I have a pesky habit of bumping into friends in the most random of places. Strolling through the Jamaa el Fna in Marrakesh. In the middle of Carnevale in Piazza San Marco in Venice. Bumping into a Parisian friend on the street in New York (I was of course eating a dollar slice of pizza).

When I was in London this summer I was meeting my friend at Le Pain Quotidien in the train station. I had just gotten off of the Eurostar from Paris — I had enjoyed a prosciutto sandwich on the most delicious poppy seed baguette, paired with a delectable pear tart, both from my ubiquitous Paul in Paris — and I was happy to find my friend waiting at one of the tables outside, casually reading while awaiting my arrival.

Feeling like I could go for a cup of coffee, I ordered one, and we decided to stay a bit longer and catch up. I hadn’t seen this friend in over a year, after all — lots to talk about.

In the middle of our conversation I heard my name — “JEFF?” And by heard my name, I suppose I should clarify it was more an declaration of disbelief.

Sometimes you surprise people just as much as they surprise you.

Newly arrived friend is a photographer colleague — we met backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and have a habit of showing up at the same places every now and then. A random art show in SoHo, or at the tents at New York Fashion Week. So why not London? She had been working in the South of France, and was actually on the Eurostar from Paris just after me.

I once heard someone say that we travel halfway around the world just to find the person from our own back yard. I kind of like that idea. The world is an awfully small place, and it’s far less scary to venture out knowing that a friendly face is bound to show up somewhere.

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