My World

People on the Periphery..

To those who I’ve met once and probably shared a laugh, a story or perhaps a slightly longer journey but then never seen or spoken to again, just wanted to let you know that I may occasionally wonder what happened to you.  A lot of people say now “it’s a small world” and seems to be getting smaller with all the means of communication/networking such as Email, Facebook, Twitter etc…  That doesn’t explain to me why there are so many people you meet and seem to get along with who become like ‘ships in the night’, ‘friends in passing’ or just simply ‘acquaintances’.  What else can I call them, what else should I call them??  This post follows my travel series logically as I have met heaps of people on tour buses, planes and trains who I will ultimately never see or hear from again.  I realise life is sooo busy and sometimes there were no contact details left but I am left to ponder on what ever became of….???


The people I mean is, for example, the German bloke I met on the bus from Broome to Darwin many years ago who wanted to know about alternative music in Australia.  We talked for hours on many subjects including and I had a few beers with him when we arrived in Darwin.  The next day I left a message at the backpackers with some names of bands he should check out and my contact details but heard nothing further.  This is just one example of the many ‘acquaintances I have made that I have never heard from again and probably never will, yet strangely all this writing about my tours and courses and work history has made me think about these people.


Why is it that you can send an email to a group of people you may have just finished touring with and you will only receive 1 or 2 replies??  Some of the emails that people have just written come back with error messages like ‘mailbox full’…  The Cosmos Europe Tour of 2005 group was a little different in that over the years since I have managed somehow to keep in contact with more members  than any other I’ve been on tour with.  This has lead to me staying with a couple of tour group members in Florida the following year and again a couple of years later.  People to whom I wish I could return the favour if ever they come to Australia.   We have also met up with a couple of others along the way in my hometown.   These catch-ups are appreciated as it makes you realise that tour/event was not just a dream but a reality and those people were not imaginary but real.


However, it is not only in travelling, whether it be domestically or overseas, have I met people that would soon disappear but through my employment history and further education.   There are very few people who will ‘hang with you’ long after the event/job/course that bought you together.  I have been to University at separate times and for separate courses and got 2 degrees plus business colleges a couple of times yet I am in contact with only a few from the latter courses.  I know I have, in the past, suggested a reunion tour with the Cosmos Euro crew but formal reunions are not really the answer. 


I don’t like the idea of formal reunions as you usually meet the people you would really rather forget, those who maybe made your life harder simply by being in their presence. There are those who I would really like to speak to again but it is a big wide world with billions of people inhabiting so the chances of meeting the same person twice is not high.  It’s essentially the same odds, I would think, as winning the lottery.  My partner tells me that I met people in the Philippines but I can not remember all of them.  There is only so much brain matter and if you meet them once and don’t really talk to them how are you supposed to remember years later??  Sometimes there are photographs from which I can tell I met them.  The people I am talking about in this post are the ones you felt a common ground with, the ones you spoke to mostly at length and yet you never see them or hear from them again. 


It is from only one or two of my previous jobs that I have maintained any form of regular contact with any of my ex-workmates.   Does this say more about me and my efforts than the other side of the equation?  You see, I am not really a sentimentalist but just more curious as to how things are with others that I have met along the way.  What are the chances of running into these people down the track and then remembering them enough at that moment to really find out what’s happened since??  Not high in reality is it, despite the number of people who say ‘it’s a small world’… the world is large and the population of the world is growing so don’t tell me ‘it’s a small world’!!  I’ve said it myself in the past but I really need to stop saying it, it’s a ridiculous statement whichever way you look at it.


People in recruitment say it’s all about ‘networking’ these days but what comes from all that networking if you’re forgotten as soon as you walk out the door?  I’ve said it before, but you can talk to recruitment agents on the phone and be interviewed by them in person but when you ring back to check on progress they act like they don’t know you and you sometimes have to tell your story all over again.  I’m practical enough to know that I probably couldn’t handle the overload if everyone from my past ran into me again all of a sudden and updated me with what has been happening in their lives since we last spoke.  However, wouldn’t it be nice to hear from some of them occasionally though??  Yes, I have a life too and have been slack at times in getting back to people. 


Why is it then that when, though it is extremely rare, you do run into someone you haven’t seen or heard of for a long time there is this real slowness to click in to what the other person is saying?  Occasionally, you are left to rack your brain even  after the meeting to figure out who that was and how you knew them.  I guess it’s something similar to what happens when you drive a car somewhere  and you get out the other end and can’t remember the journey you just took.  It’s like you become ‘tunnel visioned’ in life and forget what happened outside of that i.e in the peripheral vision.  Just like what I call with interactions with people on the periphery.  There is a whole debate over what you should call these people you meet in your life, they are not ‘close friends’ but they are not ‘complete strangers’.  I call them ‘ships in the night’ but maybe ‘acquaintances’ would be better?!  Anyway, I hope they’re okay… wherever they are, whatever they're doing... thanks for the memory.

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Latest comments

10.03 | 19:15

I have stood by and watched a with concern and love. I admire the way you have handled yourself and the situation. My love with you. In admiration. Fly

10.03 | 14:07

Well, come back the TOG you old git. We will love you unconditionally there.

Seriously though, this is a good post. I am sorry for your pain mate.

10.03 | 12:26

Spread your wings you dodo, you might be able to fly.

24.06 | 14:03

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