Saturday, May 27, 2017

Big boy's toys showcasing in Bourget
-          I would like you to accompany me to a meeting this afternoon to take some notes, my boss Jee Eun Kim said when I arrived in the office this morning.
-          Sure. In the Athena Palace Hotel’s bar as usual? I asked knowing that she seldom met her business part ners in the office.
-          No, this time it will be at the Bourget Air Show, she replied.
-          Excuse me? You are talking about the international fair where the French defense industry companies present their latest toys to foreign armies? I asked.
-          Yes. Big boys’ toy shop, she smiled satisfied at my astonishment.
-          Do I need to book tickets? I asked.
-          I have two invitations here, Jee Eun Kim said holding me the cards.
She drove her Jaguar by herself in the afternoon when we headed to the Bourget Air Show. After a security check we entered the military airport, showcasing the latest military products of French and foreign companies. We soon realized it was a no woman’s land. Literally, as I and my boss were the only women around. We walked through full size cockpits where ultramodern flight display solutions were presented by defense companies’ male representatives to their male clients. It was not like a car show with half-naked women lying on the engine bonnets. It was more serious except that some clients couldn’t hide their childish joy when testing the latest flight simulators.

The day was shiny and my boss had her white lace umbrella to protect her ever-young skin from the UV-rays. Finally having my social Navigo card I had stopped scooter biking and started to wear skirts again. As I didn’t know beforehand that I would be attending an air show, I was wearing a skirt too short for the occasion. I was now asking myself whether we looked like serious war makers, my boss with her umbrella and I in my skirt. Or rather a pimp with a Ukrainian hooker. Strange enough, men didn’t look at us at all. Too charmed by the glittering army toys. We crossed delegations from Middle and Far East dictatorships. Asian delegations were as big as whole army sections or even squads. They walked in military formations in their Mao-like uniforms and looked down when passing us.

 Jee Eun Kim was supposed to meet French defense company representatives. But something went wrong and the meeting was councelled. We wanderied between fighter jets, combat helicopters and air crafts. Some army representatives politely explained to me how their peace keeping equipment was supposed to be used. Some others waited until male customers showed up before starting their sales pitch. ​My boss looked bored and the sales officers couldn't guess that I hadn’t brought my shopping list either. Because, according to a military point of view, I was representing a neutral country. 

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