Lovelorn Canadian writes to 3,700 Sabines
A Canadian man is writing to 3,700 Belgian women called Sabine in a bid to find a sweetheart.
Marc Lachance met a Belgian woman called Sabine on a bus trip to Havana while he was on holiday in Cuba.
He told De Morgen: "We liked each other and spent the day together. But I was too shy to ask her address or telephone number."
Back in Canada, he realised Sabine could be the woman of his life and began his efforts to track her down. "All I know is she speaks French and she was travelling with a friend named Klara," said Mr Lachance. "Finally, I looked up in the phonebook the addresses of all women named Sabine. There are 3,700 of them. I was shocked it's such a popular name."
Mr Lachance has so far written to all the women named Sabine in Brussels. Soon he will send letters to the Sabines in Namur, then the rest of the country.
"It is costing me a lot of money," he admitted. "And what if her name is not in the phonebook - I dare not think of that."
This story sounds like perfect fodder to feed into the Rom-Com Computer to churn out a plot for the next Richard Curtis film.
Hugh Grant plays the handsome but shy Mark Lastchance, who meets the beautiful but mysterious Belgian Sabine on holiday. Back in England, he realises he must find her again, but her name and nationality are all he knows about her!
So begins his epic quest, by turns comic and heartbreaking, to find the elusive Sabine. Accompanied only by his eccentric friend Rhys Ifans, Mark journeys to Brussels. After meeting 3,700 unsuitable Sabines of all shapes and sizes (with hilarious results!), Mark is on the verge of despair. On a whim he drops into a cafe for a cup of tea. But the waitress informs him that they only sell Belgian hot chocolate. Mark recognises the voice. He looks up. It is Sabine! Yet her name badge says 'Marie'. Then he sees the name of the establishment - Le Cafe Sabine!
Marie had taken a pseudonym on holiday, after her workplace! But why? Because of her tragic and mysterious circumstances, of course. Gradually Mark is able to woo her, but when one of the earlier unsuitable Sabines pounces on him in a public place, Marie catches them at it and natually jumps to the wrong conclusion. She runs to the train station to catch the next Eurostar out of Brussels. Once again, Mark is in despair. But urged on by the trusty Rhys Ifans, Mark chases after her in a frantic race against time...Tearful explanations and joyful reunions.
Finally, Marie's tragic and mysterious circumstances are revealed. She was abandoned at birth by her mother, and given the name Marie by her foster parents. Somehow an even more tearful reunion is implausibly and clumsily engineered with this biological mother. And at last, 'Marie' discovers her real name...guess what it is!