Exactly one year ago, I was in my car, driving solo up Massachusetts Avenue, heading north through the city. My errand for the morning was to tour a potential apartment in Glover Park – the one I now call home! However, as I approached the buildings along Embassy Row, large crowds of people caught my eye. In what looked like a mini-DC version of the Epcot World Showcase, each embassy was putting on a display of their national pride. Visitors were being entertained with steel drums, a Chinese Dragon, and many groups of dancers. In one hand they held a goody bag, filled to the brim with souvenirs. And in the other, various ethnic food.
As Sam likes to finish the story, as soon as my apartment tour was over, he called to see what I thought of the complex and the neighborhood. But instead of describing my future home, I answered: “It was nice! But I have to tell you about this Embassy Tour I saw this morning along the way there. We have to go!”
Unfortunately we missed Passport DC 2012, but we had 365 days to clear our schedules and prepare for 2013′s Embassy Tour. This post is a long time coming, so please excuse any excessive excitement or exclamation points.
The Embassy of Zambia wins for being the most generous with their food! You entered into a large banquet room, where there was a huge potluck feast of local food. Things like chicken wings and sweet potatoes seemed appetizing… but when they got to the dried sardine fish and caterpillars, I let Sam do the taste testing.
Japan’s Embassy visit was crowded but entertaining. Everything from Honda cars, robots, geishas were all on display. And the friendly staff was there to hand out iced green tea and teriyaki chicken.
The Embassy of Afghanistan was off the beaten track, hidden deep in Kalorama, so the crowds were not as excessive as on Massachusetts Avenue. Still worth the trip! We made our way up to the inviting second story garden for a cup of black tea.
I should have known when we were greeted at the door with a poster of a scantily clad Rihanna that Barbados would be fun hosts, but I had no idea. When you entered the building, you did a typical tour to see the official tourism board photos and learn more about the country. As we headed out, they directed us to stop in the “Rum Garden” out back. We scurried to the backyard where there was rum tasting, dancing women, and lots of fresh food on the grill. I’m not the biggest rum fan, but when in Barbados, do as the Barbadian do!
Not to nerd out on you, but the Embassy Tour was a blast! We made friends at each of the embassies we toured. Some embassies were more fun and upbeat, others were a little more reserved. But it was great to get a peek inside the buildings I drive past every day.
Best Food: Indonesia - curry fried rice sort of dish
Best Coffee: Turkey
Friendliest: Belize – we have a picture with the Ambassador to Belize to prove it!
Anyone up to join us for Passport DC 2014?