The term "Fat Bulldog" refers to a dismissive term given to members of the Queen's Messengers squad, charged with securely transporting diplomatic items around the world. In addition to that part-time job, Courtauld is also a British farmer; his travel tales are broken up by (italicized) summaries of his life at home between assignments. Flying around for free (mostly first class), and being feted by the station embassy staff is rather a cushy job for most outings (though his trips to Mongolia didn't seem envy-inspiring). The one time he ran into trouble (Havana), he whined about how the locals wouldn't go out of their way to help him - my reaction was: an 'emergency' on his part, didn't constitute on on theirs. That having been said, I'm looking forward to reading both sequels.