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It’s a small world

Hong Kong Disneyland

After our trip to Hong Kong Disneyland a few weeks ago, the kids keep on singing It’s A Small World. They have a video on their iPads that we shot inside the It’s A Small World ride, and they watch that video often while singing along to the tunes of the song. When they sing it I regularly muse about this world being really small – or that my network is really big? – because everywhere I go I meet people that I already know. Last night was a good example.

I organized a small bbq party and had among others invited Nicky Koopman to join. Nicky works for Dutch media company Talpa and is in town for the pre-production of TV program The Voice. I had not met her in person yet, but we had been in touch over email over the past weeks because of my experiences in the Chinese media industry. So we had a few glasses of good wine – among others an 18-year old Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon (thanks to serial fashion entrepreneur Jeff Clark!). and then we talked a bit about mutual friends. It turned out we indeed had a couple of them, not unusual if you are both Dutch and work in media.

BBQ at my place with a great bottle of wine

She then asked me if I knew a certain person, and I told her yes, this person had even been to my wedding 7 years ago. She then looked at me and said: “But then I’ve likely been to your wedding as well!”. I had to think for a second and then I realized who she was. Friends of mine who were flying to my wedding had met her on the plane from Amsterdam to Beijing and told her they had a dinner party that night (for my wedding, which was to take place the next day) and had asked her to come along. So she sort of “wedding crashed” the party without really knowing who I was – and without me knowing anymore who she was. I only vaguely remembered that she was presenting a Dutch TV program at that time, and because there were probably about 150 other guests at the dinner I sort of forgot about it.

It’s quite a coincidence that you meet a person almost 7 years later, when you are both in very different roles and without realizing that you met before. If she had not asked me about the mutual acquaintance we may have never found out. Often serendipities occur because of the social media, but this time it was totally unrelated. It’s a small world!

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