When you are in Minnesota in late August or early September, you go to the State Fair. So off I went and had Sweet Martha’s cookies, fried pickles, milk shake – and a photo with a cow.

That photo turned out to be important. I posted it on Facebook and people found it entertaining and we all had good fun with it. But that photo also connected me with an old friend of mine.

This Turkish friend was an AFS exchange student to Hong Kong the school year 1993-94 just like myself. There weren’t that many exchange students in Hong Kong that year so we all 14 got pretty close. But that was pre-Facebook and after returning home we slowly lost touch.

When Facebook emerged years later some of us connected again but after initial how are you, where are you messages it was down to occasional likes to photos or witty updates. That how it was with me and this Turkish friend, too.

Until I posted the photo with me and a cow. From my caption my Turkish friend noticed that the photo was taken in Minnesota. And he moved to Minnesota a few years back, to work as a doctor in Rochester.

We set a meeting but that needed to be canceled when a liver showed up and he needed to operate. A liver transplant is probably the best excuse to cancel an appointment I can think of, so I did not really mind. We set a new one for October when I am back in the Twin cities. That’ll be out first tête-à-tête since July 1994.  

That is, of course, great and I am looking forward to it. But there is another moral to this story, too. It confirms my old rule of thumb to always pose with a cow if there is a chance.