I've fallen in love.
Or at least, i've seen the light.
I was sitting at a beach-side cafe, enjoying the view of the fishing boats, the random trash, and multiple ever-pooping cows, when I glance over to a woman at the next table. She's got -2- cellphones in front of her, is scribbling madly onto one of them (a smart phone with a stylus), and has a book about Al Jezeera propped open next to her. Clearly, this is a woman I need to talk to.
Eventually, I get up the nerve. I tell her that I noticed she was reading a current affairs/politics book, and asked if she had any others with her that she'd already finished - given that the bookshops in town seem to just stock romance novels/Da Vinci Code/John Grisham, this is a reasonable enough request - of course, it's an excuse to initiate conversation, but it's at least a legitimate line.
Quickly - we begin chatting. She's a former music journalist. German, but based in the UK for the last 15 years. After the music biz, she switched to warzone reporting, mainly based out of Africa (Somalia, Congo, etc). She's just finished up a tsunami documentary for the BBC, and is about to start working for Al Jazeera's new english language station (which will be competing with BBC World and CNN). I'm left with my mouth wide open.
After a few days of casual conversation with mainly non native english speakers (swiss, with a bad grasp of english), it's extremely refreshing to speak to someone with a decent english vocabulary. Even moreso, after mainly meeting aid workers and hippies trying to find themselves through yoga tretreats, its even nicer to be able to chat with someone who knows the way of the world.
We spend a few hours chatting over dinner. Then I meet her the next day for a long-ish lunch. We exchange books (success!), business cards, and she extends an offer - visit her the next time I'm in London - we can have a drink, discuss politics, and she can show me her latest, self funded documentary on the political struggles of Hati.
She's at least 10-15 years my senior,. drop dead beautiful, and able to discuss the damage that King Leopold of Belgium did to the Congo - oh so sexy. She's far out of my league, and so I don't even pursue it.. however, it is a refreshing break from the karma cleansing hippies I see most of the time, and a chance to flex my braincells.
Maybe I should have been a warzone journalist.