A chance meeting at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and a villa in Cap Ferrat

A chance meeting at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and a villa in Cap Ferrat

Charles de Gaulle Airport 

This is a post about a chance meeting at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and a villa in Cap Ferrat.

So there I was last Sunday, at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, living a Travelife and killing some time before my Qatar Airways flight to Doha.

I’d just had two wonderful weeks of a summer in Spain and France, filled with great restaurants, so many memorable moments, and some of the most beautiful hotels in this part of the world.

In Champagne, living a #Travelife at one of my favourite hotels…


Now I was headed back to Asia and thinking about a million things including work and a couple of upcoming trips that still needed to be sorted out.

After checking in, I also made a beeline for the pharmacy at the airport to stock up on one of my new discoveries: Nuxe oil.

More on Nuxe oil in a later post.

I’d been seeing Nuxe oil all over France on my last few trips but I hadn’t lifted a finger to buy it simply because I already have too many beauty products from all over the world on my dressing table.


But I’d tried it at the spa of the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux and then I bought a bottle somewhere on the trip — and after using it a few times, I’m completely hooked.

So I just had to buy a few more bottles at Charles de Gaulle airport as who knows when I’ll be in France again…

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The chances of being in Paris again sooner than later are higher than most people, of course, as I’m on a never-endingly eventful Travelife.

But nevertheless, Paris is not on the cards for the next few months unless something delicious or irresistible comes up to make me book a flight back.

I’m not too difficult to convince about something like this.

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As I write this, I’m actually mulling over a weekend in Madrid, on my way back from a detox-from-everything trip to the Greek islands, sooner rather than later in my Travelife.

But I’ll save that for another blog post as well.

In Madrid last September,
living a Travelife…


Anyway,  back to a chance meeting at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and a villa in Cap Ferrat. After making my purchases, I went through the Acces No. 1 line at Charles de Gaulle.

The Acces No. 1 lane is the priority lane for business class that gets you through customs and immigrations in about 1 minute instead of 20 minutes via the regular line.

Then I headed for the lounge as I wanted to get online and send a few emails and post some photos on Instagram.

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I was seated at a table with my customary glass of ice when someone approached and called my name.

What do you know? 

It was an old friend from Tokyo, and the last time I was at Charles de Gaulle Airport in April, I’d actually bumped into him as well.


Last April, I’d bumped into him at the Duty Free Shops below, as he was waiting for a flight somewhere and I was waiting for a flight to Istanbul.

And he was carrying very conspicuously a bottle of vintage Salon champagne, very pleased with himself. Later on, he’d said to me: “Found this in the Duty Free, would you believe? Cost a fortune but it’s one of those things you don’t even think about when you actually are able to find it.” 

Then, recovering from the high of the impulse purchase, he said to me: “By the way, have you now made Charles de Gaulle your home? Or are you actually working here and just not telling me?”


I have to admit that I was speechless for a few minutes. How could two people who live in two different countries meet twice at the same airport in an entirely different city halfway around the world, in a span of three or four months?

Wouldn’t you be shocked at the coincidence?

Being at a loss for words doesn’t happen very often to me in my Travelife, but I was completely taken aback by this chance meeting.

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Finally I said, turning the tables to him and without even replying to his question: “So. What really are you doing here?”

He replied, with his usual dry humor: “Waiting for my flight to Tokyo. I would’ve taken my jet but the flight’s too long to be in my small plane and I would’ve had to stop in strange places to refuel. Yes, I’m happy to ride Japan Airlines for this one.”

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I said: “I mean, in France. What are you doing here in France?”

He replied, and he wasn’t joking either: “I just bought a villa in the south of France. Near Cap Ferrat.

I looked at him.

He’s a very famous and successful businessman who I’ve known for a long time; and since I moved out of Tokyo, I usually only get to keep track of him via the newspapers.

When I read about him in the international newspapers, he’s either doing a deal or making some pronouncement on the world economy.


And St. Jean Cap Ferrat, which many people simply call Cap Ferrat, is one of the most beautiful places in France, with many amazing villas.

But I teased him: “Couldn’t think of anything else to spend your money on?

He laughed. “It’s nothing major,” he replied, although of course I looked like I didn’t believe him. “No kidding. Just a regular villa, but it’s got one of the best views of the sea.”

“For a holiday home?” I asked him. I’d seen some of his other homes in other parts of the world and they’re all pretty amazing. And he’s not the modest type.

So it was hard to believe he was getting a regular villa as a holiday home in the glamorous south of France, of all places, where everyone is competing with everyone else in a strip of coastline full of Alpha personalities. And if you can’t compete in this arena, IMHO, you should just get a suite in a nice hotel and live happily ever after without the maintenance headaches. 

There are many places where you can enjoy a vacation quietly in a modest holiday home — but Cap Ferrat is not one of them.

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He shrugged. “I liked the views, and it’s near one of my favourite restaurants. And who knows? I’ll probably sell it to some rich Russian for triple the price in a few years.

And before we could go on any further, it was time to board, and I had to say goodbye and head out for another flight in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.