At a beach in Okinawa one Sunday morning, I noticed a solo western culture guy arrive with a look of curiosity and interest in the various groups of people already at the beach.
A short while later, as I was playing down at the water’s edge with some of the guys (that is, some of the friends with whom I was at the beach), I noticed the same solo guy attempting to be casual quite near to us, though, in my eyes, totally trying to make contact with us somehow.
“You can talk to us,” I said, smiling.
I repeated, we chuckled, and I asked his name. I gave him my own first name, and brought him to the guys, sharing with them the fact that he, too, was Canadian (which I am not, but most of the guys are).
At the end of the beach hangout, I mostly was the only one who talked much with this guy, but I knew he was vacationing solo for a month+, and it was clear that the communication and interaction were appreciated on his end. So, I learned a little bit about his educational background and aspirations, and told him how we were all in the JET Programme in the same prefecture as one another, and that I lived near Tokyo. Beyond that, I told him almost nothing of myself. Some impressions of living and working in Japan, yes, but no facts or figures about me and my life.
When we said our goodbyes, I wished him well on his travels and for his future. We exchanged no contact information.
A few hours later, when I diddled with my Facebook, I saw that I had a friend request from him.
Kind of freaky, right? I checked with my group, and none of them had talked to him when I hadn’t been present, and none of them was friends with him on Facebook.
I was amazed at the feat. Though, I suppose I could have been weirded out, it was only flattering to me, really. How many times have I gone through what has sometimes been hours of researching, just to find someone (usually a guy) online? People regularly tell me that I am a fabulous stalker (and that I fortunately use it for good, rather than evil), I am so good at it. I meet a guy in a bar, having learned only his first name, and I can find him online, supposing he has some kind of Internet presence. But that is also part of why I am so careful about what I share about myself with people I don’t know – so they don’t easily find me online , if I don’t want them to find me.
However, my skills of stalking and research led me quite quickly to a way this guy could have found me. I won’t give away all my secrets, but it has to do with photos allowing you to tag locations on various social networks – I think he found me because of the photo I took at the beach, and then put online. Clever, clever boy. Or perhaps he was just lucky. I still haven’t asked. 😛
But, I must say, it was, albeit a bit weird and freaky, quite exciting having a taste of my own medicine used on me – the stalker is stalked! Sort of, anyway. 😛