Saturday, 17 April 2010
On the train from Frankfurt to Basel, in the dining car. The man opposite me is in his late forties/early fifties and looks like the classical business type: suit and tie and the habitus of somebody who seems to think that he understands the world. He orders a whisky, then a steak with vegetables, a salad, and red wine. He fits my cliché of an American businessman. I often ask myself what people who I happen to meet do for a living, I say to him. Do you mind me guessing what you do? Not at all, he says, please go ahead. I think you are an American businessman, I say. Almost, he smiles. I'm Swedish but I'm indeed a businessman working for an American company. The man sitting next to the Swede is rather thin, and tall, and sports the skin of a person who spends his life indoors. I turn to him: Do you mind me asking you too? No, no, he smiles. To me you look like you're into theology, I say. Almost, he answers, I'm into pathology.