Whether or not life is a series of coincidences, random happenings or something even more divine is the biggest existential question people have contemplated since the beginning of time.
I have pondered this on and off my entire adult life and recently, I’ve been in this phase of questioning again because the coincidences are happening with delicious frequency these days.
Like this weekend, for example.
I sat down at the Lobby Bar next to a couple and struck up a conversation. They told me their names were Dan and Debbie, that they were in town from suburban Chicago for Debbie’s birthday and they were celebrating with German food.
German food. German food. For two straight weeks I can’t escape you, German food!
Although I have lived in the German-cultured Milwaukee my entire life and my son is German (his father is almost 100 percent German), it wasn’t until recently that I ate a meal in a German restaurant.
Since then, I wrote a blog about German food, an article about German food, have stumbled accidentally across numerous articles about Germany and German beer and have enjoyed multiple conversations with people about my first schnitzel-eating experience.
“You mean a heart attack on a plate,” joked Debbie when I described to her my first schnitzel, which came complete with a fried egg. “All it was missing was the bacon.”
So I shouldn’t really be surprised when I sit down next to two strangers and our very first topic of conversation is about a German restaurant. It’s how this crazy, question-marked world works, right?
We went on to chat about food in all different ways. We talked about Milwaukee favorites like the menu-less Fourth Base restaurant, Leon’s maple custard and the best local joints for steaks. We also talked Chicago hot spots, too, and I now have a fresh list of eateries to try next time I’m in the Windy City, like The Rosebud and Lawry’s and, above all, I promised to try an Italian beef.
During our conversation, we also found that we had Harley Davidson motorcycles, a taste for Scotch and Duluth, Minn. in common.
I really dig sharing practical, insightful information like where to eat when traveling or the best place to cruise on a bike. But even more so, I love when conversations take on an unexplainable quality of familiarity and connection. Especially when it happens with strangers.