The man in the grey suit: Anglo-Saxan Chronicle 15

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To take up my position as manager of FC Saxan I decided to fly from the UK to Istanbul, catch a ferry to Giurgiulesti (a Moldovan port on the Danube) and then catch the train.

Though neither the quickest route nor the cheapest, it struck me as the most adventurous and therefore – since I regard managing FC Saxan as a great adventure – the most appropriate. It’s the kind of thing my hero, Robert Byron, might have done.

From Giurgiulesti I caught the train to Taraclia, one stop short of Ceadir Lunga (the home of FC Saxan). I’d decided to rent a place in Taraclia rather than Ceadir Lunga, because it looked more attractive, with a large park in the middle, because I liked the idea of a short commute – an opportunity in the morning to prepare the day’s work and, in the evening, to unwind – and because I thought it might be prudent to put some distance between myself and the natives if our campaign didn’t start so well.

Tomorrow I will meet the chairman, Mr Merciu, in very different circumstances from last time. Then, my wife and I were his guests at a pizza restaurant; now I am his employee.

In front of the mirror I practice my greeting. I want to get the tone, and the face, right from the start. Not obsequious, but certainly respectful and professional.

I think it will be the nondescript grey suit and the blue tie.