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  • Writer's pictureForeign, Or

Foreign, Or Trading Cards | The Diplomat

The trading card game that features Foreign-Or types found all over the world! Check out the seventh card released from our Foreign, Or Basics pack:

see more on card anatomy here

The Diplomat is the formal manifestation of a Foreign-Or. A truly model citizen, s/he has been chosen to represent the core values of their home county abroad. But can this paradigm be a real person or just a persona?

Let's talk perks. For The Diplomat moving abroad is a breeze. Teams of admin guide the entry process, there’s a fast-track line through customs for diplomatic passport holders, and relocation is completely covered so all their favorite heavy things can come with (books, bikes, that woo-woo crystal collection). Housing is also provided; most diplos enjoy family-sized apartments provided in a nice part of town, close to ‘the office’.

High salaries, health coverage, child care subsidies, travel allowances, and pensions all add up to one sweet gig.

A gig with responsibilities. The foreign service is a very formal working environment, so there's not a lot of room to call in sick or show up hungover. And clocking in is the easy part. This public-facing role requires one to be well-groomed and well-spoken (often in the local language) and to contribute to high-level analysis in support of the mission. What's more, while promoting peace and understanding in a hardship post (e.g. in war zones or under unstable regimes)The Diplomat's life can actually be put at risk.

And then there are the limitations. That great housing provided? It’s not optional. Usually diplos are required to live in a designated high-security compound, making for cozy nesting with all of their colleagues.

If The Diplomat does manage to make connections outside of his/her bubble, those new friends are subject to scrutiny for potential security threats (because espionage is a real thing, people).

Each post could last as little as two years, during which this Foreign-Or must apply for their next role, get the gig, and then brace themselves for another huge life change. And over the course of their career The Diplomat will work under several new administrations, dutifully carrying out foreign policy initiatives while trying to maintain their personal values.

This leads to the most intriguing aspect of The Diplomat: their public persona v. private personality. As civil servants diplos take an oath. They are beholden to a career endemic to their way of life, an interrelation that requires every move to be steeped in caution.

As such, some can come off as disingenuous, like they're always "on". Some are straight fake. Those are the 'suits'. Los funcionarios. 小官儿。 

Concerned with an outward appearance so cultivated you could slap a GMO label on them (goals-modified organism). Shiny, perfect replicas, smooth-talking bureaucrats, hollow shells of humans. A presentation, without presence.

Unsurprisingly, personal relationships can be hard to maintain. For all the reasons above the life of The Diplomat is difficult to share. Partners are required to tag along as dependent spouses, searching for work or other fulfillment around The Diplomat's ambitions.

When you’re married to the game, there are only two options for your significant other: follow or get left behind.

Then there are the friendships. The Diplomat is intelligent, needing to pass rigorous exams on everything from their host country's language to history. But to The Mayor or The Local, the Foreign-Ors who put in years to know and love their adopted country, The Diplomat is Neo, the new whiz kid who downloaded the 'essential language and culture guide' to their brain. They know things, but they don't really know anything about your adopted home, and they don't care the way you do. Besides, they'll leave soon, so what's the point in becoming friends?The Diplomat is also intuitive, an emotional character trait that should help them connect. But to The Complainer and The Nomad they are privileged, glorified deep fakes, floating above the grind normal expats go through.

Whether a deeply complex person or just a public presentation, one thing is for sure: The Diplomat is a quintessential Foreign-Or. Befriend with The Diplomat in your community and decide for yourself.


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