DAVOS DIARY: In expectant Switzerland, ‘Troomptag’ finally dawned

DAVOS DIARY: In expectant Switzerland, ‘Troomptag’ finally dawned
'Troomptag' in Switzerland has finally arrived. (AP)
Updated 27 January 2018

DAVOS DIARY: In expectant Switzerland, ‘Troomptag’ finally dawned

DAVOS DIARY: In expectant Switzerland, ‘Troomptag’ finally dawned

DAVOS: Even while they were at the sumptuous “Hong Kong” night or immersed in the session “Secrets of a long and happy life,” attendees were really only thinking about one thing: Trump.
The US president arrived yesterday, but his shadow has been over the World Economic Forum all week, indeed even from the very moment two weeks ago when he belatedly accepted the invitation to attend Davos this year. It will go down in WEF’s near half-century history as the “Trump Davos.”
It is not just among the Weffers that he is the consuming topic of conversation. The locals, too, seem all-consumed by him. Long interviews with local people have been aired on Swiss TV about the president, from the moment he touched down in Zurich to his arrival at the Congress Hall.
At dinner in the upmarket Alpina Hotel in Klosters, I sat beside a table of two Swiss couples — middle-aged, affluent, obviously old friends out for a convivial evening — and the name Trump, pronounced “Troomp,” came up in virtually every sentence. My German was not up to the task of assessing whether they liked him or not.
Back in my more modest Cresta hotel, the restaurant manager Peter, who likes to discuss the day’s events with me over a nightcap each evening before I retire, explained in heavily Swiss-German accented English how he hated “Troomp,” whom he said was only interested in “people wiz dollars,” and not ordinary folk.
I had previously — by chance rather than design — come face to face with “Troomp” in the Congress Hall. A small crowd had begun to gather in the main lobby, each one holding their mobile phone in anticipation of an event. Before long the broadcast news crews had joined us, all geared up with cameras and microphones. They had obviously been tipped off about the arrival of a Davos big wig.
Suddenly, there he was — “Troomp” — striding through the hall with a security entourage and Klaus Schwab, WEF grandee. I caught a brief 10-second video of him striding directly toward me, arm raised in a welcome salute. Well, it has been a while since we last met, but I was sure “Troomp” would never forget me.
Some undesirables had blown in with the president. Piers Morgan, the “Troomp” sycophant who also jetted in to Davos for an interview with his “old mate,” was seen striding through the snowy streets with a grin like a Cheshire cat.
There was also the journalist from a US evangelical media outlet who snuck into the “Troomp” entourage, apparently with a mission to ask ridiculous questions. The WEF media team were not happy about him.
The sense of anticipation was tangible in the cold air. As the Swiss Germans would say, “Troomptag” — Trumpday — had arrived.