Belmeloro had long given up being that dedicated purveyor of gossip to the SAIS community, had long abandoned his maligned task of providing that essential social cement that makes us so much more than a mere random group of people--indeed in his more forthright moments Belmeloro even now ventures to claim that it was him that singlehandedly salvaged our class from the creeping alienation that time and distance so cruelly force upon all others.

For a long time Belmeloro was quite content to survey these pages from afar--well, St. Barths to be exact, where his small beachside hotel is the respite of the monied few, and those fashionable enough to mention. Needless to say, no SAISer has yet ventured here on his or her own merits, as none have yet managed to accrue the true measures of success--wealth, jealousy from their peers, AND free time. I believe it is safe to say that few, if any, in this class have garnered two of these three measures, and most are content with one and are aiming for their second. Belmeloro would have it no other way.

Belmeloro did not write to digress, however. He has noticed a certain quietude in these pages of late, and probed his many channels to confirm his suspicions: The class is now undergoing a period of great personal flux. The time two and three quarter years after graduation has proven to be that moment when life's great decisions are finally upon us. And how are we to act? Turn to Belmeloro for advice, for he is unretiring this once only.

Prevarication is no longer viable. You must ask yourself honestly, do I want to break up with that person or marry? Do I want that raise? Do I want to move to New York? Can I live in a country where the Freedom Party is now the second largest? Am I a failure for being laid off? Is there life past thirty?

Belmeloro remembers when he turned thirty, and he remembers the answers to all these questions. Belmeloro said to himself then, "think positive," and went on to answer "yes" to ALL the above questions. He is now a proud resident of St. Barths, while you are not, and in possession of all three measures of success. Yes.

Stefan:

Always scurrying to avoid being trampled underfoot by the march of technology, and feeling that if I was about to tell African potentates how cool it was I should have some clue what was going on, I took a six hour course in web-site creation. It was a crushing bore, God knows why you do it. Nonetheless, I am now the proud owner of the official list of 263 HTML-recognized colours (pardon me, colors, as in <font color="red">. I see the dependencias' point). [Actually, there are only 216 colors--Stefan]

Meanwhile, I have officially become a squire to the Lords of Poverty, off on my first World Bank junket to St Lucia to tell them how to regulate their telecoms sector. As their telecoms are provided exclusively by Cable and Wireless, I don't feel quite as bad as I might about my absolute ignorance; after all, the answer has to be: screw the monopoly-capitalist bastards, and sign up for the (Sprint) revolution. Of course, the other reason I don't feel so bad is because I'm going on an all (and there are lots) expenses paid trip to the Carribean in mid winter.

It's bloody lucky that half the world lives in grinding poverty, otherwise I'd never be able to afford to visit them. My air fares during the month of February would provide an average yearly income to 100 Tanzanians, and I'll be able to thank them in person, because I'm off to Dar es Salam and Kilimanjaro straight after St Lucia, there to survey peri-urban peasants (not perry-urban, the babycham-sipping elite, but peri-urban, the ones who live Beyond the Suburbs) about their market access and feelings toward fertilizer usage. Of course, I won't be able to actually do the survey (knowing nothing about surveying, and less about Swahili), but I'll get lots more practice at being a lawn ornament.

Otherwise, little new here. My sex-life is tragic, a real Lewinski, and as a result, I've got a lot less gossip than Linda Tripp. Although, in the end, as Ted Koppel put it, "it all boils down to whether the President considers oral sex to be an improper sexual relationship." Doesn't it just.

--Charles.

NEW EUROF, NEW BRITAIN
Yes, a new Eurof has arrived at last, bringing a new dawn for Britain. The goal of the new Eurof is to retain all the best of the old version, while adapting and reforming those aspects which need to be reformed to gird the Eurof for the next millenium. To be more exact, we aim to maintain, even to increase the competitive edge created and maintained by successive administrations, but at the same time create a more caring, responsive Eurof, one that caters to the less-well-off, more unfortunate aspects of his character.

New Eurof makes a number of pledges; after a period of time you may judge him for what he has delivered on, and condemn him for that which he has not. New Eurof will only judge himself a success if he has delivered on the following points:

1) New Eurof pledges to change jobs from the vicious, soul and mind destroying world of equity capital markets at BZW/CSFB, and enter into a new, caring, more productive employer relationship. Or maybe just someone else.
2) New Eurof pledges to terminate the damaging, unwholesome, co-dependant and just plain pointless relationship he has mistakenly been embarked upon for the last 18 months, and here and now is ready to invite applications from interested parties of the opposite sex. Send photo.
3) New Eurof pledges to end the binge-puke-hangover cycle that has so plagued past administrations. To enable this, he will address head-on the structural issue of smoking, which so facilitates this damaging downward spiral.

Remeber these pledges, and remind New Eurof of them when the time has come to judge success. New Eurof has already embarked on an ambitious plan to re-create Old Eurof's technological infrastructure by the purchase of a really swanky new non-Mac computer, the arrival of which is imminent. This will be funded out of the so-called "windfall" benefits of the recently paid bonus. New Eurof will be careful not to finance such extraordinary expenditures out of the normal round of salary recepits and welfare outflows to bars, liquor stores and supermarkets. New Eurof pledges fiscal responsibility, particularly in the light of pledge 1) above, which may well usher in an extended period of very little income indeed.

Remember:
New Eurof, New Britain
New Eurof, New Job
New Eurof, New Girlfriend
New Eurof, New Drinking Habits
New Eurof, New Computer

Regards
Eurof Uppington
Tel 44 171 773 1183

[...] We moved to Norfolk, Virginia, [from NYC] right after Thanksgiving, [...] This city is NOTHING like NY and I can't say I like very much. It's kind of difficult to find a job also. Tudor [her husband] is doing fine with his job [in the US Navy] and he likes it. At the end of February he will leave for about 5 months on deployment. Fortunately I found a young Romanian couple that lives walking distance from us and that is where I'm sending this e-mail from.