I have met quite a few people in the last three years that I've been living in Florence, so it's more than normal that I see people I know and greet them when we cross paths. Although often when I walk down the street and look up at someone, we both do a discrete double-take and then politely greet each other. I don't let the other person know that I can't remember how or where we met, and I always wonder if the person remembers either.
This morning I was walking down via dei Neri and I saw a guy coming toward me. I recognized him and he recognized me. "Ciao," we both said with a smile. For the next two hours afterwards I kept wondering who the guy was.
I described the guy to Alessandro and asked him if he knew who he was, but he didn't. Suddenly, when I was no longer thinking about it, the location where I know him from came to me. The guy I greeted today works at a restaurant that I went to twice with friends over two years ago.
Many fiorentini (Florentines) describe themselves as fisionimisti, which means that they are good at recognizing faces. I know that when Alessandro meets someone for only a few minutes, he's able to spot them on the street a year later.
With the millions of people who walk through the city each year, it is comforting to know that some of the locals that I meet recognize me and greet me. I love the fact that Florence feels even smaller and therefore more like home to me each day.
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