In 1998 I joined my father on one of his business trips. Once a year, he would organize and lead a delegation of jewelers from around the world to a jewelry fair that takes place in Vicenza, Italy.
This time, I asked to join him.
Back in 1998, smoking was still allowed on the nation airlines of Lebanon. I sat next to my father as he smoked his cigarettes and I craved one, but my father didn’t know that I smoked, so I had to wait.
At one point during the flight, dad reclined his sear and dozed off. I got up from next to him and walked to the back of the plan where there were some older gentlemen chatting and smoking. I asked for a cigarette and sat next to them. Very very small talk ensued.
We landed in Rome, then took a train to Vicenza. Then a taxi to the picturesque town of Abano Terme where my father and I checked into our hotel. The plan was that I would enjoy my time solo in Italy while my father attended to his work.
On the first night, my father asked me to join him and the delegates for dinner.
The touristic center of the town was a short walk away. The night was cool and breezy, the town was quiet, and everything was calm. We arrived at the restaurant, where the various delegates had already been seated. Only two seats were vacant for me and my father.
The seat I ended up in was between my father and an older gentleman. The same older gentleman who had offered me the cigarette on the plane. what a small world.
And he recognized me. He greeted me with familiarity. “yes,” he told my father when he introduced me. “We met on the plane.”
While maintaining a perfectly smiley face, I made every prayer known to man that this guy wouldn’t tell on me. I was sweating bullets out of fear that he would mention to my father that we had smoked together.
But he must’ve read my face or something. For the entire duration of the dinner, the whole 2+ hours, I was anxious, but it never happened. I only calmed down when the dinner was done and we were gone.
The moral is: Be careful what you reveal about yourself to passers-by.
Now I don’t tell anybody anything!