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December 2007

November 2007

As seen in The Washington Post!


After years of rejected job applications, unanswered phone calls and e-mails and outright begging, I've finally landed on the pages of The Washington Post...but not exactly how I expected!  This photo -- taken way back in 1999 when I was a young cub reporter -- appeared in last Sunday's Post in an article about The Greaseman.  Enjoy.

Incidentally, I'm back from my month-long trip to Mexico. I'll get around to regular blogging again someday soon, but I will be swamped for the next few weeks. I've got a 25,000-word book chapter to write before Christmas. And next week, I'm taking the Foreign Service Exam, the first in the long road to becoming a U.S. Foreign Service Officer.  Wish me luck!

Mr. Crab

Greetings from Cuyutlan, Mexico

Greetings from Cuyutlan, a dusty little seaside resort town on the Pacific Ocean about 30 miles southeast of the Mexican port city of Manzanillo. I´m writing to you from Ciber Cafe Jacana, the ONLY internet cafe in town, with only two working computers. The town itself is cobblestone and dirt roads, but a nice beachfront with lots of restaurants and a handful of cheap hotels. My room for the night cost a whopping $13 for a barebones shack with a bed and shower. But what more do you really need.

I´m in Mexico for three weeks, traveling the Pacific Coast on assignment for a well known travel guidebook company. When people here find out who I´m working for, their eyes light up as if I were a celebrity. They are envious that I get paid to travel.

Ok let me dispel the myths right now. In my first four days in Mexico, my travel has been anything but fun. I´ve been working 12 hour days. I walked at least 10 miles thorugh Manzanillo yesterday and have the blisters to prove it. I´ve reviewing about a dozen hotels, a dozen restaurants a day, take a quick nap and then back out at night to review nightclubs. I´m traveling out of a small rucksack, hopping from bus to bus and working my way down the coast. Staying in flea bag motels to save money. Yes, the pay sucks. But I´m hoping this gig will develop into something more regular or permanent, at least until my next gig...

I just got my news Ive been waiting for ... on Dec. 6 I will be taking the US Foreign Service Exam, the first step in joining the US Foreign Service, otherwise known as the diplomatic corps. I know I´m counting my chickens before they are hatched but I´ve already written my list of top countries where I would like to be posted. I even brought the US Constitution with me on this trip to read and memorize while I´m waiting for buses. Wish me luck.