We visited Seattle this summer after a year of being in Bangalore. First day there I took the kids for lunch to Red Robin and ran into Sue – Ankit’s old Tae Kwon Do master’s wife. I was at Mayuri later that evening and ran into a few folks from my Microsoft days. The next day few days I kept bumping into people around every corner - Costco, Whole Foods and the Kirkland waterfront. These were accidental meetups, running into familiar people without any plans. When I visited my old workplace I felt like I had never left it. The last straw was when I went to get the car washed at my favorite place (Flamingo car wash before Costco is awesome) the guy there asked me where I had gone, had I left Seattle? The car wash guy!!! I mean if he remembers you then at some point you belonged there.
During my trip to Seattle I realized that this is something I really missed. Belonging and knowing, being familiar.
Then a few days ago we went to the mall here. We stopped to eat pani puris on the way, the pani puri guy knows us now and even tries to give us extra free pani puris. Then we met the woman who runs the music school Ankit learns piano at. A little chat ensued. At the mall we ran into Ashvin’s friends and his parents. We had a lovely unplanned walk around the mall with them before they dropped us home. Today the pani puri guy was as nice and then at the mall while getting Ashvin’s hair cut the hairdresser asked “Peeyush sir has not been here recently”.
Not quite close to Seattle but we are getting there. I mean one pani puri dude plus a hair dresser is pretty close to a car wash guy.