At the Fringe: Stories from Davos (3) – Do Conference Participants Have Time for Fun in Davos?

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Every year, global leaders gather in Davos to discuss the most pressing challenges facing us today. But is this all they do in Davos? How about squeezing in the time to get a new skiing-outfit? At least, it seems that the Clintons took the time.

Odlo, a fancy sport shop in the city centre is displaying its furs and hiking equipment in the window. The woman behind the cashier takes on an annoyed look: ”No, never, important people don’t have time for shopping”. A bit further down Promenade – the main shopping street in Davos – there is a store selling exclusive handbags and shoes. Similarly, the lady answers: “No, we haven’t had any famous person here, at least no one from the gossip world”.

Close to the famous Belvedere hotel there is a café and bakery – perhaps some participants may be tempted to try one of the Swiss pies? The lady who seems to be in charge of the place exclaims: “Yes! Of course! Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Naomi Campbell…. “, and she goes on to mention a few famous British politicians. “Although, the Americans and the Arabic people are the most difficult. We had a Saudi Arabian prince here once and he first sent one of his three lifeguards to check what’s behind every corner”.  She says they usually come for lunch, or sometimes companies or organisation will arrange special events. When asked if they come to escape from the hectic conference she shakes her head: “Many think they are just here to ‘party, party’, but they actually work really hard”.

Yet, some participants seem to have taken the time to enjoy themselves a little. On the way back on Promenade there is another sport shop, called ‘Ettinger Sport’, and the woman behind the cashier says: “Of course, during the World Economic Forum, Bill Clinton was here with his wife and they bought skiing jackets, but that was quite some time ago”. She thinks for a bit longer and then she burst out: “Ohh the princess…what’s her name… the Danish, no Norwegian!?”

Before walking out, she also mentions that Vladimir Klitschko, the famous Ukranian boxer had been to the shop, but that he was too tall and too big for all the clothes, so he didn’t buy anything.

Bill Clinton at the World Economic Annual Meeting 2010

World Economic Forum/Flickr

Bill Clinton at the World Economic Annual Meeting 2010

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