Handbags at tea-time
Day one and already a mild fracas in the press centre. A pair of Spanish hacks, irked at having ‘their’ seats pinched by a trio of perfidious Brits during their siesta, called a World Bank staffers over to intervene in this latest Catalonia-style land-grab. His tart advice: Shut up and grow up!
Sport – what is it good for? Not much, reckons Philippe Le Houérou.
During a convivial chat with the IFC chief executive, we noticed a pair of crutches resting by his chair. Had he been hobbled? “Yes” came the response — an unidentified mishap on le champ de jeu. OOTW wishes him a speedy recovery.
Playing the field
During the Cold War, Yugoslavia was the classicplayer-of-powers, securing aid from the US and the USSR at will. But is Sri Lanka heir to the dissolved Balkan super-state? Over a meeting with its central bank chief Indrajit Coomaraswamy, OOTW asked how the island juggled the needs of America, India and China so assiduously. Came the reply: “An important ambassador told me over lunch that our aim as a nation is strategic promiscuity.”
Malawi’s minister of finance and development planning Goodall Gondwe is clearly no fan of America’s confronter-in-chief. At a seminar he lamented that while US president Donald Trump was providing “comic relief for some, it is no laughing matter”.
Which wag decided to play Stayin’ Alive, a 1970s hit by disco kings the Bee Gees, as panellists left the stage after their discussion about the world’s struggling frontier markets? Contenders for the most inappropriate walk-on music are now open. OOTW starts the ball rolling by nominating Eric Carmen’s 1975 super-ballad All By Myself, to accompany UK premier Teresa May wherever she goes.
Lost in transition
OOTW, spotting a lost-looking gentleman wandering aimlessly around the voluminous World Bank building, decided to take pity, helping the harried chap to find the nearest available exit. Imagine our surprise then, to discover that he not only worked for the bank, but was a longstanding resident of D.C.