Chris used to work with Sam, although they were in different countries. Chris has now moved and works in the same country as Sam. Chris has heard from Sam's colleague Toni (whom Chris has known for a long time and considers a friend) that Sam is ill, but Toni does not know the specifics. Chris has previously heard from Sam that Sam's partner Robin sits in the same corridor as Chris in Chris' new workplace. Chris doesn't know Robin but is interested to know how Sam is doing. Robin knows that Chris and Sam know each other.
It feels a bit strange and risky to approach a semi-stranger (colleague in some corridor but in different department) with a question of their partner is doing. It's quite a private question, and perhaps Sam is doing very poorly and Toni does not want to think about this while at work (at least Sam is still alive or Chris would have heard).
Chris' primary aim is to find out how Sam is doing, but perhaps also (secondarily) to get to know colleague Robin.
How can Chris approach Robin with this question?
In case it matters, Chris and Sam are Dutch, Robin is German, all actors are based in Germany.