I submitted our final assignment bid list today.  If you recall, Dear Reader, on January 19 and February 11 I discussed bidding on our next assignment.  Our bid list is (in order of preference):
  1. La Paz, Bolivia
  2. Damascus, Syria
  3. San Salvador, El Salvador
  4. Asuncion, Paraguay
  5. Shenyang, China
  6. Athens, Greece
  7. Montevideo, Uruguay
  8. Quito, Ecuador
  9. Caracas, Venezuela
  10. Kuwait City, Kuwait
  11. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  12. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  13. Panama City, Panama
  14. Managua, Nicaragua
  15. Windhoek, Namibia
  16. San Jose, Costa Rica
  17. Belize City, Belize
  18. Sydney, Australia
  19. Hamilton, Bermuda
  20. Bogota, Colombia

This list is quite different from our initial draft bid list, because some of the most attractive assignments in places such as Beijing, Hong Kong, and London were already assigned to other individuals.  Frankly speaking, we were only left with about 35 possible assignments to bid on based on the jobs available and our own preferences.  I monitored the assignments list today and noted which places are most popular with bidders.  Among the 20 bids I submitted today, 17 are competitive, and 14 are highly competitive.  As expected, Sydney, Damascus, Athens, and Montevideo are wildly popular.  (Note to Tortmaster:  Dude, I am not going to Windhoek.  I would be very lucky to be assigned there.)  While I left them on my list, I deliberately ranked them lower, acknowledging the fact that I have virtually no chance of being assigned to these places.  These assignments will be long gone before my bids are considered.


Only three of the 20 assignments are realistic options for me:  Shenyang, Kuwait, and Managua.  La Paz, San Salvador, and Asuncion are also possible but not likely, because they are much more attractive to bidders.  I don’t mean to spoil the fun, but barring any unforeseen anomalies, we are likely headed to Shenyang, China in 2007.  While not our first choice, we will make the most of the opportunity we are given.  Shenyang is a place with a negative reputation and a reality that is apparently far better than perception.  But we will need to buy some thick parkas for wintertime.  We will know our final assignment in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, the agony of trying to put together our bid list is over, and the antipathy of second-guessing the outcome lies ahead.


Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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  1. Bob's Gravatar Bob
    February 27, 2006    

    I still don’t get the logic…"Columbia!  No way!  Those FARC guys are crazy!  Let’s go somewhere safe, like….Syria!  Yeah, good ol’ Syria!  I’m sure that embassy-burning thing was just a passing fad, like flash mobs.  I hear that secretly they LOVE the Americans and would NEVER poison our hummus or anything."
    Both Managua and La Paz are cool towns if you happen to get sent there, IMHO.

  2. smpx's Gravatar smpx
    March 7, 2006    

    http://www.wall32.comYOUR WEB PAGE(nice spaces and pics!!!)

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