A Samurai at the Ambassador’s cocktail party
This is quite interesting to attend this type of events at the Swiss Ambassador, in honor of the visit of a big shot of a big company. An experience to have, but not necessarily to repeat (especially after you have shone like me that night)...
First of all because at least half of the people are from the company in question, which is of little interest to you since you have no short term project to reconvert in agriculture.
Then because if you thought you could make Swiss buddies there you are a fool: there are exactly six Swiss in all the assistance... And they are not the friendliest people, they have this kind of arrogance of those who have “lived” India, while you, poor wannabe... This is how one of them asked me how long I had been here. Spontaneously I replied 2 months. You would have seen the complicit looks these guys exchanged... I preferred not to pick up. Oh well, just a bit. But I didn’t really get the admiration look I expected, more the kind of look you give to crazy people!
And above all you must be careful with what you say. Don’t do like me what. For example, when his ‘Excellency’ came to shake my hand, I was obviously not well aware of the protocol:
- Him: Hello
- Me: Hello
- Him: And you are?
- Me: Emilie
- Him: From?
- Me (he starts to be a little indiscreet that one!): France
- Him: No, I mean, from which company?
- Me: Oooops
By the way the answer to this question – answer that I really like because it always makes me laugh inside – which is “I sell for breastpumps” does not have the most beautiful effect at the Ambassador’s party. And to go even further, since people don’t understand what the hell I am talking about, I have to fake squeak my boobs to explain. You see! So finally I positioned myself as a General Manager in the high-tech medical equipment company.
You can also avoid making the following comments:
“Ah bah if the head of legal of my company was visiting India, he would not be get to a reception like that!”
Or to imitate the German Swiss accent aloud (it sounds pretty much like this: “rrrrrggrrrrrrgrrrr”).
Or “Ah you work for this company! Yes I know them well, it’s the competitor of this one! ».
Or “If we get arrested, the Ambassador will come save us!” (especially when the Ambassador in question is right behind you)
When you manage to say so many non-senses without drinking, it is recommended to avoid jumping on the (Indian) wine glasses that pass back and forth. Same for the chocolate cake – it is less bad to look like an ogre than a drunk (and the risk to discredit yourself completely is less), but it’s still not very classy... (I tried to play the discreet but the cake was too good!)
I think I put on quite a (Samurai) show that night!