In the evening of the very first day after the implementation of the Council of Europe’s new security system, a reception was held. When I was ready to leave, I offered a colleague to drop her off at her house on my way home. In front of the – now locked – door, leading to the lifts going down to the car park, we met two ambassadors and found out, that neither of our brand new badges was able to unlock the door.
On detours, using stairways we never even knew existed, we finally made it down to the car park – only to find out, that we were now locked in along with our cars, because the gate at the exit wouldn’t open either, thanks to the new system.
The evening took a slightly surreal turn, when – in keeping up with diplomatic protocol – we started making polite conversation: Under the dim green flicker, cast by the “emergency exit” sign, and in the midst of our cars, blocking the locked exit, we talked about the advantages of compact cars like Smarts, Istanbul’s famous marzipan production, the high quality of Volvos and the conditions of the roads in various parts of Europe – until, an hour later, two security guards “rescued” us.