Oobleckistan, August 17**
My Dear ---,
No one ever warned me life in his Majesty's Diplomatic Service would be dull. They never warned me of the dangers inherent in cucumber brandy either. Sadly I have become all too familar with the hazards presented by this libation for it is muchly esteemed by the locals.
I find my self posted to this remote backwater for reasons well beyond my fathom. The akim, or so the local lord is termed, greated me warmly enough and saw to it that I was given suitable quarters. Since that time I have little enough to do beyond swimming in the sea, working on developing a knowledge of three languages, Russian, Turkish, and the local tongue, and cultivating a taste for cucumbers and melons.
The climate is warm and the people friendly. If I can find a cook who knows how to prepare a dish that does not contain cucumbers I think I should have quite a pleasant and quiet stay.
As for the curiousnameof this place, I am toldon good authority that it is actually in the way of a nickname that has passed into so general a use that the truenameof the country has been quite forgotten. This name as well as the peculiar custom of greeting others with the phrase "I'm sorry" seem to both come down froma peculiar meteorilogical occurence some generations past, the particular nature of which no one seems disposed to relate.
Yrs w Rspct,