By Noelia Román Lamas (Spain)
Accidents are not always negative. If you don’t believe me, just read on. By accident, I met an acquaintance, four months ago, in a bar in Williamsburg. We were more than 8.000 kilometers far away from our home town and it turned out that both of us had an appointment with the same group of people…
By accident, she had a friend who was friends with the friend I was with. And this is not a tongue twister. It’s just a fact. By accident, we started talking about what we were doing in New York. And it turned out again that she was here on vacation, to practice her English.
Exactly like me. Well, almost: she had just one month; I had four more. She was already attending classes at the International Center in New York; I was taking my time, still looking for a school to take a course. Since then, I haven’t looked anymore.
By accident, then I knew about this Center I’m trying to write about now. And it was a happy accident! An unforeseen coincidence that allowed me to meet an amazing group of people who teach English for the simple pleasure of explaining what New York and its people are about.
Not only that. The IC in New York also allowed me to know a bunch of people from all over the world with their culture and their traditions; and it put in my way extraordinary people who are and will be part of my life from now and on.
By accident, then, I knew Christopher Carroll and his training in phrasal verbs, the real New York of Donald Young, the English that nobody but the runner Terrence Bennett teaches you, the enthusiastic militancy of Terry Phelan, the masterly theater class of Joe Lamb, and Phil Marcus’ basic idioms.
By accident, I met Patri and Curro, a fantastic couple looking for new horizons. And Nacho, a fireman who tries to better understand this world just by talking over its problems. And Carmen, a teacher who has given herself the gift of learning by crossing the world. And Ahn, a Korean boy who heals cats and so on. And Mustapha, a piece of Senegal in the Bronx. And Carlos, an eloquent Mexican guy trying to start his diplomatic career in the IC. And Dario, the son-in-law every mom wants to have. And Miguel Ángel, a successful musician being just one more among the others. And Martín, the best salsa dancer of the Center. And Jamel, a public relations guy with his pronounced French accent. And the Russian clan, always trying to throw parties… And Geisha, my beloved soul mate.
They are, actually, the small family I spent Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve with. And that, I have to say, was not by accident. They’re already my friends.