The previous story was pretty random, but it wasn’t the most unexpected or coincidental thing that happened on my trip…
Prior to Byron Bay we’d spent a couple of nights sleeping on the kitchen floor of a friend of a friend of a friend in Brisbane. It was ace. It felt good to be away from hostel hopping, if only for a couple of days, and good to be able to hang out and drink a bit with someone on the same page as us, since so far we’d really not gelled that much with anyone we’d met on the road in Australia.
We had pretty much one full day to ourselves in Brisbane, and that day was an unbearably hot, sticky, humid one. We figured we’d just explore the local area and dump ourselves in a cafe for a bit, but within minutes of leaving the house I was dripping with sweat, and my temper was fraying rapidly.
Then something very random and uplifting happened.
We were kind of lost and aimlessly walking down some suburban road when I noticed a book with an interesting cover just lying on the ground outside some house, being used as a weight. I picked it up and mindblowingly it turned out to be a book called Semi-Permanent.
SP is a bi-annually published design journal that I’d been featured in twice but had never actually seen - they never provided contributors with a copy and were only available in Australia and New Zealand. I’d tried over the years to get myself a copy but been consistently unsuccessful. I wasn’t even sure which volumes I was featured in and had pretty much given up hope of ever seeing my work in print.
A flick through the pages revealed this to be one of the two volumes that featured my art! Vicky went to the house itself to find out where they’d gotten it and to my surprise and delight they just handed it over. For free!
But this wasn’t the end of our chance encounters.
Hué, Vietnam. Way back in Africa, some three months ago, we’d travelled a while with a German couple, Johannes and Carina, and made pretty good friends of them, hoping to meet up with them again at some point back in Europe. Turned out we didn’t have to wait that long, as they were staying in Hué the same night as us! Carina had seen my Facebook updates with my current location, emailed me with this pretty remarkable news, and so we spent that night reunited with drinks and catch-ups.