Diplomatic Wanderings: From Saigon to the South Seas
What is it really like to be a diplomat? Bill Cordiner's 28 years
in the Service explodes many myths and shows a rich, varied, even
dangerous but never dull experience shot through with the unexpected
and even hilarious. These are travelers' tales as much as diplomatic
memoirs and begin in Saigon during the Vietnam War, with an
encounter with the Viet Cong. Later postings included Ethiopia
shortly after the fall of Haile Selassie, where he was buried under
tons of coffee and was host to Princess Anne at a bush campsite, in
oil-rich Kuwait in sharp contrast to his next posting in Iraq. From
Antigua at independence he was thrown into US business life with
Boeing and then to near-feudal Tonga.
Bill Cordiner joined the Diplomatic Service in 1967 after working
for 6 years in Kenya. He served in Vietnam, Iraq, the US, among
others, eventually retiring from Tonga as High Commissioner in 1994.