“Why am I here? On business, I’m afraid – as usual. The University museum is looking for antiquities, and your President is eager to meet with me. I’m particularly intrigued by artefacts from the pre-European period, although I may be interested in sampling some more recent aspects of your culture as well…so perhaps I may be able to mix business with pleasure after all.”
She smiled, almost against her will – I had the nerve to smile underneath that toppling barrage of pomposity, to show her just how much I believed in my own importance.
Not a jot.
“I can’t wait to get to my hotel room actually, to settle down with a stiff gin and tonic and see out the afternoon. As soon as you’ve finished your work here, of course. I’m spent.”
Slowly she rifled through the new clothes the University had insisted I bring, to impress El Presidente and his cohorts. If the relics he had enticed the University with had indeed fallen into his possession I would need to look my best. Certainly there were rumours swirling about the campus that there were other museums circling, like sharks in the water. My tact and diplomacy leave a little to be desired. Turning up the collars of every suit jacket, far too hot to be wearing in the tropics, but in the latest style, she checked through pockets and linings.