So… extra observations.
And I do so hope that my observations are not derogatory or insensitive in anyway. They are certainly intended to be just observations. What I see!
“the resolution must address….”
“paragraph 8.9.9 surely does not mean….”
The languages flow freely again till groups become large enough, then all falls again into english.
I have been sitting a few minutes when the most elegant dressed man of all appears. His suit is perfect and there are no wrinkles anywhere on this man. He is like a rock star. One very vocal man in the room drops his group of associates and dashes across the room -
“Oh minister, “ he begins english for this conversation
“so wonderful to see you here…,”
“allow me to assure you that…,”
“we are all totally behind you…,”
He did not ask for an autograph but I was sure that was next.
The Minister was elegant and generous,
“we all appreciate the efforts…,” in english
then off to his table for a light breakfast, fruit and yoghurt, surrounded by his team. Speeches appear, biros, common and garden variety biros, no Mont Blanc, stylishness here, merely le bic. They rehearse portions of the speech and annotate the paper draft. It is on 20 or so pages. I can see the text, very deep margins to left and right, huge space between paragraphs and at least double space for each line, and text must have been 16 point. Guess his eyes are just like mine. LOL.
Amazingly the speech seems to be in english, but the debate around it is in french. The multilingualness is amazing.
And my lesson for the day - eating a croissant.
I had a croissant for breakfast - how can you not in a french city like Geneva - and they are amazing, like nothing anywhere else in the world. But mess! oh my I was so embarrassed to look at my table after. Croissant crumbs splayed across an acre of table cloth.
At the table next to me is one of the elegantly dressed men from yesterday. Today must be his casual clothes day. He has left his jacket and tie in his room I guess. He is about to deal with a croissant. I observe as casually as possible. I think I counted 8 crumbs at the end of his assault on the genevese buttery delight. He has done this before. Probably for 50+ years before I guess. He uses his knife to slice the croissant into thin chunks along the crease marks in the delicacy. He does not try to split it down the centre, just take thin wedges from it, almost bite sized, all along the delight. Don’t I feel stupid. That is why he does it with no mess!.
Well, any excuse for a second one. This time I will be perfect. I manage with less crumbs, but not much less. Still need more practice. And that is the real reason I need 20 days in Switzerland, to perfect my croissant eating technique.
Heading back to my room I pass the front door. A line of swish looking vehicles stretches past the door. BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Take your pick as long as it is big and expensive.
Delegations are fluffing about their ministers helping them into cars, handing across last documents and bouncing in themselves when I notice my biggest observation mistake from yesterday. It is the African minister. He is about to climb into the back of a Mercedes when his pocket vibrates. He reaches in, and pulls out, iPhone 5.
Seems he has been upgraded from the Motorola flip phone at some stage in his career.