Today it happened again. I was walking along a road in the morning trying to find a food store in this small town outside of Budapest. Suddenly I heard my name:
There was a car in the roundabout stopping and rolling down the window.
“So glad to see you!”
I recognized one of the Hungarian teachers from last year’s seminar.
I explained to her what I was looking for and she pointed across the street. There was the store.
“Thank you and see you!”
The cars behind her were impatient to get on.
I remember some of the first times this happened to me or at least when I started to notice it.
That was in Riga in the beginning of the 2000’s. I had been teaching in the upper classes some times and after main lesson I loved to travel into Riga by bus and walk around, having a coffee and just absorb the city. It was not seldom that I would hear:
And it was always some young person who recognized me from school. I felt so at home then in this big and foreign city. Nice.
The same has happened very often in Ljubljana when I have been there teaching in the Waldorf school and getting to know many young people. Some of them I met years later and they have told me that they remember what I taught them about the French Revolution and Napoleon.
Once I was in Tallinn going from the harbor up to the main square when I heard:
It was like a question and when I turned around there was a young woman that I recognized to be a pupil who had gone to our school many years ago. She stopped and we talked. We had not seen each other in about 7-8 years when she was in Norway and then she was so home sick that she went home to Estonia after just 2 months. She explained to me that she could not understand that now and that she regretted it, but she could not help it. She was on her way to a rehearsal in the opera where she was singing in the choir.
In St. Petersburg I have met people I know on the street and that is quite amazing for a city of 5 million people.
Even in Los Angeles I met people on the street that greeted me like old friends but that was something different since we were all there for the same purpose: to celebrate Michael Jackson.
When you meet people in the street that you know, you feel so much at home. That is why I feel at home in many places. There often is a colleague or a pupil or just a friend that you know from some seminar you have been to.
Tonight I have been sitting in a garden together with three friends and colleagues in this small Hungarian town Vac, talking about very interesting things and trying to understand our time.
Two days ago I sat in another garden in another town talking to other people. One week ago it was still another place in Germany together with a group of people. And they come from different countries.
Just the last week I have met people from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, France, USA, Russia, Switzerland, England, Hungary, Scotland, Iran, Austria, Finland and tomorrow there will be people from Armenia and Estonia.
And then on Monday there will be more people coming from Slovakia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Czech Republic and many places in Hungary.
No wonder I feel at home almost everywhere!