It’s a small world…

I’m so excited about being back on a computer and not on a tablet. As much as I love tablets for their portability, there are some things that I have yet to master on them… like making my posts look exactly the way I want them to.

Anyway!

So as stated in previous posts, I went to Hokkaido for this summer vacation. If you’re in Japan in the summer I recommend it as a fantastic way to get away from the heat of the larger cities like Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto.

My second day in Sapporo City, I was in a cafe in the main station, poking at my breakfast, when I heard a familiar voice from across the cafe call my name. My head snapped up, and lo and behold there was a coworker! We hadn’t had a chance to share our summer plans, but there we were, staring each other down several prefectures from home.

In a country like Japan where there seem to be countless sightseeing spots, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the number of places one can go is finite. Especially regarding the summer heat, it makes sense many people would want to either escape it (going to Hokkaido) or, alternately, embrace it (going to Okinawa), with a couple others scattered in between. Especially if they are only planning to stay in-country for a couple years at most.

Naturally, you are bound to run into a few familiar faces.

What amuses me is that this is not the first incident, but yet another in a long, growing number of accidental meetings. Just last summer vacation, I was in Kagoshima Station waiting to board the bus bound for Fukuoka when another (completely different) coworker emerged from the very vehicle I would be taking!

Living in a foreign country can be an alienating experience for many, especially during the first year or so when you don’t have your friend circle properly sorted yet. But incidents like this make me think of a particular line from a musical called, “The Light in the Piazza”, specifically from the song, “The Beauty Is.” In the song, the main character, Clara, is on her own in a museum in Italy, talking about how far from home she is. Yet she doesn’t feel lonely at all because she can see something familiar in everything (and everyone) around her.

“I’ve hardly met a single soul, yet I am not alone–I feel known!”

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