From New York to France

Thibault 5
Photo Credit: Tanya Hotchkiss

From the last Strangers We Know, I shared the story of how I met the 'jolly pirate' Mr. G in Germany and Thailand. Now I'm sharing the serendipitous experience of meeting Thibault. First in NY, then in NancY, France a few months later.

Back in June of 2009, my friend Tanya and I were were waiting in line hoping to win Broadway lottery tickets for Ave Q. We didn't win any tickets but 2 guys who won were nice enough to offer us a ticket each for only $21 (a steal!). One of them was a Frenchie named Thibault. He was on an academic trip in New York with his classmates. He had only been in the city a few days but he knew of all the free/cheap events, concerts and plays. So we tagged along on some of them.
Strangers We Know:Thibault
Photo Credit: Tanya Hotchkiss
We went with him and his friend Charlotte to the free production of Mozart's Magic Flute at Rockefeller Park one summer afternoon. I was not a big fan of classical music but it was nice to have a picnic and enjoy the last few weeks of sunshine with good company. Thibault was from Nancy, France and he told us all about his city and the famous sweets from there. It was a wonderful opportunity for cultural exchange. He raved about macarons and baguette. In turn, we let him have a taste of bagels and frozen yogurt. He absolutely loved yogurt topped with all sorts of fruit and berries!

Strangers We Know:Thibault

Anne Hathaway as Viola in Twelfth Night
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Another event we went to with Thibault was Shakespeare in the Park's Twelfth Night. Again, not a big fan of Shakespearean plays, but this was a comedy so I enjoyed it immensely. I think Thibault wanted to watch mainly because Anne Hathaway played the role of Viola. He sat as close to her as possible.

I left New York before Thibault did because I moved to Germany. But France was not too far away. So we bid each other adieu in the hopes of seeing each other again in Europe.

I didn't have to wait long for that to happen. In August of the same year, I went on a long road trip from Germany to France. Among the many stops, we decided to take Thibault on his offer to see his hometown, Nancy. We finally saw his great city and Thibault took us on a (very well-researched) historical guided tour of Place Stanislas which is one of the UNESCO heritage sites.

Strangers We Know:Thibault

I checked in on Thibault before I wrote this entry. It was like no time passed. He updated me about his life. He had been on many trips since we last saw each other. He took the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Beijing (so jealous), spent a few weeks in India and is currently doing an internship with Lancôme fragrances in Paris.

He's a 'global sole' himself.

I'm not sure when we'll see each other again. But I know our paths will cross sooner or later. With cheap flights from Asia to Paris, Thibault doesn't seem too faraway.

Have you befriended fellow travelers? Have you visited them in their hometown or home country? Leave a comment and share your story with the Sole Sisters!

On the next Strangers We Know, I’ll be sharing the story of how I met Jorgelina in Zurich. She was from Argentina and we explored the city together on many long walks and bike rides.

Until the next trip,
Sole Sister Lois

4 Responses so far.

  1. flipnomad says:

    i love the way you have told us the story behind meeting other people on the road... aabangan ko itong series nyo :-)...

  2. Avegail85 says:

    thanks for sharing this =) I love to travel and it's when I feel really happy. Meeting strangers is just one of the perks of travelling. =)

  3. Lois says:

    Thanks flip! I've always thought that traveling was a way to get out of your comfort zone, do the things you don't usually do like strike up conversation with a stranger. And from there, you never know what great experiences you will find.

  4. Lois says:

    Hey Avegail, you're a sole sister yourself. There's nothing Chichi and I love more than the open road. And we love to meet like minded people when traveling.

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