Security is a real thing when youâ€™re posted overseas, especially in so-called â€œhigh threatâ€ areas. Where weâ€™re living now is a high threat area. Besides garden-variety crime, terrorism is a real concern. Thatâ€™s why my house has a high wall around it, and why there are guards on duty on the grounds 24/7.
In this scenario, getting locked out of oneâ€™s house is a big deal. An obvious corollary is that losing oneâ€™s house keys is also a pretty big deal.
When a certain member of my household first arrived at post, she wasnâ€™t quite clear on the whole â€œlock the doors and carry your keys with youâ€ arrangement. We were on our way home after work one day, and she suddenly realized that she didnâ€™t have the house keys. When she left the house that morning, the housekeeper was still home, so she didnâ€™t think to bring our keys with her. Waiting in our driveway while the postâ€™s security folks drove over with an emergency key, swatting the mosquitos, will not make my Top Ten Highlights of this tour.
This week it was my turn. I felt pretty stupid when I couldnâ€™t find my keys. Luckily, by this time, we each had a set, so we werenâ€™t locked out of our house (THIS TIME). Still, I lost the moral high ground when I had to admit that I couldnâ€™t find my keys. She was pretty cool about it, didnâ€™t lord it over me (too badly). But I was mad at myself for being so irresponsible.
The regional security office wasnâ€™t impressed, either. â€œTime to change the locksâ€ was the official declaration. So the facilities folks had to come over and change the locks. I got charged for the core change. I suspect that I was also branded as â€œone of those irresponsible State Department fools.â€ But at least we each had a set of house keys, and The Bad Guys wouldnâ€™t be able to enter our house.
They say that washing your car is the best way to make it rain. By the same logic, maybe changing the locks is the best way to find your keys.
But this time it wasnâ€™t my fault. She found the keys in the pocket of her pants. Not my pants. Hers. I have proof. And even better, she admits that it wasnâ€™t my fault. Of course she doesnâ€™t quite admit that itâ€™s her fault, but Iâ€™ll still count that as a win.