The role of good luck in people’s lives, and the topics for discussion in a world capital like Tokyo

Some of the desserts today, for lunch in Tokyo

One of the nice things about being in Tokyo, living a Travelife, is the fact that people here have conversations about the world outside of their “village,” as well as about life, history, culture, literature, and philosophy.

Among many other things.

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Maybe this is a function of being a world city rather than a small-ish community run by 400 families who pretty much know each other.

Basically, there’s very little gossip when people get together, as people get tired of talking about other people very quickly since there are so many other interesting topics to discuss.


I was reminded of this today, because I hosted a lunch for some friends.

Over Indian food I made myself, we sat all afternoon around the dining table talking about everything in the world.

Of course we talked about travel — how can we ever not?

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But we also discussed what is happening in Iraq and how the world is becoming so polarized, to a book currently making the rounds in Tokyo about how Japan is about to come to ruin, and the trends for the global financial markets in the event of widespread unrest in the Middle East.

It was just a regular Saturday lunch with friends, but it was all very interesting.

I baked this nan myself,
and served it on a pretty handpainted plate
I’d bought on holiday in Sardinia one summer.
Living a Travelife… 😉


And, oh yes, we did talk about one person — but not in a gossipy way.

I told everyone about our driver on our holiday in Morocco last week, living a Travelife, because I haven’t been able to get him out of my mind.

The Travel Companion had gotten us the best driver to drive the best car in Morocco, and he was way over-qualified to be driving a car — even for two intrepid world travelers who are pretty used to having the best all the time, and to having their way all the time.

That’s our car, waiting to be loaded with a ton of luggage
on the day we flew out of Morocco…


This driver could talk about anything.

In hindsight, I regret not talking to him more, to understand more about Morocco, as I’m sure he would have been a wealth of information.

But the Travel Companion and I were talking with each other all the time, and he was making me laugh so much when he wasn’t happily trying to make me sore about a few things, that there were few opportunities for real discussions with the driver during our trip.

At the lovely Dar Ahlam,
a Relais & Chateaux property


But the few times we three did have a conversation, he quoted the works of Islamic poets, French philosophers, and Spanish intellectuals.

Obviously, he would be doing so much more than driving a Benz around Morocco if he had been a citizen of a First World country instead.

In the United States, France or Canada, for instance, he would have made an excellent university professor or a journalist.

I served a bagna cauda as a pre-appetizer
for lunch today in Tokyo


I couldn’t stop thinking about how big a part in life luck plays for us all.

It made me realize for the nth time that what happens in one’s life is not just about talent, ability or hard work, but about being in the right place at the right time — or even being in the right part of the world, for that matter.

And sometimes, luck really smiles on you and allows to create the life you want, and live a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.