Strangers We Know: Mr. G Story
Just missing his eyepatch and bandanna
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
          Maya Angelou

From the last Strangers We Know, I shared the experience of meeting Bing & Christopher en route to Koh Samui. I met up with another friend on that island, Mr. G. He's from Australia. I'm from the Philippines. We first met in Germany and a year later, in Thailand. Talk about an international intercontinental friendship!


We were introduced by a mutual friend, Insa at a winefest in Wurzburg, Germany. Mr. G was visiting Insa who had stayed with him in Oz a few years back. Here's what I thought of Mr. G when I first saw him:

He looked like a pirate. A very friendly, jolly looking pirate.

Strangers We Know: Mr. G Story
Lois, Mr. G and Insa at the winefest
We spent a long weekend with friends in Wurzburg going through palaces, castles, vineyards and of course, more nights of wine tasting! And before we realized it, it was time to say goodbye. Mr. G had to continue his tour around Europe and I had to go back to Stuttgart where I was living at the time. He offered his couch in Perth and invited us to come and visit him in Oz.
 
Strangers We Know: Mr. G Story
with Berkant and Jochen at the winefest


When I came back to the Philippines from Europe, I didn't expect to see Mr. G again. But we kept in touch along with other people I met in Germany. I even convinced him to sign up for couchsurfing, an organization I joined in order to meet other travelers from all over the world.


In September of this year, I sent him a message on facebook because I was traveling to Thailand and I know he often visits there. I was so excited when he replied he was going to be in Thailand on the same dates and even sent me photos of his little hut in Koh Samui! So I visited him on coconut island and met his local friends. He offered me an extra room at the resort he was staying and took me on a guided tour of Koh Samui. He was practically a local himself! This time, we partied in Koh Pangan on Full Moon Party night and had buckets of booze instead of glasses of wine.

Strangers We Know: Mr. G Story
It seems I'm always drinking in pictures with this guy..
Meeting Mr. G again enriched my travels in Thailand. I always look forward to meeting 'strangers' and seeing them again in strange and exotic locations. That's why I never say goodbye to people I've met on the road. It's always 'See you later!'. I'm sure I'll be seeing Mr. G again. Perhaps I should take him up on that offer. It would be great to catch some waves in Oz...

Have you ever made friends with fellow travelers? Did you keep in touch? Share your stories with the Sole Sisters!

On the next Strangers We Know, I’ll be sharing the serendipitous experience of meeting Thibault. We met while waiting in line for tickets to watch Ave Q on Broadway in New York. I met him again in his hometown in Nancy, France a few months later.

Until the next trip,
Sole Sister Lois

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