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Zufall: A mere coincidence?

18/09/2019
Wanting is ability!

© aNadventures

Yesterday, as I was strolling through the Berlin neighbourhood of Schöneberg, a second-hand bookshop caught my attention. I rarely buy any books as the minimalist in me prefers borrowing them from the library. Yet, my inner book lover encouraged me to have a closer look. So I approached the shop and rummaged in a few boxes exposed on the pavement. It didn’t take me long to find a book titled “How the García Girls Lost Their Accents” by Julia Alvarez. My heart jumped with excitement. At this point, I should mention that my last name is García, too. I remember having come upon this novel at an earlier point in time but for some reason, I hadn’t read it, yet. As I strongly believe that some things are simply meant to be, I grabbed the book and walked inside the shop to pay for it.

Inside, a whole universe of book stacks was awaiting me. “That was a quick discovery.”, a tall grey-haired man greeted me from behind the counter. I explained that I’d chosen the book because my last name was the same one as the one in the title. “And your first name must be Julia, then.”, the man replied pointing at the author’s first name. I said no and that this would have been too much of a coincidence. Upon my reply, the man’s tone of voice changed to a more serious, yet solemn, one: “Well, it could have been. Coincidences don’t just happen out of the blue. They’re generally related to how YOU walk through life. Just think about the term itself: Zufall [in German]. Etwas fällt dir zu. [Something falls towards you.] In order for this to happen, you have to walk through life with an open attitude. If you’re open to coincidences, they’ll end up happening.”

I’d actually never thought about it that way. I hadn’t considered the term Zufall from that perspective before. I liked this man’s explanation and decided to be open to any further coincidences that might come my way. As we got along so well, the man even gave me a 1 € discount on the already very affordable price of the book. I decided to return soon to further explore his little book universe which, he told me, had been growing for the last forty years. This encounter made my day and I didn’t only leave the shop with a coincidental book in my hand but also with a huge smile on my face.

How about YOU? When did you last experience “Zufall”? I’ll be very happy to read about your experiences.

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