Spring of 1999
I was on a bridge in Paris, when this little face caught my eye!
First trip to Paris!
I was in Paris for the first time, after wishing on birthday candles since I was about 5!
I was finally in this beautiful city, but I was wandering alone. I had tagged along on my husband's business trip, so I was exploring with my camera.
A Little Intimidated
First I spotted the serious looking nanny, pushing a ritzy pram across the bridge. What a perfect snapshot! But taking pictures of strangers is sort of rude anywhere, especially in France.
But when I passed this sweet baby in her striped hat and sweater, I couldn't help myself. I paused and managed to express my delight with what few words I knew in French.
To my surprise, the Nanny was as eager to share this darling child and encouraged me with my camera. With my non-digital Canon, I snapped only one shot. I lucked out and captured the baby's giddy laugh. If only I had snapped one more, I could have captured the Nanny's grin. A split second after my camera clicked, the Nanny turned to me and gasped with delight. We both shared a sweet moment, acknowledging how perfectly the baby laughed when the camera clicked.
So, thank you Nanny!
It was the baby I had on focused first, but you are the one who impressed me. You made my first encounter with a French person, relaxed and comfortable. You didn't roll your eyes or frown, like the cartoon images some Americans still have of the French. You gave me a good snapshot memory of a kind stranger from a foreign land.
To celebrate my birthday in April 2012, I decided to reflect on the past with a different kind of list. I've met a lot of people in my 55 years, but I'm going to stop and remind myself about the strangers I've met. These are people I met by accident, not through friends or work. For some reason, these strangers dropped into my life. Even though we may have only spent a few minutes together, these people have never been forgotten.
Each week, I'll spotlight someone I met in the past, who in some small way, made me stop and think.
Remember 55 Strangers