Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Just as a sidenote (I just remembered this anecdote, you'll love it).

I did my "national service" after graduation, as back then it still existed. And I did mine abroad, as a civilian with a french administration. Before going abroad, all the people like me who were leaving for a civilian service abroad, were gathered at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris for a briefing. During that meeting, we were first taught basic behaviour to have when abroad, because we represented France, we were the elite, and blablabla.

Then came in two guys from the French Secret Service (one internal, DST, the other external, DGSE). And they both gave this ridiculously theatrical speech about what to do and what not to do. The DST guy focused on day-to-day things: "DO NOT THROW IMPORTANT PAPERS IN THE OFFICE'S GARBAGE BIN, BECAUSE BEHIND A POTUGUESE CLEANING WOMAN LIES A POTENTIAL SPY" and also: "BEWARE THE JAPANESE, THEY ALL HAVE A CAMERA AND ARE NOT ALWAYS TOURISTS".

There is more I could tell you about this whole day at the Ministry, but these stereotypes are a good start.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 10:12:02 AM EST
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