The other day I racing through the grocery store, grabbing food quickly because Boy in Black's drum lesson gave me exactly 20 minutes for shopping, and I practically collided with a colleague, a woman who recently relocated to this area and started teaching courses for us last year.
Colleague: Hey, what are you doing here?
Me: Uh, buying groceries.
Colleague: But I've never seen you here before. How long have you shopped here?
Me: Um ... my whole life.
Me: Well, since this store was built. Sometime in the early seventies. I came here with my Mom.
Colleague: Really? Wow. This is the first time I've ever run into anyone I know here.
Me: When I come here, I always run into people I know. I know about half the people working here too.
Colleague: No way.
Me: Sure. See the butcher over there? I went to high school with him. And his daughter was in my son's AP Chemistry class last year.
Colleague: Wow. That's amazing.
Me: My mother still shops here. And my sister, too.
Me: Sure. It's what life is like when you live in the same place your whole life.
Colleague: I can't even imagine.
The funny thing about the dialogue was her utter amazement. No one in my home community would have found any of my answers even mildly interesting. But academics are always fascinated that I live in my hometown. And I have to admit, that when I am in my hometown, in the grocery store I've shopped in since I was a child, it is always strange to run into someone from the academic world, my other life.