December 29, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

I spend the last (almost) fortnight trying to avoid newspapers, CNN, BBC, etc.

Now I'm back and inundated with executions in China, ethical questions about mental illness, how (much more) miserable it's going to be fly in the US (and elsewhere), how nobody likes Obama because he didn't live up the the hype (come on people, does anything?), Iran's going to blow itself up, and ... speaking of things getting blown up, "how long do we have, Ros?"

Oh, and it's cold here and it gets dark very early and stays that way for quite a long time.

December 27, 2009

They're Everywhere

We're lounging by the Reef Villa pool, and of course, since it's our last day we've taken to being chatty with some of the other guests here.

Why don't people start talking to each other until they know they're leaving?

Anyway, we're continuing a conversation from breakfast with a lovely couple from Bombay (which they don't like to call Mumbai because it was "right-wing government' that changed the name") and we get on the subject of work and how L works for ML. The woman's brother-in-law is a bond trader and he's going through much of the same ML vs BoA political shenanigans (which once again reaffirms my happiness about being out of the corporate world and doing what I'm trifling about in the EFL / Creative Writing).

We talk about banking and the bonus brouhaha and the media witch hunt coverage of compensation issues (she heads up one of the news departments for an Indian tv network). L says something about at least he's not an FA, because they're commissioned-based and sometimes it seems they're more worried about closing the deal than what's good for the client, because it the more they sell, the bigger their paychecks are.

After our Bombay buddies have breast stroked back to their lilos an L's headed back to the room to do some packing, the Polish guy (who's kind of hot, but we've barely exchanged cześćs with) on the chaise next to me says, "Excuse me, I couldn't help but overhear. You are with ML?"

I tell him I'm not but L is. Seems he is too. He works for Global Wealth Management.

Oh, so does L.

"Where is he based?" asks my fellow traveler.


"So I am I, but I'm rarely there."

"You're an FA?"

"Yes," he says (oops, I wonder if he overheard the whole conversation), "I head up Poland, and there aren't that many client meetings for me in London. What is your friend's name?"

I tell him.

"Oh yes, we have exchanged several emails with him over the past few weeks, and were on a conference call with him about a deal just before leaving on holiday."

I pull Larry out of the room. "Come meet your colleague."

And the world just gets smaller and smaller. He's delightful, we trade photo galleries on MacBooks, they're looking for a place to stay up north, we recommend Lavender House, they book it and tell us we have to go to India, "it's much more magical than Sri Lanka."

L and T arrange to meet up next time he's in the London office.

Hopefully, they'll both now be able to write off this trip as a business meeting.