Last summer, while visiting the Como Park Conservatory to enjoy a Japanese lantern lighting festival, a friend and I were trekking across multiple parking lots and community green-space to get to the Como Park Zoo. As we walked along, I noticed a girl with a really nice camera wandering around with a somewhat bewildered but determined look on her face. She stopped us and politely inquired if we knew how to get to the zoo from her current location. I told her we were headed that direction and she was welcome to walk with us if she wanted; she did. I have a habit of asking people questions about themselves and trying to learn something about them, it was no different with Tako. She told us she was from the Republic of Georgia, and she had just arrived in the United States two days prior. Tako had come to study finance at the University. Surprised that she had been in the US only two days, I asked what she was doing in St. Paul. Fortuitously, she had come to watch the lantern lighting festival. Given that we were all headed to the same place, with the same agenda more or less, I invited Tako to join us for the day. We have been friends ever since. What seems unusual about this is that Tako had only decided that morning to come to the festival after reading about it in the paper. Aside from airport employees and the student who assigned her to her dorm room, Tako had not yet spoken with anyone, or even settled in (she had just arrived two days before!). The portion of me that enjoys romanticized notions of relationships and fate really likes the story of how we met.
|Then: At the lantern lighting festival, the day we met.|
|Now: At RYKYGNYZYR's first public performance last week.|