Serendipity Part 2/2On September 14, 2014 by Emil
Hello All! I am writing to you from Amsterdam, actually got here yesterday. Lots of things to report on since I last wrote, but I know that I promised to tell you what happened on the train ride from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Well, here goes…
So to recap, I almost didn’t take the train, and since I booked last minute I was assigned one of the last available seats, in a small 4-seat compartment. If I had the choice I would have selected something else.
Anyway, I am sitting there wondering who will be my compartment-mates for the next 5.5 hours, and a guy shows up and sits diagonally across from me. Seems like an OK guy, introduces himself as Ruben, has long-ish blond-brown hair and a very laid-back attitude. We start off making small-talk, the usual “where are you from” and “what do you do”… but wouldn’t you know, he has a very interesting occupation – he is an author working on crime novels. Well, as you can imagine that is of interest to me and we swap a few stories about dead bodies and what-not.
But an interesting thing happens – we end up talking for about the next 4 hours about all kinds of things – relationships and what makes them work; the importance of independent thought; what makes an ‘average’ person do extra-ordinary (or atrocious) things, and all kinds of other things.
It turns out that he does have some work to do on his next manucript, so shortly before we get to Copenhagen he has to work on his laptop. But really — rather than the interminable 6 hour train ride I was expecting, 4+ hours passed in a blink and our conversation ended more due to necessity than lack of inertia.
I would like to say also that it was very cool to meet a bona-fide European celebrity. I am going to email him to ask if it’s OK to reveal his name. I will say that unless you’re Norwegian you probably don’t know him. Though if you’re Swedish you may know his girlfriend. (Can you guess who it is now??) But perhaps I just don’t know any others, but as a famous person (or as he might say “I don’t think I am”) he was totally a cool, down-to-earth guy. About two hours into our conversation I realized he was kind of a big deal, so I thought, no problem I will just say goodbye when our train arrives, but he was the one who suggested trading emails to keep in touch.
Well… not that this is about celebrity. This is really more about the chance meetings that we all have the opportunities to have, but I think we rarely do. I really did have a lot of chances to choose a way to get to Copenhagen that would have put me in a different seat. Instead, as an intended consequence of my indecision/laziness/incompetence in booking a train ride… I had an amazing time talking to a super-interesting guy.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.