Thursday, October 27, 2011


Unexpected encounters and unusual meetings.


'It's a small world' is a false statement in my opinion. When you have travelled from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern and are over a 15 000 kilometers away from the house you have called home, you know that the world is nowhere near the borders of small. The metaphor indicates, if taken literally, that the world's size would be that of a not large object. If taken figuratively, the metaphor tries to express the feeling of meeting a person related to you somehow on the other side of the world without either person's knowledge of the other's presence in the aforementioned side of the world. I fail to see how the small size of the world would have anything to do with such an encounter.

Imagine the world's seven billion people packed into 'a small world' and yourself trying to find one of them. Like trying to pick a single grain of sand with a vaccuum. Now, imagine a large world where the people are spread out and the roads of the people can be directed into a single location where the meeting can easily take place and both have room to find each other.

In a large world, we are small. And that is how we can find each other, like all the grains of sand on a beach where the waves don't matter.

We had just started looking for a job and were sitting in an internet café on my laptop. The day was a sunny one, as every day seems to be in Paihia, and there were a couple of things more interesting than job hunting. Maria had already started showing her 'energetic, enthustiastic and hard-working' (CV-)side by slowly leaning against my arm and telling me (not complaining) about how tired she felt. Until a gasp of air, hold of breath, burst of laughter.

We knew Maria's Finnish friend was in the city as well but we sure didn't know that she had been sitting in front of us for 10 minutes (she hadn't realized this either). It felt like a reunion, even though I had never met the whole person and Maria had only spoken to her for a couple of times.

We obviously hadn't told enough about our travels in Finnish because me and Maria both burst out in a talk-o-mania. After a verbal two-hour travel experience exchange, we headed out for a dinner in an Indian restaurant and had a blast. It felt great meeting a person from your home country because that happens quite rarely here – this was the first time during the whole journey, in fact.

It's a small world, I guess.

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