Friday, January 11, 2008

Serendipity...and an award!!!

I was thinking of a recent post that the lovely Jane from Pinks & Blues had written a few days ago. Her post was about how small the world really is and how we never really know who we're going to run into, no matter where we are.

It made me think of a few serendipitous experiences of my own. I can think of three stories in particular, which really amaze me every time I think about them.

1) After university, I moved from Montreal to Toronto. I went back and forth between both cities quite often. One day, I was driving on highway 401 on my way to Montreal with two girlfriends, and we were in total gridlock. Traffic was at a standstill. For some reason, something made me look at the car next to me. When I looked, to my surprise, I saw one of the guys I went to university with! The look on his face was total shock too, since we hadn’t seen each other in YEARS! We were in the same environmental group together in university and hung out together a lot.

A few years later, I had to go to a conference at another university and as I was walking out of the building, who should I see? My friend, D! The same guy I saw in the middle of the 401’s busy traffic that day! The look of shock was all over our faces and we ran up to each other and he picked me up and gave me a big hug. We both freaked out and remarked about how serendipitous the events had been.

2) When I was teaching in Japan, a friend of mine and I decided to go to Bali for a vacation. We were out one night in Kuta, where all the tourists are, and all of a sudden, someone yelled out my name. I knew it couldn’t be anyone I knew because I was in Bali and didn’t know anyone there. I turned around and saw that it was two Australian girls who taught English a villages away from the one I taught in. How weird is that?

3) This last story takes the cake though. I taught in the countryside in Japan. The town I taught in was so small that not even all Japanese people knew where the town was! I had this lovely student named Atsuko and she was one of my favourites (I know you’re not supposed to have favourites, but she kind of grew on me). The day came when I had to return to Canada and I began teaching at a college in Toronto. One day, while I was in the teachers’ room, I heard this voice from the hall. “C********-sensei???” (which means C********-teacher).
OMG! It was Atsuko! I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was dreaming! I couldn’t get over how nearly impossible it seemed to be in the same place at the same time. I mean, I taught her in a tiny town in Japan, and she was now in Canada. Not only was she in Canada, but of all places, she was in Toronto. Not only was she in Toronto, but she was in the school I taught at! There are LOTS of ESL schools in Toronto, so this totally surprised me.

It really amazes me how these things can happen. I mean, what are the odds? Unbelievable!
Do you have any similar experiences of such "chance" encounters? As Jane says, it really is a small world after all!

* Does anyone out there remember reading "It's a Small World"? (above photo) That was one of my favourites when I was a kid. We didn't have the cassette tape though. We had the record!!! Yikes! That makes me feel old!

An Award!!!
While checking out my favourite blogs, I was surprised to find out that I have just received an new award! The lovely and talented Curiosity Killer has just given me this:
CK had the sweetest things to say too! " Chrissy — one of my closest girlfriends, and totally best blog friend ever. What the world needs now is lovely sweet girls like her." Thank you, amiga! You are the best!

I would like to give this award to some of my favourite bloggers. Check out my sidebar. I think all of those bloggers deserve an award. However, I think I'm limited to giving it to only 5.

Ms.Mamma- I just love her and her blog. She is such a talented photographer and an awesome, cool mom to her little bambino, Snowflake. She's got such a wonderful style of writing and is so creative.

Uncivil- isn't as uncivil as he sounds :) Sorry to ruin your cover, Uncivil, but you are one of the sweetest, kindest people around. Check out his blog and his photos of his girls! Yes, his girls! Uncivil has two ladies in his life. Abigail and Emily...two of the cutest doggies you'll ever see!

Louann- is always a very thoughtful writer. She's so genuine and her posts always tug at your heartstrings. You can tell how much she loves her family. She always reminds me of what is important in my life. Thanks, Louann!

Cherry- always writes blog posts that make me want to leave comments! :) She is a really cool gal and has some very interesting things to blog about. She writes some very thought provoking posts, and some rather curious ones. Cherry, I still have no idea of what to do with persimmon pulp! :)

Probably Pavel- is a really cool blogger, computer guy and dad. I check out his posts because he's really funny and he always has the cutest photos of his kids!


Jeanna said...

Congrats, nice people like you balance out people like me. ("So he says 'Nice to meet you,' and I said, 'Give it ten minutes.'")
Last year I was at the school library and someone was making crackling noises, sneaking little rat bites of food at the computer next to me. I looked over and got this weird vibe, watching her futz with her glasses and bite her sandwich.
Then she said my given name, and I realized this was the girl who sat next to me all through sixth grade, same side, facing the same way, still futzing with her glasses.

Uncivil said...

Thanks C
Yeah!!!!I got an award and I didn't even have to eat "chicken feet"!!!
Thanks for mentioning the girls too! The give big smooches to Chance!

Uncivil said...

They give big smooches to Chance!
I wish I could go back and edit all my misspellings!

japanmanpete said...

I once split with this woman I had gone with for a short time. I wasn't too keen on her but she was nice enough. My mate decided to arrange a date. I waited at the pub and was surprised to see that it was that same woman I had split with! My mate had no idea the she and I had gone out. The date didn't go so well. When she saw me, she gave me an evil look and left! Am I that much of a wanker?


Curiosity Killer said...

Congrats! And Ms.Mamma, Uncivil, and Cherry totally deserve this award too!

I love your serendipity talk too... maybe you should write the next serendipity screenplay?

caninecologne said...

how funny, we have that same exact record at my parents' house!

louann said...

C those "small world" stories make one really say we really do have a small world!

When we went to Boracay for our family vacay, while leaving the plane, someone suddenly called out my name. And since I didn't want to believe someone actually knew me there, I didn't look. But my name was called again. And there was my childhood friend who I have not seen in 2 years because she now lives 5 hours away from our hometown - and to think I am the godmother of her daughter.

And C, thank you so much for the award...and the very kind words =)


Haley-O said...

I'll have to check out some of those bloggers! :) Thanks for that.

And, I love that word -- serendipity!

Karen MEG said...

Totally deserving of that award C, I love the way you think, your posts are always sweet and often quite thought-provoking. I love the way you look at the world around you. You are a special lady.
The world is a very small place, when you think about it. What neat encounters you've had over the years. We always find that we meet someone we know whenever we're on vacation. In fact, we almost bank on it. Too weird!

t said...

I went to Florida with Will few years ago and we were having some drinks. To my surprise one of Will's friends was at the same place. We hardly ever saw him when we were at home but what are the chances of running into someone you know when you are on vacation? Crazy isn't it!

caninecologne said...

we were in berkeley a few years ago to visit a friend. whenever we're in a city, we always make it a point to visit at least one university (for our child's exposure) we were at uc berkeley. i have had many of my students attend that university over the years. i mentioned to my husband, 'hey, maybe we'll see ed' (one of my former students who graduated as salutatorian).

the words barely passed my lips, when ed came into view near sather gate. you see, ed was a tour guide and was giving a tour to prospective college students and their parents. he spotted me and screamed out my name, "Oh my God, students, there's my high school counselor, mrs. ________!" it was so hilarious! of all places! later that evening, we made plans and had dinner with ed and another former student (who was on break from her tour with an alt rock band) in the city.

that same day on the berkeley campus, we also bumped into another former student who was passing out political fliers, and yet another girl who remembered seeing me a week before IN San Diego. She was not a former student and had barely remembered meeting her. I was a guest lecturer for my friend's Filipino American History class and the girl was in the audience as a visitor, recruiting community college students to transfer to uc berkeley. small world indeed.

C said...

Awww...shucks. I'm a nice person most of the time :) However, catch me on a bad day and watch out! LOL! I'm not so nice!

That's an interesting story. It's weird when you have those moments. What's even weirder is that classmate of yours from the sixth grade whose odd habits hadn't changed! :)

Tee hee! Nope! Didn't have to eat chicken feet and you still got an award! ;)

What exactly does a "wanker" mean? What's the exact definition? I suppose I could Google it, but I'm far too lazy tonight.

C said...

You did a great job on Hubby's little icon. Very cool.

I really loved that book and record when I was a kid!
Oh, and what a neat story! What are the odds of that happening??? Too cool.

Wow! Seeing someone you know in Boracay! Now, that is amazing!

C said...

Thanks for popping by and commenting :) I love the way the word "serendipity" sounds.

Awww! Karen, I (heart) you! You are so sweet! :)

That IS crazy...and funny! It really is a small world, isn't it?!

Girlie Monkey said...

Good topic, Chrissy! I've got a few fun stories on the subject. I'll have to blog about them soon - too long to put in a comment box. Toodles!

Ms. Mamma said...

You're the greatest, girlfriend. Thanks for the compliments, but you're the true belle of the blog! XO

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