Travels Abroad Without Fear: Rendezvous With George


  • Know where you are going
  • Make sure you have money
  • If at first you don’t succeed try again.

George was a good friend and associate. We both worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, which at the time was the second-largest computer manufacturer in the world.

I was in Geneva Switzerland and George was in Lyon France. George called me at the office in Geneva and asked if I wanted to meet up for dinner. We had not seen each other for a while and wanted to catch up. I agreed and we decided to meet halfway in between. George, being more familiar with the area chose Poncin France as a good half-way meeting place. We decided to try to meet at 7:30. George selected the restaurant and we gave each other a half-hour leeway for the meet-up time.

Instead of looking at a map, I asked a local colleague how to get to Poncin and was given general directions. One hour later, I found myself at a petrol station buying a map. I was horribly off course and a long way from Poncin. I finally arrived in Poncin at 9:00. Walked into the restaurant, not seeing George, I asked if a tall, blonde, blue-eyed man had been waiting for me. The whole restaurant exhaled a collective sigh in sympathy. George had just left 5 minutes before.

Without eating I dejectedly drove back to Geneva. Couldn’t pay toll booth charges. Wearing 4 inch Joan and David heals, could not hide money in my socks and used what little I had to buy map. Toll man threw me a crumb and waived me through.

It’s now 11:20. I am back in my hotel room eating a bag of chips and drinking a small bottle of wine. George calls, “Where were you and are you OK?” George asks, “So now you know where you are going, do you want to have dinner in Poncin tomorrow night?” The following evening, I walk into the Poncin restaurant. George is there and stands up to greet me. We exchange kisses on the cheek and the whole restaurant goes, “Ahhhhh.”

Three lessons:

  • Know where you are going: get a map. Don’t just depend on friends to give you directions.
  • Keep extra money in your shoe.
  • Always meet up with old friends when you can, even if it takes multiple tries.



One thought on “Travels Abroad Without Fear: Rendezvous With George

  1. I’d love to see a photo of George! What a great travel story that was! It’s always so weird to be so far away and meet up or run into someone you know.

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