“The story is always better than your ability to write it.” — Robin McKinley
I have a theory about life: You’re friends with the people you’re friends with because you all hang out in the same place.
I have no scientific proof this is true, but I live in America where scientific proof matters less than faith. So I’m going to let this work for me in this case.
I say this because whenever I travel it’s inevitable that I will meet people with whom I have some connection, some friend in common, some location of interest. Something that goes beyond mere coincidence. And this happens almost every time I go somewhere.
Take yesterday’s brunch.
John and Aimee have a great social circle of English-speaking writers and travelers. One of them, Suzie, offered to make us brunch at her lovely flat in the (near) top floor of a building nestled together with others the result which then created a cute urban backyard as seen from her balcony.
But this isn’t a story about urban backyards or amazingly tasty brunches (which is odd considering the title of this piece. Sorry McGuffin.)
This story is about 2 of the 3 people in this picture. (There is a fourth person, Mike, who had already gone by the time I pulled out the camera. He also figured into this piece.)
Suzie, who is on the far right, is the Brunch Maker. She is also, as it turns out, cousin to Hugh Forrest, the man in charge of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Hugh is great and one of the main reasons that after 17 (or 18) years, I’m still attending the conference and working on the Advisory Board.
Imagine my complete amazement when this wonderful English woman who made me brunch in Berlin dropped the factoid that her cousin “Huey” was involved with SXSWi.
Of course, it gets better.
The couple on the left, who joined us at the World Cup soccer match the day before, are also connected to me.
It turns out Ben grew up in High Point, Cincinnati, which is exactly 6.2 miles from Loveland.
These are not insignificant findings to happen over lunch, thousands of miles away from home, on a different continent.
Lastly Mike, the author who is not pictured here, is friends with a writer – also named Brad – whom I worked with at Wired magazine more than a decade ago.
Which brings me back to my original point: We are friends with people who hang out in the same places we do precisely because those are the kinds of people who enjoy the things we do. I wrote often last summer about my amazement running into people I knew in Prague, Budapest and London.
It continues this year.
Oh, and as an added bonus: an old friend from high school whom I haven’t seen in 18 years is driving up from southern Germany on Friday. She lives here with her family.
Because we all hang out in the same place.