Small World Moments

This year I have been having a lot of small world moments! They are a lot of fun and make me think that things don’t always happen by accident.

This moment is from before this year but it is such a great story! In 2012 during my time in Uganda I was walking with my friends/coworkers through the fabric district in Kampala when we came across a sign for a shop that had an old photograph of my friend photoshopped on it (this kind of copyright infringement is pretty normal in Uganda). What were the chances that we would come across it?! It all started with one of my friends commenting “There are a lot of mzungus (white people) on that sign…”.

Last year my friend and old classmate Andrea, who now lives in Switzerland, sent me a photo of herself with a girl who looked very familiar. I quickly realized that she was a girl whose couch I had surfed in Boston several years earlier. When I was looking for a place I searched the keyword “architecture” and had found her and her roommate who were Swiss students from EPFL (the same school in Lausanne I went on exchange to in 2010) who were working for a year in Boston. Almost a year later she then came and visited me in Toronto when she was getting her Visa renewed. A couple years later Andrea met her at a house party of a friend in Lausanne and through conversation they discovered that they both knew me. Andrea had thought perhaps I had met her back when I was on exchange, but was surprised to learn we had met in Boston of all places!

When I was looking to couch surf when I attended a huge geography conference in Exeter last fall, I had a few people turn me down before I finally found a host. The reason for this was because other conference attendees had chosen to do couch surfing as well. At the conference I presented work related to my thesis at a small session with an audience of about ten people. I struck up a conversation with one guy afterwards who had some comments about my work. The next morning the same guy came up to me and said that he was surfing on the couch of the one guy who had turned me down! He figured out as much from my uniquely spelled first name. We ended up all going out for drinks later!

In October I moved into a new apartment in the West end. I was moving a few last things in on a Sunday morning and noticed a woman standing with her dog on the front lawn next door. I decided to go and introduce myself. The conversation went as follows: – “What brings you to the area?” – “I got a new job and wanted to move close by” – “What is it you do?” – “I work as an intern architect.” – “My daughter works at an architecture office called Philip Beesley Architect.” – “I work at Philip Beesley Architect!”. Philip Beesley Architect has about twelve employees and yet I had managed to move next door to my coworker!

Just a few weeks ago I attended and helped out at a Friday night social evening at my church. The event was pretty big and a lot of people came who had never been to our church before. I met one such guy and we struck up a conversation. After a bit he says; “You look a lot like someone I know, a girl named Al van Overbeeke”. My response: “No way! She’s my sister!” It turns out he knew her from five some years ago when they both attended UOIT and were on the same worship team at their campus church. I’ve never had a complete stranger associate me with one of my sisters! Crazy!

And now for the most recent moment. I sometimes meet up with a couch-surfer here and there for drinks without always hosting them. This was the case this week with a guy from Scotland. I had given him my number and we were communicating on Watsapp. He reported that he had arrived and was at the airport trying to decide what to do with his time. I responded that he could head into town, but where he should go would depend on where in Toronto his host lives. He responded by giving me the name of the street where his host lives. It was the street that I live on, and it is a very small street! Meeting up later that evening was extremely convenient!

One Comment to “Small World Moments”

  1. Great small world moments!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: