On my latest business travels, over the hills and far away, one of the countries I visited but had never been to before (I was in five countries over a two week period) stood out for two reasons…
- It was a lot colder than I had expected. Indeed with the current heat wave in the UK it was far hotter in Britain than where I was, which did surprise me. I wish I had packed a jumper.
- The other thing that struck me was how clean and tidy the streets were – not a scrap of litter anywhere to be seen. On commenting about this to my hosts it was explained to me that everyone without a job gets paid a small allowance, not much but enough for subsistence, but they are required to undertake duties for the state such as keeping the streets and public places clean. I am not for one minute passing comment on the rights or wrongs of such a policy but from what I saw it seemed to be working well and everyone I spoke to thought it was a good idea. Perhaps some lessons there for other countries.
So a whirlwind tour, met lots of interesting people, had meetings with a number of ministers and officials some of which were new discussions and some follow up meetings, had a variety of experiences in a range of different aircraft and airports (not all good) but a successful and positive trip all round.
Glad to be back home in England’s green and pleasant land however, for a short while anyway.