Have you ever been in a situation where you wondered how odd the situation was? I think we all have. As I was traveling these past two years, trust me, on so many occasions I have wondered about that same thing.
There was a guy from my school who I didn't talk to that much. However after graduation we bumped into each other once or twice and he told me that he lived in Berlin. We agreed to meet up if I ever visit Berlin, which was likely to happen considering that I was moving to Oldenburg for my Masters. That was exciting. We eventually met up and had a cocktail or two. Now, the odd thing happened when I was traveling around former Yugoslavia with a friend from home. I received a text from that guy wondering how long I was going to stay in Dubrovnik. I told him I would stay another day or two, and he informed me that he was planning on coming there as well. We met for some late dinner that night and ended up walking around the old city, admiring the beauty of the Dalmatian Coast. We spoke of a lot of things - our lives abroad, traveling, and the people we have met... I told him that the coolest person I had met was an Armenian lady in Uganda - she was married to an American who spoke Armenian better than I did, and they both worked in the development field, traveling and working on really cool projects. Together they had lived in 11 countries over 20 years and her house looked like a museum with all kinds of souvenirs she had collected from different corners of the world. My friend there thought for a moment and said, "I know her. I was in Tajikistan and I saw someone in the cafe that looked very Armenian. I asked her if she was and we ended up having coffee when she told me how much she loves traveling..." And yes, we checked. It was the same person.
The world is really that small.
My dad's friend turned out to be living in the same small town in Norway that I used to live in and she ended up being my unofficial Godmother of my yet-to-be-born children - the kindest and most wonderful person. And the first café I entered in Germany turned out to be owned by an Armenian, and even though the cafe was called Havana where they searched Mediterranean food -- the place had an Armenian scent to it.
I met a guy once - clearly a German guy. We talked for a little bit and he asked me where I was from. I replied that I was from Armenia and he exclaimed "Wow!! Tso, inchkh es?" (How are you? - Gyumri dialect) He told me he had a friend from Gyumri and he learned a couple of expressions. Mostly swear words, but still.
Many of my friendships started pretty odd. For instance, one of my closest friends in the whole world is from Serbia. We met one night in a bar during a salsa party. I had just moved back to Slovenia from Argentina, and didn't know a soul in Ljubljana, except for a very unfortunate Canadian photographer who turned out to be a pig. There I was - sitting in a bar watching people dance salsa thinking about the unfairness of the world and how lonely I was... Two girls were sitting there and for some reason looking at me. I went to sit at their table and introduced myself, even though nobody really invited me there. The two girls turned out to be from Serbia and really nice. We met for some coffee a couple of days later. The topic of guys came up and I shared what special kind of pig I had met a week earlier at the same bar. One of the girls told me that the same thing had happened to her as well, only that the guy she met was a photographer from Canada.... Yep, same guy! That ginormous pig! We bonded over this incident and now are really good friends. What were the odds of that happening?
I lived in Buenos Aires for almost 4 amazing months during which I found out that I was really passionate about Latin Dances. I took salsa classes for 2 months and was absolutely carried away by the beauty and passion of the dance. Mostly, I feared that when I move to Armenia, I wouldn't be able to continue learning and dancing and that a huge chunk of my life would be empty. One of the last days in Buenos Aires I went to a party with a couple of friends of mine. We sat there and stared at really cool dancers, wishing that one day we would be able to dance as graciously as they do. There was one guy that danced particularly beautifully. He was tall and handsome, with a huge nose and chest hair, but not too much... I stared at him for good twenty minutes and cursed him for dancing so well and not being Armenian. Who was I going to dance in Armenia? I could have moved to another country to dance, but I doubt that it would work. Stupid social dances.... Then I stood up to go ask for some water to chill from all the envy. My Cuban dance teacher was standing there and started talking to me "Hey Armenia, how are you? I come to Armenia with you! hahahaha". Then the strangest thing happened. He turned to the godlike-dancing guy who coincidentally was standing at the bar as well and started speaking about something (Really couldn't make up his Cubanish) but definitely he mentioned Armenia. Then turned to me and said "You from Armenia, he from Armenia..." What bullshit?! No!! He is messing with me. The tall chest-hair guy turned to me and said "Hay es?" (Are you Armenian?' I betted my eyes for good 30 seconds before I realized that he was actually Armenian and that I wasn't daydreaming. The strangest thing was that he turned out to be the grandson of one of the most famous Armenian actors - Mher Mkrtchyan. I ended up meeting his family and had quite a lovely time at their house. What were the odds of that happening?
These were only a couple of examples of how I wondered about the strange incidents of life or how small the world was. Coincidences are what make my travels particularly memorable, and the abovementioned stories weren't even half of the interesting things that happened to me. These were only those that came off the top of my head. I am sure I will take my time to reminisce more about the interesting coincidences I have witnessed.