In one of my previous podcasts, I talked about how I ended up with the Japanese Mafia, the Yakuza. I will add a link to the description. Check it out as well.
This story starts the same way; It happened 20 years ago; I was in Milano, Italy. I had my office in Milano to manage the Italian market. The business I was working for was fashion-related.
On a Tuesday, In the late afternoon, I got a phone call. Frederik, come stai, let's have a coffee tomorrow morning.
I replied to Dario and Mario that I need to take my flight to Brussel as I can't miss my connecting flight to Miami.
No worries Frederik, we want to have a coffee with you, as friends, discussing the good life.
Me again: Dario and Mario, you need to promise me I get on time on my flight; I want to party in Miami.
You got our word, they told me.
That day, I finished my work, had some drinks with the team and went partying with a few of them as Milano is such a great place to have fun.
To put this in the right perspective:
I was Head of IT worldwide for a Fashion company during the day, and during the night, I did PR. Italy was our second-biggest market, after France and that is why we had an office in Milano to control the Italian operations.
This story happened around 20 years ago. I can talk about it, but I will not reveal names. people who know me, know about who I am talking about, the story is real
Who are Mario and Dario?
Let me explain who are Mario and Dario. Dario was the head of our Fashion operations in Italy. A true gentleman & food lover.
Mario was our representative in Napoli for the South Italian Market. He was a flamboyant person. Always perfectly dressed, always having fun with the most gorgeous girls, loving & living the good life.
I noticed that every time I flew to Milano, Mario came from Napoli as well. I asked Mario several times to invite me to Napoli.
He always came up with soft excuses, saying Milano was better.
Also, when Dario, Mario and I were in Milano, we had every night dinners together. This evening I was alone with the Italian team. That's why I was surprised, as it was my last night, we didn't have dinner together, but coffee in the morning, just before my departure,
Around 20 years ago, Malpensa, the huge new airport, was not open yet. I flew via Linate Airport, and I loved that airport. It was so close to the centre...
That morning, I went to Milano's centre, meeting Dario and Mario, enjoying our expresso, and we discussed, and laughed, and talked chit-chat stories and .. what do you think?... we lost time and I was late for my flight.
Mario asked for my boarding pass information; I asked him why? I need a taxi now; I need to catch the plain.
Mario replied with his Italian moves, "no worries, I arrange it."
He did a few phone calls, I gave my boarding pass information, and a black car arrived. He said, Enjoy Miami; when do you invite us there?
No time to answer; I kissed them goodbye, jump in the car, and drove like only crazy Italians can drive to the airport.
The car brought me directly to the plain. (It seems like Mario had checked me in by phone)
Until now, I'm still not sure where Mario really lived. In Milano or Napoli :)
If he was from Napoli, was my friend a member of the Camorra? Did I have a coffee with the Camorra?
A true story, I never got the answers...