The woman in the red hat

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” ~ Freya Stark


  1. Hey Paige.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Sometimes I feel guilty taking photos of strangers in this way that I do (I can’t help but feel guilty… I’m Canadian) but, in truth, I know that I am not taking anything from them but rather trying to capture the truth of a certain (public) place and a certain time through images.

    In The Nice Thing About Strangers, you do this so beautifully with words. I have subscribed to your blog so I am now officially a part of your tribe!

    I once read a story about a man who had photographed a stranger – a woman (I think this happened in Europe) and when he got home he posted his photos on Flickr. Through some extraordinary turn of fate, the woman saw the photograph! This made her inordinately happy and so she contacted him via the comments for that photo and said, “It’s me. I’m the girl in the photograph.” They finally met… fell in love… and got married.

    Sometimes I feel like there is no such thing as strangers… just kindred spirits who have not yet met.


  2. Loved Hagia Sophia when we were there – would love to go back to Istanbul! My teenage daughter and I were looking at photos that we had taken on vacation the other day and noticing all the strangers that just happened to be in our pics. Made us wonder how many strangers around the world may have photos that feature us.

    1. Isn’t it gorgeous? Of the hundreds of houses of worship I have visited all over the world, this was one of my favourites. There something about the space that is so… I’m not sure what… grand, welcoming, magical. And the chandeliers! Proof that every space looks better with a few chandeliers.

      You are absolutely right about us appearing in other people’s shots. It’s such a small world I may have been in one of yours or vice versa!

  3. Monna,
    You’ve reminded me of a story from my first time in Vienna and Prague! When I get it written and posted, I’ll hat-tip to you!

    Naturally, I imagine someone who resembles George Clooney caught me in one of his photos (maybe in Lisbon). He probably keeps it in a frame on his worktable in his wilderness retreat where he awaits me. 🙂 Something like that. And the best part is that I will never know, so I need zero verification. 🙂

    1. Paige, I’m sure he looks just like George Clooney!

      I look forward to the story about Vienna and Prague. I LOVED Vienna… I could have sat in cafes all day watching the fascinating characters who came and went. Vienna made me want to write dark poetry and start smoking cigarettes 🙂

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