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Of chance meetings

I thought my time in Paris would be spent alone. Not that I had any problems. With its efficient rail and bus system, Paris is very much geared for tourists and it is difficult to get lost. I covered quite a lot of ground in the three days I was there. Including walking up the Champs-Elysees from Franklin Roosevelt station and the Eiffel Tower from Trocadera Gardens station, just as Jag had suggested (thanks Jag!). I especially loved the Louvre (where my head started spinning after a few hours), the Moulin Rouge, the Basilica of Sacre Coeur and that whole bargain shopping stretch at Montmarte.

It was my last night though on the 26th, and I could hardly believe it when I bumped into Shruti and Param (who I know of online for a while now).

This seemed even more unbelievable, since I had been trying to meet Param in Bangalore ever since he moved from Hyderabad, but had to keep postponing for some reason or another! I met his wife Shruti a few weeks ago instead for some work. So I wouldn’t actually have recognised him. As it so happened, Shruti turned around and said, “Anita?”

It was a freaky coincidence for sure as they had checked into the very same place I was staying in.

Anyway, it was really a pleasant surprise for me as not only did I land up having dinner with them both, but we also met Mahesh, who is currently also in Paris. The last time I met Mahesh was a few years ago, before he left Mumbai for Washington, so he too was naturally equally surprised when he saw me crossing a Paris street in front of him!

So there we were – four of us – all brought together by some strange crossing of our paths in Paris, where we had least expected it! We had a small impromptu bloggers meet at a small diner in Bastille, sitting outside on the pavement (like they love doing!), over champagne, not so good food (mine at least) and a very amusing and charming Israeli waiter who kept us in splits.

We couldn’t help but wonder, “What are the chances?” I guess stranger things have been known to happen!

I left Paris the next day and am now in a very small town called Inverness, in Northern Scotland. Sis and I made our way here from Birmingham via Edinburgh and will go to Glasgow before returning to London. Did a quick cruise on the lovely Loch Ness today, but no sight of the monster. Apparently, it might still be there. 🙂 The drive through the Scottish highlands – rolling hills, beautiful plains covered with orange yellow bracken, desolate stretches of forest and sheep (millions of them!) – was rather lovely, though the weather was a little on the cloudy side.

Spending a night at Inverness and we haven’t decided what to do tomorrow. It’s Sunday, and we found out that the Scots don’t work at all on Sundays so that will create some problems for us. But we should figure out something soon. Currently, on very expensive Internet time (of course, anything is expensive when you pay in pounds and earn in rupees!).

I also have yet to find a place where I download all the pictures I took in Paris and Scotland so far. So that will have to wait. A few more days left of my holiday and I realised that time sure flies when one is having fun!


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