Staying a few days in Rome, I ran into the famous theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, while taking a stroll in the tiny streets nearby the touristy Spanish Steps. He walked towards me with an elegant looking Japanese women his age at his arm, I would guess his wife Shizue Kaku.
Usually celebrities in general rarely impress me and consequently I am not good at spotting famous people… and often failed so in Manhattan, when my friends did and I even had trouble identifying them after the announcement of my friends. This time though – even from afar – my eye was drawn immediately to his white hair and the distinctive way the couple moved, very aware and present in every step. In hindsight I am quite impressed by that and would aim to achieve oozing a presence like that myself.
Helping me recognizing his appearance might be strongly supported by the fact that I see his face pretty much every second day on my YouTube recommendations… and I did watch many many of his contributions explaining science in layman terms to regular people. I just love those clips and his work in that field of “popular science”.
Approaching the couple I prepared my camera phone, urgently searching for the appropriate words to introduce myself as an admirer, without coming on to creepy or impolite. I guess I am conditioned by an experience in 1999, when a friend of mine spotted Dave Gahan, lead singer from Depeche Mode, a band we both were huge fans of our entire youth, sitting in a New York downtown restaurant and approached him for an autograph in the book he carried with him. The reaction he inflicted by that was kinda unexpected: Dave called him rude and was cursing about the invasion of his privacy… followed by signing the book…
Anyway. So I headed towards the couple prepared to do my thing, when an Italian women in her 40s exited a shop she works in, running to them with a camera in hand and was asking for a picture – which he politely invited her to do. Me arriving at the spot at this moment and adding to the already ongoing scene made my approach feeling weird… Now I am not easily rattled or distracted by an event. That comes in part with personality and a lot from my job history, it is essentially a major factor of my job description as I would see it. Also people who know me, would hardly assume that in a situation like this it would go down like it did… I chickened out: I dropped a few words of admiration with (I hope) a genuine smile and left for good.
Ok, so no picture of my own from this occasion. But I will try to keep the memory fresh by putting it into this blog, even though is has not much to do with a travelling foodie in general… but hey, a lot with this Foodie (On Tour). I adore the doing of Michio Kaku and will remember this day I ran into him on the streets of Rome.
By the way, while I am in Rome you can bet that some serious eating happens here too – combined with hotel and travel experiences, the thing you would expect from a blog like this. I just need to find some time to write down the best and/or maybe the worst of them. Come back and look for those stories in the near future!