If you lived on an archipelago that defined paradise with palm-fringed white sand beaches and emerald green waters, you would expect a relaxed, lazy pace of life.
Lazy would be a generous description of the Seychellois soldier’s wave at the entrance to State House as I arrived with my local colleague George Thande - who is admittedly a regular visitor here.
The Seychelles were ruled by the French before the British and State House in the capital Victoria is every bit the luxurious colonial mansion: a lush garden exploding with tropical colours; an oil painting of Britain's Queen Victoria hangs in the wood-panelled reception room close to a portrait of Castor, a runaway slave from the 19th century with a fearsome reputation; a Daimler and Rolls Royce are parked on the forecourt.
But President James Alix Michel, cannot afford to be relaxed. This is an exotic destination at the sharp end of the global financial crisis.
The Indian Ocean archipelago may lie thousands of miles from the financial hubs of the world, but the bankers on Wall Street and in the City of London, not to mention the celebrity visitors, help keep the Seychelles’ tourism-dependent economy afloat.