The beginning of the tale is in the perfume box
(…) As an international businessman, my brother has to travel extensively. During a trip to Russia in early 1997, he decided to treat himself to a representation of Giselle at the Imperial Theatre in St Petersburg. As he was waiting in line for tickets, he struck a conversation with the man next to him, who happened to be the head of the Translation Department at the IMF. Since I was studying translation at the time, it naturally came up in the short conversation that I was doing a Master’s at Laval University. A few months later, when my brother heard that I had to do an internship as part of my curriculum, he told me about his unusual Russian encounter and how he might be able to contact the man in the waiting line. My interest was definitely spiked, for who wouldn’t be excited at the idea of interning at such a prestigious establishment, but I did not believe for one second that he could pull this one off!But, while I was dreaming the impossible dream, my brother was hard at work, trying to get things moving. Some phone calls were made, some logistical matters were handled, and, lo and behold, there I was on an Amtrak train on my way to DC! That’s how I became the first translation intern at the IMF. Why me? Because somebody I knew was somewhere in the right place at the right time. Coincidence? Happenstance? Destiny? Perhaps. One thing is certain though, my brother has a gift. He sees every moment in life as an opportunity rather than as an unrelated sequence of events. He firmly believes in the humanity in each and every one of us; the humanity that makes us deeply influenced by the people we meet and the world around us. Where some of us take things at face value, others see a blank sheet of paper on which to write their own story. And so, thanks to him and to those few minutes he spent talking to a total stranger half way around the world, I was able to fill one of my blank sheets of paper with an amazing experience that has now become a snapshot of happiness forever engraved in my mind.