It’s about one year to-the-day since I was in France on holiday with my father. It is a trip of which I have such fond memories. One of them occurred within our first few days in Paris.
We had just landed and were standing on the bus on the tarmac, waiting to be shuttled to the terminal to get our bags, when this man walks on and stands, holding on to the pole, right in front of me.
He surely looked familiar, but I wasn’t positive at first so I waited for him to turn around again. And when he did, just a moment later, I was positive that it was an old coworker of mine from nearly eight years ago in Minneapolis.
What a small world!
Neither of us could believe it, nor could my father, and we laughed about the chances of running into someone like that in Paris of all places. It was hard to believe, but certainly a pleasant surprise.
The next day, after a full night’s rest, we woke up with the idea of taking the train down to see Napoleon’s tomb. It wasn’t an item necessarily high on our list, but we saw Notre Dame and part of the Louvre the day before, and thought we should see something else today since we had the Eiffel Tower planned for the next day.
Over our stay in Paris we found the Metro, their subway system, quite easy to use, but for some reason we couldn’t find the proper train on this day. It was probably a blessing in disguise though since it was such a nice day, thus prompting us to walk along the Seine for a couple of miles instead of taking the train.
We had walked no more than five blocks when I saw another couple of people coming towards us that also looked familiar. And as they got closer, I couldn’t believe it. It was a coworker of mine and his wife!
I knew they were going to be in Paris at the same time, and we had even talked about getting together for dinner one night, but I couldn’t believe that I had just randomly run into them on our first full day in town.
Unfortunately our cell phones never quite worked on the European system so we were never able to get together for dinner, but it was still a pleasant surprise to run into each other.
My father and I planned to see the Eiffel Tower on on second full day in town, but decided to have a nice rest in the Luxembourg Gardens in the morning before heading down that way.
My friend from London, Stephen, had said he’d meet us there for lunch after coming over to France that morning in the Chunnel. It was something we had planned months in advance, but I never really believed our lunch date would work out until we were really there together in the shadow of the tower.
The lunch was horrible, as it generally is near any major tourist site, but it was fun meeting up with him and spending a few hours together at the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately he had to get back home right away, so it could be nothing more than a day trip.
On our fourth day in Paris, third full day though, we woke up in our hotel room, which was only a few blocks from Notre Dame, and got ready for a day trip down to the Palace of Versailles.
As we sat at breakfast enjoying our chocolate croissants and sipping our juice, my father looked at me and said, “so, who are we going to run into today that you know?”
I suppose that after three people in three days, it was a worth while question and one that we certainly got a good laugh over. It wasn’t meant to be though, and we didn’t run into anyone else we knew for the rest of our time in France.
While it’s not as if we were in some place as far away as Uzbekistan, this memory still makes me appreciate how small of a world we really live in. After flying for ten hours I still ran into three people I knew, two randomly, in three days.