Tuesday, 30 July 2013

It's a Small, Small World

Should I regret the purchase of
these as my gumboots?
I’ve often thought that it is a small world we live in, and that it’s risky to do something that I may regret because sure as eggs, someone who knows me will be there to see it. Even when I was travelling a long way from home, this thought was in my head.  I can’t say it ever really stopped me from doing anything, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if, just after I had done something, I’d heard a familiar voice call out “hey Joy!”.

My parents had an uncanny knack of running into people from Parkes, where I grew up, when travelling. They could be in Far North Queensland, or in Europe somewhere, only to run into someone who lives just up the road. Each didn’t know the other was travelling, so hadn’t arranged to be in the same place – it just happened. This was one of my first indicators that the world is small.

Then when I was working for a small company in Sydney (total employees of maybe 20?), my mother commented that the company must be going OK since we were hiring new people. Now that was information that was news to me, so how on earth did she know that? Turns out that the mother of the new employee lives directly opposite my Mum in Parkes, and they’d been chatting (as you do). I also knew the new guy quite well, because he had been in the same class at school as my little brother. Small World.

Then when I was leaving my last job to retire, I was asked to interview one of the people who had applied for my job. I thought I recognised the name, and sure enough, he turned out to be the husband of a good friend of my sister. Small World.

Turns out, Bathurst is part of this small world too.

When we moved to Bathurst, we went into the bank to change the address details on an account. We got chatting to the person who looked after us, as you do (well, we had to wait for the computer system to do stuff), and not only did he go to school in Parkes, but my father was his teacher. Small World.

Spectators at our tennis venue
Before we moved to Bathurst, we knew just one person who lived here (apart from Real Estate agents and the person we bought our home from, and they don’t really count). We’ve been here 3 ½ months now, so we know a few more, but still not a lot. Then we went to a Christmas in July dinner on the weekend, at a little village halfway between Bathurst and Lithgow. Since it was a fund-raiser for the Bush Fire Brigade there, and we were there because I play tennis with someone who lives there, I wasn’t really expecting to know anyone else. But within minutes of sitting down at our table, we discovered that the husband of one of the tennis people is the boss of that one person we knew. Small World.
Kevin Bacon has a lot to answer for (the Kevin Bacon effect – you know – six degrees of separation?). I am now convinced that the world is small, and getting smaller. I still won’t really stop from doing anything because of it, but take it from me – there is a big risk that just after I have done something, I’ll hear a familiar voice call out “hey Joy!”.

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