Not so long ago I was in a foreign capital on my way to a dinner party, alongside with my host.
Just another event, like so many others in the past, so I thought.
My host was a successful businessman, a lively person determined to show his guests a good time. He loved la belle vie, that is the kind of guy he was, with businesses all over the world, which allowed him to travel and meet a lot of people and different cultures.
He was always smiling and telling stories, the soft skills of a true salesman.
So, we were in his car, a huge Humvee, seated at the back, driven by his chauffer/bodyguard, a gloomy fellow. This was the type of person that doesn’t talk much and, just by looking at him, you can tell he has been through a lot.
We were on our way to a trendy restaurant, passing in front of the nation’s parliament when, all of a sudden, my host shouts something to the driver that makes him turn the car around, abruptly.
It so happens that he wanted me to take a better look at the parliament and the driver, by doing so, crossed a double line right under the noses of the nation’s capital finest traffic cops.
What happened next?
We were stopped and I was, not going to lie, a little bit apprehensive.
“Don’t worry my friend!”, he said, as the policemen (three in total) approached the car and he was giving instructions to the driver.
The driver opened the door, almost hitting one of the cops, that had to step back, bumping into one of his colleagues.
“What in the world is happening here? What is your guy doing?”, I asked my smiley host that simply and very calmly replied, “Don´t worry my friend!” and just went back to telling his story as if nothing out of the extraordinary was happening outside the car.
And what was happening outside?
Well, the bodyguard was taking the wallet from his pocket in order to get some money.
The policemen? They simply took it and walked away…. business as usual.
Think that was the end of it?
Oh no my friend, it was far from being over!
As he got back into the car and started it, the bodyguard went for his wallet again and realised something was missing: His driver’s license!
As I live and breathe, this wonderful character straight out of a Hollywood movie (it felt I was in a comedy!) shouted to the policemen to come over with their flashlights to look for his license.
This went on for almost half an hour, smack down in front of the freaking parliament!
“You know what?”, he asked me while reading my facial expression that said it all, “What just happened here, I’m afraid, happens all over the world. You know what they say: money talks, bullshit walks! May not like it, but that is the world we live in.”
He was right!
Corruption is a disease that is consuming our society worldwide.
That experience was the perfect metaphor. A portrait of nowadays or, at the very least, a funny story.