Well, apart from the attempt at abstaining from the Snow Queen vodka and Kazakh "cognac," the embassy dinner was a blast. The lovely Defense Attaché hosted our table, at which we were joined by a company VP who definitely enjoyed the, ahem, meal (accompanied by his delightful daughter, a mom and infant massage therapist) and a missile defense expert (who sported - not kidding here - one of his three Super Bowl rings). A few more company VPs and their wives tagged along, as did a retired foreign service officer and his pre-school teaching wife, and two Washington women connected to the Washington Choral Arts Society (their gala was the event bringing us all together). The ambassador's crew was rounded out by his wife and the Deputy Chief of Mission and his wife, a concert pianist. Just a few accomplished people in the room.
1) Did you know that just about everything was invented or grown first in Kazakhstan? Seriously. Lots of things had their origins in the region...I have a little research to do to confirm some of their claims.
2) Snow Queen vodka goes down very smoothly. Something about 5x distilled?
3) Ali Ro dress and my vintage Romanian coat and fur hat. The Kazakh women and the ambassador all noticed and loved them (the coat and hat, not the dress). I was quite pleased, as I'd picked them on purpose - a little nod to the Carpathians.
If I get my hands on any pictures, I'll be sure to pass them along.