Not much to say, really. There were about a dozen of us; as we were moving in to sit down, the President’s chief of staff muttered to me that I was to sit at the right hand of the Head of State. So I did.
The President sat down for thirty seconds, then moved to the podium at the other end of the room and gave a little public speech after which he asked those present if they had any questions. Most people did. I didn’t.
The President then specifically asked me to ask him a question. I actually had three prepared to ask him but hadn’t planned to ask any of them in public. I turned a very bright red and made an ingratiating little speech wishing him and his government well. It was very embarrassing. He came back and sat down beside me, and we got on with dinner.
I did ask him everything I wanted to over dinner, and he gave me entirely satisfactory answers, as well as numerous other bits of interesting international gossip; very much to the glee of the guy from the Economist sitting on his left, who took down several juicy quotes to be used in next week’s issue.
Oof. This kind of thing is great fun, but also exhausting. Home on Saturday. Thank God.