Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Embassies of Washington, Part 4

According to the State Department, there are 194 sovereign countries in the world. Others might come up with different numbers, but for the US, it's the 192 members of the United Nations plus the Holy See and Kosovo. There are five we don't have diplomatic relations with: three you all should be able to guess (the Republic of Cuba, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), one more obscure (the Kingdom of Bhutan), and one that's sort of tricky (the United States of America). So 189 is my magic number. Plus I've already discovered Cuba's hidden embassy as well as some other interesting diplomatic buildings scattered around the city.

40 countries in, we've now covered 16 of the 27 members of the European Union, 9 of the 23 other countries of Europe (who's in Europe is a matter of some debate, this number includes Russia, Turkey and the South Caucasus), 3 of the 34 non-American countries of the Americas, 4 of 42 in Asia, 7 of 53 in Africa, and 1 out of 14 in Oceania, plus 10 of the 26 foreign countries I've visited, 6 of the 8 embassies I've visited (Russia, Estonia, Portugal, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary... Greece and Austria are coming), and 1 of the 3 countries whose ambassadors I've met (Portugal, as I'm trying to get a better picture of the British Embassy and have never seen the German embassy.... and by "met" I mean have been in small groups that these ambassadors have spoken to and perhaps asked these honorable gentlemen questions like "Is it possible that the 29th member state of the European Union might indeed be Scotland?"). Hope you're enjoying the tour.

Oh, and by the way, today's countries are Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chad, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Norway and Turkmenistan. So Scandinavia and the Caucasus are complete. The ultra-green Finnish embassy is another of my favorites, while I also love the statue of the "Golden Man of Kazakhstan" standing on his winged panther. And yes that is a hammer and sickle on the flag of Angola, to my knowledge it's the only country in the world that still has one on its flag.

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