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Five Hours with Miranda the Canadian

July 19, 2012

The crepe vendor in Riquewihr thought we were married. But I had just met Miranda, the Canadian from Toronto, a couple of hours before.

Miranda worked for the English government in London. And after she got laid off, Miranda sold her car, gave up her flat (as she called it), and came to Paris for a month-long intensive language class. She told me about partying in Luxembourg and dancing until dawn. She loved Paris but thought it was dirty.

I met Miranda on the exact mid-point of my trip. I wasn’t exactly lonely (Skyping with Alex and daily facebook posts seemed to negate the physical difference between Seattle and France) but traveling alone, and experiencing all the wonderment, joy, and daily moments of self-actualization in solitude, was beginning to drain on me.

Miranda’s language instructor told her to work on her accent. And even with my French being one step above incomprehensible, I still found her accent jarring and slightly embarrassing when she ordered her nutella-filled crepe. I just smiled.

Dupak (our van driver), Miranda, and I were the only ones left after we dropped everyone off in Colmar. The sun was setting and we still had an hour. I didn’t grab Miranda’s email or Facebook or even her last name. I thought it would be more beautiful if our friendship only lasted for the past five hours. I hopped out of the van in front of my hotel and waved. The van, turned the corner, and sped away.

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