(WARNING: SATIRE. PROBABLY.)
Due to recent budget cuts to the State Department and Rex Tillerson’s overall management style of “Diplomacy? Yeah fuck that” the State Department was forced to center the upcoming 2018 European diplomatic efforts around Glenn and Charlie’s “Badass Bust Azz Backpacking' Boogaloo!”.
Having discussed it ad nauseam around the office, Glenn Fremont, a twenty nine year old State Dept contractor and “console gamer”, and Charlie Edwards, a twenty seven year old State Dept Contractor and “die hard Eagles fan” have been planning this trip for close to two years.
“This couldn’t have come along at a better time,” said Fremont. “I mean I’d been saving every bit of leave I could, but then Sec. Tillie asked if I wouldn’t mind makin' a few stops on my trip, and I was like ‘Yeah sure! No problem! Happy to help out.' Now it’s totally a work trip!”
“Mr. Tillerson asked if we could do more, you know hike into Asia and make a few stops. We might do it but right now it’s just Europe. Maybe next year,” said Edwards who was a little more cautious in his enthusiasm. When I asked why he said “Well it’s not that I’m not happy about it. I am. I wanna serve my country but any time something becomes work related then you’re expected to do stuff. I really just wanted to relax, and get away from work.”
I asked about their qualifications for such a trip inquiring as to their foreign policy credentials, even travel experience I was told this was to be their first trip.
“I just got my passport last week! Can’t wait to start fill this puppy up with stamps,” said Fremont excitedly. When I mentioned that because he’d be entering the EU (European Union) he’d most likely only receive a single stamp upon port of entry the State Dept. contractor was decidedly put out. “Oh. Really? That sucks. I'll have to pop oUver to Greece or something while we're in Europe.”
I didn't have the energy to mention Greece's continental location along with the fact it was an EU member.
As to the arrangements the State Dept had made for their travel it all seemed pretty straight forward to the duo. “They’re giving us a per diem for food, travel and lodging. I wanna do as much on the cheap as we can. You know crashing in hostels and then save up for a couple of stays in some nice rooms in a few cities. Might even try sleeping in a park for a few nights if the place we're in is cool with it.” said Edwards.
As to their travel itinerary each man had different ideas on the spots they needed to focus on. “Totally hitting up Amsterdam and Prague. Huge bucket lists items, and I already got the 4-1-1,” Fremont said following up with wink and chuckle.
“Right, you’re talking about the legalized prostitution,” I said matter of factly.
Fremont blushed a bright red, and shrugged his shoulders. “Whatever happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam am I right?”
For his part Mr. Edwards was more interested in sites of antiquity. “I’d like to hike through the Alps into Italy. Take at least part of the same route that Hannibal took. What a thrill that would be.”
“So what in terms of support, or preparation has the State Dept been giving you?” I asked becoming more disappointed by the minute.
“Sec. Tillie totally hooked us up with an upgrade from coach to business class on our flight over, and slipped us like 100 Euros. He’s a solid dude,” said Fremont.
“Any foreign language training, intelligence support, diplomatic briefing packets? Any like that?” I asked.
“We’ve been giving an account that lets us access Wifi in most places in the EU, and so we can use the apps on our phone if we need anything,” said Mr. Edwards.
“Besides we got a number to this dude named Sergei. If we run into any trouble we just call the number. Simple,” Mr. Fremont said.
I was at that point the phone interview wrapped as the line cut off and a voice in Russian said, “Номер, который вы указали, больше не работает. Проверьте номер и наберите его еще раз. Это запись.” ( The number you’ve dialed is no longer in service. Please check the number and dial it again. This is a recording.)