Friday, September 10, 2010

Flashback Friday: Three chance encounters

What are your most random chance encounters? What's the farthest away, or weirdest place, or strangest time you've ever run into someone you know? Here are three chance meetings that come to mind.

3. Remember last week when I discovered that stack of undelivered wedding thank you notes? Well, one of the people on that list was the cross country coach my freshman year of high school. I hadn't seen him for years and years and when I saw the thank you note addressed to him, I started remembering some fun times we all had with the team. One of those fun times was climbing Mt. St. Helens, which (you may recall) I achieved again just a few days ago.

So when I saw my coach at Fred Meyer on Tuesday, he was so fresh in my memory that it was as if I had seen him recently instead of 10 years ago. It was just weird to run into him by chance so soon after having him brought to mind by other events.

2. Early last month we were at a regional church activity at Watkins Glen State Park. I was just returning to my table after getting food when I spotted an old friend I grew up with back in Portland. I had had a vague idea of him living in the area (in a small town about 45 minutes away from Ithaca, as it turned out) but it was still quite a shock to see him in rural upstate New York, across the country from where we grew up.

1. My best and favorite chance encounter took place in Novosibirsk, Russia, aka SIBERIA. An on-again, off-again worst enemy/tolerated friend/amicable acquaintance from my childhood (true story: he once beat me up at church) was serving a two-year Mormon mission in that area, which I knew. But I don't think that makes it any less completely, crazy random that Jeremy and I met him by chance on the streets of Novosibirsk while we were out sight-seeing. Seriously, what are the odds?

And what are your best chance encounters?

8 comments:

Amanda said...

1. I lived for a few years in Santa Barbara where I met a girl named Rileigh. We were fairly good friends and I moved to San Luis Obispo and got married, and she got married there and moved to Maryland. Just after Tyler and I moved to Tucson, we went back to California to attend a sealing at the Newport Beach temple. When we pulled up, I saw a woman sitting on a blanket on the grass with a toddler. I thought, "that girl looks like Rileigh." And it WAS Rileigh. Bizarre.

Melody said...

I went to the temple In Palmyra while I was living in Ithaca. We didn't make it up there that often, but one of the times that I was there I saw an old college friend. She had driven several hours to see a friend's wedding, so it was by complete coincidence that we happened to be there and standing in line to get in, at the same time.

sarah said...

I saw an old acquaintance working as a checker at a grocery store in Rock Springs, WY while I was living there. While it wasn't across the country, it felt like it living in that secluded place. I was soooo excited to see a familiar face I think I smiled with glee the rest of the day. And we remain friends now that we've both moved back to good old Idaho.

Jennifer said...

When I was in London for Study Abroad, I ran into a friend who had been in multiple math classes with me at BYU. She had been visiting her mission in Sweden and stopped in London on her way home. I had no idea she was even in the country, but suddenly we were about to pass each other on as we walked across the Millennium Bridge.

I got to see a girl who lived next door to me freshman year (Kelly) at the end of my mission in Taiwan, though it wasn't totally coincidence. I knew she was living in one of my previous areas with her husband and teaching English, but never saw her until I visited that area with my parents when they picked me up at the end of my mission. Some of members had a little get together and invited Kelly and her husband to come. I didn't think I'd actually see her while I was there.

Karen said...

We were on a trip to London and doing all the normal touristy things. While inside the Tower of London, in the midst of throngs of tourists, we literally bumped into a fellow member of our Stake High Council and his family. All the way from Orem, only to meet in London!

Anna said...

The first week of my mission, I was street contacting in Athens, Greece when a friend from elementary school in McLean, Virginia walked up to me. Very weird.

Amber said...

I lived across the hall from this girl Kathy during Sophomore year in college in Los Angeles. About four years after I graduated, I ran into her on the subway in the Bronx, NY. The crazy part was that I was riding the train from my house into the city in the evening because I worked from home that day and was meeting Jason in the city for a concert. So it wasn't even my usual route, and we just happened to be in the same car at the same time.

About six months later, I ran into a guy who I lived next door to, also during Sophomore year of college. This time it was on the streets of Manhattan. He was canvassing for something and I was trying to avoid him until I realized that I knew him!

Lilianne said...

The most notable encounter I had was a couple years ago. Some background info: I lived in the Philippines my junior year of high school and became good friends with a girl from Finland named Terhi. We lost touch after I moved back to the states. Fast forward seven years later when I was living in Washington, DC and went to lunch one day and ran into Terhi walking down the street! Turns out she lived and worked in DC, had married another guy from the international school. We still keep in touch because of that random encounter. Such a small world.

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