans will hang on to the House majority. My guess is that the Dems will wind up with 212-215 seats).

When I came here, I figured I had about a 10% chance of seeing the Prime Minister. Those odds just went up, as at lunch I asked the advisers if it would be possible to get even 10 minutes, just to meet. They thought it was a great idea, and promised to look into it. Wouldn't that be something?

And a final note: one of the first things I learned as an adult is that I can't drink anything during lunch on a workday. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Otherwise, I'm just useless. I don't think I've had three workday beers over the last 25 years. I was about ready to order water today, when one of my hosts ordered a bottle or red wine. And then another. For 4 people. When in Rome. . .

Susan drove me home.


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