Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Extra Caution

You may have heard that the U.S. has closed several embassies around the world under the threat of terrorist attacks.  As someone who lives abroad, I keep a close eye on international tensions.  The embassy in Sofia was not on the list, so I was not concerned about Sasha's appointment there today.

It was to be a fairly simple visit.  She just needed a document notarized.  Sasha's sister was watching the kids, so I went with her.

We were a bit surprised at the added security at the embassy.  The Bulgarian border guard had an armored truck stationed outside.  Parking near the building was coned off.  There were more guards than usual, and they were positioned all around the embassy.  When we went to the door we had to talk to two different men before they would let either of us enter.  As I had no business there myself, I was not allowed to accompany Sasha inside even though I had my passport with me to show that I am a U.S. citizen.  I have been to the embassy many times.  This is the first time they ever refused to let me in.  While Sasha got here document notarized, I sat in the car and tried to look as little like a bad guy as possible.

The visit went well.  Sasha got her work done, and the embassy staff was very polite, as usual.  Passing through security was a bit more intense than previous visits.  They kept asking her if she had a weapon on her.  They also asked her to turn off her cell phone and were a bit concerned when the buttons on the phone stayed lit for a few seconds after the phone shut off.  Eventually they let here through, she did her business and left.

I'm glad the facility is secure, and hope it remains so.  G.I. Joe and G.I. Mitko seem to be doing their cooperative jobs well.

The U.S. Embassy in Sofia.  A little piece of home right in our neighborhood.

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