Welcome to the Oakwood Corporate Apartments

May 2019

Roaming Reality Bites

By Patricia Linderman and Francesca Kelly

(To the tune of “Hotel California”)

Note: Oakwood is a short-stay apartment chain used by many Foreign Service people when they are evacuated from overseas posts (as depicted here) and during other temporary stays.

Our post was in crisis, had to get out of there,
Small group on a jet plane, rising up through the air.
Kids screaming and fighting, through a twelve-hour flight
Our heads were weary and our nerves were fried
We had to stop for the night.
A lady stood at the front desk
And rang a little bell
And I was thinking to myself,
“This could be heaven or this could be hell.”
Then she gave me a key ring, and she showed me the way,
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...

Welcome to the Oakwood Corporate Apartments
Such a convenient place
On per diem rates.
Plenty of room at the Oakwood Corporate Apartments
Any time of year, you can find us here!

Evacuation status, seems it never ends,
But there are other Foreign Service kids, and they’re making friends.
Playing out in the courtyard, barbecues now and then.
Some have been here for three weeks, some have been here for ten.
Once I called up the front desk:
“Is this place ugly, or is it just me?”
They said, “We haven’t renovated here since nineteen sixty-three.”
And now my husband is calling from far away,
Wakes me up in the middle of the night
Just to hear him say...

Welcome to the Oakwood Corporate Apartments
It’s an affordable place
On per diem rates.

Hope you’re livin’ it up at the Oakwood Corporate Apartments
In six weeks at most
You can return to post.

Cookies in the lobby,
The mini-mart has ice.
But we all feel like prisoners here, and that’s not so nice.
And there's news from our post now:
The local despot’s deceased.
Rebels stabbed him with their steely knives
Saying “Let us kill the beast.”

Next thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to get a ticket back
To the place I was before.

“Relax,” said the Travel Office,
We’re taking care of your needs.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!

Patricia and Francesca are longtime Talesmag volunteers with a shared love of parody songs. They
originally wrote this for a musical play, directed by Debbi Miller, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
Foreign Service community organization AAFSW. See more at https://www.aafsw.org/members-
only/50th-anniversary-aafsw/ .

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