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About Belly Button Window

The Semi-Regular Newsletter


England, April 6, 2001

A Small, Yet Very Confusing World

I need a spreadsheet just to keep track of my friends

We all met in the 'Big Boys with Toys' chat room
A Belly Button Window fan-club meeting
Kim, Karen, and Sabina all lust for my every word
Belly Button Window groupies
I have absolutly no memory of these freaks
Who and where was this?!
how drunk was I to take this shot?
Like I would know them!
In traveling around the world and back again, I've met quite a few people. These locals or travelers have in turn, introduced me to other like-minded people who are roaming the earth. With my website, this circle of people is constantly rotating and expanding, sometime faster than I can remember.

The email exchange below, between Brad and I is a case in point, since I've never met Brad personally, only exchanging emails an updates, though through me, he's now a good friend of my Stud Cuz, Sean and living in Eastern Europe with one of Sean's friends.

Wayan (to Brad):
Thanks for hooking me up with Jonathan of Oxford. Last night he and I were finally in Oxford at the same time and I invited him over for dinner. Cool guy! He reminds me of a good friend of mine from Russia, very relaxed yet intense, and always excellent at a dinner party.

Wayan, My mind is going, but I am not sure that I know Jonathan. Please remind me how I do.

Hmm... this is getting good, since you're the one who told me to meet up with him. He's a Ph.D. student at Oxford, studying the history of a French family in the 1700's and said he used to hang with you in your Oxford Days.

He lived in DC and NYC before UK and I think my wife said it the best when, just after he left, she was dancing around the room singing, "He is the gay! He is the gay!" Yeah, Jingmei needs to get out more often.

All right, this is getting good, because I never had any Oxford Days. You have to be getting me confused with someone else and so does he. I think the two of us have been traveling too long and don't know whom we know anymore. I am almost 100% certain I have never met the guy.

Mysteries progress...

Actually, would you refresh my memory as to how we know each other? I have the vague memory that you're a friend of a guy who was bicycling across Russia, who my parents met in a St Petersburg hostel.

No, no, no. I had read your web site and sent you an email. You sent me some smart-assed but informative response back and it went from there. You ended up being a step ahead of everywhere I was going. You left Beijing about a week before I got there to stay with a friend and then you took close to the same route to Sydney.

Then that means you are completely different than the guy Jonathan (of Woologong, not Oxford) was talking about. THAT was the cyclist and Jonathan (of Woologong, not Oxford)was the friend.

Wayan (to Jonathan of Oxford):
Who the hell are you?! I just thanked Brad for introducing us and he's never heard of you. Imposter, explain yourself!

Jonathan of Oxford:
Very, very, interesting. I just snuck into your life uninvited! All is going as planned for my sabotage; and I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids!

Actually, the Brad in question just graduated from Purdue University then spent a few months in China. He's NOT in Central Europe (that should have been a clue to me), but he DOES send regular email updates en masse, the way you were talking the other night. I will write to him and ask him how he knows who you are.

How amazingly odd.

Brad of Purdue:
Okay, this is the right Brad, now living in Chicago and here is the full circle:

I was given your email address from Karen. She met you while she was working in Moscow when you were training for Peace Corps. I went to school with her at Purdue, and I had emailed you about advice for living and moving to China.

I was the one that introduced you to you Jonathan of Oxford. I've just finished my work in Nanjing, China and there are the six degrees of separation.

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