As I write this in the office, there's a Frenchman called Thierry Vincent standing behind me talking to Bijoy, in the charming accent that the French have when they speak English. His wife, who's also here and is a pilot with Kingfisher Airlines, met him when she went to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, and he tagged along with her to Bombay for a couple of years. He's a BSM reader and, impressed with a column that Bijoy wrote, sent us a letter of appreciation; one thing led to another and they both showed up at the office to meet the mob.
Thierry has it good. He's a keen (and very good) photographer and an avid biker, and has been maintaining a blog on his experiences in the country, without having to worry about putting food on the table, in his own words. I felt an immediate kinship with him when he noticed my old Contax camera and asked to have a look at it; there are few things I enjoy more than shooting the breeze with a fellow photographer. He in turn produced his Nikon D300, with a killer f2.8 17-55 mm Nikkor lens, and we spent the best part of an hour discussing f-stops and shutter speed and lens brands, much to everyone's mild puzzlement. He mentioned a place in Paris that is full of photo stores, and was delighted when I mentioned I had been there; I said I've been wanting to buy the Lumix LX-3, and was delighted when he said he'd just bought one. He's moving back to France in a few days, and I'm already hatching plans for road trips and photography sessions this summer...