Independence Day Abroad

I didn't know it up until recently, but the 4th of July is a big deal around the world, at least as far as the State Department is concerned. Every post does something for the 4th, sometimes more than one something. For example, many embassies have the "official" 4th of July event, usually a formal affair in the evening, as well as an "unofficial" event that is more traditional, like an outdoor picnic or barbecue. Here in Yekaterinburg, we only have the official event, which was held last night at the Hyatt.

There are a lot of interesting things about being an American abroad, but there was something special about last night, where being an American actually felt like a good thing for a change (it always feels like a good thing to me; I'm talking about the feeling I get from other people). As John said, it's the one night of the year where you don't have to feel bad about not speaking Russian. Everyone who was there, Russian and American alike, was there to celebrate our country. That's a pretty great feeling when you're a bazillion miles from home.

What our former Consul General would call "showing the flag." Big time.

Krisi, our amazing Public Affairs Officer, coordinated the event and made sure there was plenty of American food on hand. Hot dogs and hamburgers, deviled eggs, and my favorite: cupcakes. I had a pistachio one AND some of the American flag cake. It would have been unpatriotic not to, right? Actually, I had to muscle my way in there to make sure I got some, and I probably should have left it for the Russians. Etiquette schmetiquette. It was worth it.

There weren't any fireworks, and let's face it, it's just not the same as celebrating at home, but it was nice to recognize such an important and quintessentially American holiday. I'm wearing my red, white, and blue today to make up for the fact that I wore a cocktail dress last night. I've always been a patriot, but nothing makes you appreciate America more than not being in it.

I'm a day late, but I'm saying it anyway: Happy Independence Day!


  1. USA! USA! I'm sure that you could hear my chanting from halfway around the world! I love you and miss you!


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