serendipity over coffee

On an ordinary day in London, I ordered a beautiful cup of coffee, set it on the table, took a photo of it to preserve its beauty, set the Praktica BCA on the table and proceeded to commence drinking the coffee.

"What's that?".  She sounded Spanish, accent-wise, so I answered "Es un cappuccino".  "No, I know what that is, THAT - your camera!".  "Oh!, It's a Praktica BCA....".  And so began the conversation.  Turned out she's a foreign student, from Spain, doing a Ph.D. in the sciences, as well as being a photography enthusiast.  I can't remember her name to save my life.  She was there to meet her boyfriend, who was visiting from New Zealand.  He was running late.


And then this guy sat opposite us.  I hadn't noticed before.  He had mobility issues due to cerebral palsy.  He was on an epic film making quest about the daily issues and challenges faced by cerebral palsy sufferers such as himself.  He wasn't having any luck though.  Turns out the 'film industry' is more, er, 'prejudiced' about disability than he had thought.  No idea what he said his name was.

He had originally joined our conversation because as a film maker, he was unsurprisingly into photography.  He too had spotted my camera.

The conversation quickly changed to neurology however.  It turned out the Spanish lady's Ph.D. is in Neurological Biochemistry.  Specifically to do with brain cell regeneration.  They had a deeper conversation than I could understand.

He mentioned he wanted a cappuccino but the machine had stopped working.  I offered him my then cold, yet untouched drink on the condition that I could take a photo.  Apparently he loved cold coffee anyway.  It was my last frame - I hadn't been paying attention.  I would have made it a groupie.  So now both the name, and the face of the Spanish lady are gone from memory.  Perhaps I should have asked her for any pointers regarding my terrible short-term memory. Her boyfriend arrived shortly and left with her.

I exchanged details with the film maker.  Well, he gave me his details anyway. He had nowhere to 'write' mine on at the moment. I tried using the email address he had given me later in the day to thank him for the great convo.  "mailer daemon:  Mail Delivery Failure..." - you know the rest.

So as serendipity would have it, the mother of all chain of coffee shop coincidences happened, and left no trace - except of course, on the last two frames of an Agfa Vista 200. 


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