January 14th, 2009

Fishy Circumstances

Meals with quasi-strangers

The first was afternoon tea on Sunday. C. and I made the appointment to see M. at the Wolsey*, London's answer to Viennese café culture. printperson assured us that we'd met her; M. assured us that she'd met both of us. Fortunately our trust was repaid: when we saw her in person, we recognized her from a Christmas party over a year ago. She was in town for a few days for work, en route to Madrid via truck with artwork as a courier. We had a lovely afternoon tea, all three tiers of it.

The second was this afternoon. zcat_abroad and I have been following each others' LJs for all of a month, but it seemed wrong not to offer to meet up with her since she's on a transient visit to the other side of the planet, here in London. Her husband joined us too, and it all worked out swimmingly. We have all the commonalities of academics + medievalists + science fiction/fantasy fans, which made conversation so easy that we ran low on work hours at the BL as the afternoon passed swiftly by. If I could have all my clothing tailor-made and she worked for hire, I would hire zcat_abroad to make at least half my wardrobe, as she makes lovely practical, modern, medievally-inspired clothing. I know this because her coat is that amazing.

Apparently, I am the first LJ person she has met. I've been meeting LJ people for years, and internet people long before that. I realized recently that I got started on meeting people in this sort of way back when I was in 9th grade, if not before. St. Etienne in France is one of Des Moines' sister cities. I was taking beginning French, I ended up with a penpal from St. Etienne. With her second letter, J. asked if she could come stay with me and my family as part of a group of students coming over for two weeks in August. It worked out well, fortunately, well enough that I went to stay with her family the next year for a few weeks. The first internet-acquaintances I met within 6 months of encountering the internet. They were a large proportion of the Smith SF club, and they're still good friends to this day. So far, so good.

* Speaking of meals with new acquaintances, I only knew to go to the Wolsey thanks to a visit there with eulistes & co. the other month.