American in Spain

Blogroll Eye Contact

September 9, 2008

Last Sunday evening brought an extremely unique blogging experience. I made eye contact with someone on my blogroll and neither of us realized it until a minute after it happened and we had already passed each other.

This blog has already manifested itself in actual face-to-face interaction several times. There was the guy from Iceland that contacted me before coming to Colindres and meeting me (and giving me dried herring) for the Junior World Handball Championship. There was the time a local woman's Australian friend found my blog and the woman later was starstruck to actually meet me in the grocery store. I later met the Aussie briefly when he came to visit. There as the time I bumped into a previously-never-met blogrollmate on the way to the mens room. He was easier to recognize, though, because he was making video blog entries. And most recently, the blogrollmate meeting with the most intention so far, in Pamplona for San Fermin. Since she first contacted me less than two months ago, I've been reading Sharon's blog and she mine. She's an Australian married to a Spaniard, living in my wife's hometown of Mondragon, which we visit quite often. It's interesting to read the thoughts of another expat living in the same country you are and hear their point of view and observations about their adopted country. I particularly find her chosen domain name,, to be quite funny. I assume she's referring to how Spanish cuisine is pretty light on the spices that don't have the chemical formula NaCl, a fact that was highlighted for me moving here from the curry-laden UK.

The first couple times I was in Mondragon since learning of Sharon's existence, I was kind of on the lookout for her, but I wasn't at all on Sunday. She and her husband came around a corner just as I and my wife and in-laws were turning the corner in the opposite direction. I made eye contact with her, just as I had with two hundred people on the street already that night. Fifteen or twenty paces later I replayed the passing in my head again and was pretty sure I had just seen Sharon. I considered running back to say hello, but I had doubts and my in-laws were racing to run some errands before shops closed.

Later that evening, I sent her one of the weirdest emails I've ever sent. Something along the lines of, "Hi. I'm pretty sure we made eye contact this evening." She wrote back that a couple minutes after seeing me, in the bar they were going to, she told her husband, "You know, I think we just walked by that American guy that lives in Colindres." It was nice to get confirmation and to be mutually belatedly recognized. She ended her email with another line that represents the weirdness of the whole incident, "It was nice to almost stop and chat with you."


Yet another manifestation of the odd new concept of having friends you've never met.