Suffering through an extreme cold, we watch some of London's New Year's Parade -- which turns out to be very much like an American parade, including many bands, cheerleaders, and baton majorettes visiting from the US. Still, it has a little English flair every once in a while.
We aren't there long before I suddenly hear my name called out, and since the only people I know who live in London are out of town for the break, and the only other people I know in London are the husband and two children I'm with, at first I can't imagine who's doing the calling. Then I look up and see some neighborhood friends from San Francisco, whom we first met when Gigi and their oldest boy were two year olds toddling around the playground equipment together. And now they're sitting there, eating sushi together in London. Crazy.
And just in case you're wondering, accidentally running into people halfway around the world is, indeed, quite normal. For me. I have accidentally run into American friends in Taiwan, Japan, India, France, and probably several other countries I can't remember right now. For example, I've run into more than 5% of my high school class overseas; physically bumped into one of my best junior high school friends from Minneapolis in Tokyo; seen two different university friends within 24 hours of arriving in Paris on two separate trips; and run into the same acquaintance in two different countries. So when I hear my named called out in foreign countries, I should think it's par for the course, but for some reason it actually never seems anything less that a mind-blowing coincidence!