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Coincidental meetings in far flung places, anyone?


Picklefactory
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A couple of comments in the forum name thread regarding meeting people you know in highly unexpected places, prompted a memory of mine for the same thing. I was a shop floor supervisor at the time at my place of work in Birmingham, and one of operatives on my section was currently off sick and had been for a couple of weeks.

I took a short break to Butlins in Minehead and was happily enjoying a stroll in the sun along the pier, and right at the very end of Minehead pier, there was my missing fella sitting happily fishing with his son. To say he was surprised and rather alarmed to see me is an understatement. I didn't follow through with anything, but surprise, surprise he turned up for work the next Monday.

I'm just curious as I'm sure some of the more well traveled members here have undoubtedly had similar, and possibly more extreme meetings.

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sunnypete

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Absolutely, who was B?

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bumpkin

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Many years ago I worked with a guy, his small company, just us two. He was always going on about his problems with his wife which got a bit tiresome. Eventually we parted as I set up my own company. Only about two months later I took my girlfriend on holiday. Went into a remote bar in Yugoslavia and there he was with his wife trying to sort things out. I don't know who was more surprised.

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morddwyd

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When I lived in Malta, on one or two occasions I took part in the nightly promenade in Kingsway in Valletta, when much of the population of Malta stroll up and down for a couple of hours, quite a press, think of a good natured crowd leaving Wembley!

On one of these visits I heard my name being called, and looked round to see a friend fighting his way towards me who I had not seen for 12 years.

He was on his way from the UK to Libya and his aircraft had diverted to Malts for just a few hours with engine trouble.

The odds must be astronomical!

Sadly (that is why it is fresh in my mind) I heard last week that he has just died.

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interzone55

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This story isn't about me but a former colleague.

I used to be assistant manager of a store in Manchester. The sales floor manager (Claire) and the store manager (Peter) hated each other, and really couldn't be in the same room together.

One year their holidays overlapped due to an oversight, mainly because they never talked to each other.

Claire was devastated when she arrived at her hotel in Goa and Peter and his family were in the room across the hall. Needless to say, the hotel was full so she had to spend a fortnight checking before she left the room or went into the restaurant...

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Picklefactory

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The stories that amaze me the most are the ones where people meet in particularly isolated or extremely uncommon destinations, hundreds and even thousands of miles from home. The odds of that happening must be ridiculously high.

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Bing.alau

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I can never remember the names of the people I meet in all sorts of places. But invariably stop and talk to them. My partner then quizzes me about where I know them from. But I can't remember if it was in the golf club, the line dance classes, the pub I used to run, The Navy Club, the area I used to live in, any of the associations/clubs I belong to, the last holiday I went on and so on, ad-infinitum. It will not be long before I begin to wonder who the hell I am and what I am doing here.

On holiday in Portsmouth about ten years ago, I was walking along the front at Eastney reminiscing with my wife about the old days, when I thought I recognised a face of a man who walked past going the other way with a group of people. After about ten yards or so I remembered that he was one of my really good friends on board HMS Ceylon (about thirty years previously) for a period of about two years. So I turned around to catch up with him. But he had disappeared in the crowd on the seafront. So that was a co-incidental meeting that wasn't.

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recap

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A couple of years ago I went for a job interview. Coming out of the building as I was going in was a student I was teaching at the time. Needless to say he got the job, I was told I was over qualified.

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morddwyd

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It used to be said that if you sat in the lounge of the Red Sea Hotel in Aden for long enough you would see every bloke you had ever served with (sorry girls, the only ladies in the Red Sea Hotel lounge weren't, if you see what I mean!).

I suppose you could have said the same about Crewe railway station in its prime.

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john bunyan

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I worked in the Netherlands for 10 years. My neighbour (and his wife )(also English) in the flat above mine worked for a multi national oil company as head of their tanker fleet, I worker in a totally different field. I went to Singapore on a business trip and paid privately for my wife to come. We were walking down Orchard Road when in the opposite direction met our neighbour coming in the opposite direction hand in hand with a lady (not his wife). He introduced her as a business colleague...I did not mention it back in Holland the following week.

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Picklefactory

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fourm member

"Not at all. The odds of you meeting a particular person on a particular day in a particular place are astronomical but they fall rapidly when you remove the particularities."

I do see what you mean, especially where the meetings have occurred in popular, if distant, locations but some of these eg, 'in a remote bar in Yugoslavia' seem extremely coincidental. I would have thought that having two acquaintances randomly appearing in such an overtly obscure place, so far from home, at the same time who would never normally visit such a location and is not a popular tourist spot, must be a massive coincidence.

I suppose I am making a few assumptions there, that it wasn't a popular tourist spot or common route stop. The statement that it was a 'remote bar' would imply that it was certainly off the beaten track, in another country.

Fascinating

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