Yesterday when I was in Chalk Farm on my way to running club, I bumped into a girl I used to work with about, terrifyingly, 7 years ago. It was even more of a coincidence as she doesn't live in the area - she lives in East Finchley with her boyfriend. Interestingly enough, the last I knew (about 4 years ago) they had broken up - and now they're back together. I was dying to ask a bit more, but I didn't want to pry, so instead I am sharing this story (identifying details have been changed) with the world wide web.
It was a coincidence, but the funny thing is it wasn't the first time I've bumped into her or indeed her boyfriend. In fact I think I have bumped into most people I know in London at some point: on the street, on the tube, and even at parties. It's not like Dublin, where you can't set foot out the door without meeting 10 people you know, but after 8 years living here it's close.
Speaking of coincidences, when I was in New York last month, I went for a late dinner on Sunday night with F in Brooklyn, in a Thai restaurant near her apartment. It's quite a popular local place but nothing that would be in any guide books. At the next table to me was someone I used to work with, in fact who used to be my boss, 3 years ago. He doesn't even live in New York., he was on holiday. Wierd, huh? I think we bump into people we know all the time, but it takes a certain kind of observant (ok, nosy) person, who is constantly checking out all the faces around them, to notice.