My Mission With Maurice Chevalier

I was in New York on one of my missions to the United Nations to represent Unesco at a meeting. I had been to the UN on several occasions before. In fact, I had established, over the years, a fairly good reputation as a dependable, serious and resourceful international civil servant. But, after what had happened during this last visit, I no longer knew how I stood in the eyes of my colleagues. I was not quite sure whether to laugh or cry.… Read More My Mission With Maurice Chevalier

The Borobudur File

I distinctly remember it was June 1980. I had just turned forty-five and had been promoted Director of a large division. That Monday morning I was peacefully planning my week at my desk, hoping to catch up with the backlog, when my Secretary came into the office, white as a sheet, to tell me that the Assistant Director General wanted to see me immediately about an urgent problem. Five minutes later he told me that I was to leave on a mission to Djakarta that very evening to represent Unesco at the Borobudur Festival.… Read More The Borobudur File

Kabuki, Sumo and Sake

The twelve-hour flight had resulted in a first-rate jet lag. Unfortunately, Melatonine had not yet been marketed and I was desperately struggling to sleep in my tiny room at the Tokyo Hotel. One would assume that at fifty, after twenty years of extensive traveling, my body would have adjusted more easily to these time changes. But not at all! As a matter of fact, it was getting worse as the years went by.… Read More Kabuki, Sumo and Sake