People Share Amazing Stories Of Running Into Someone They Know In the Strangest of Places
You're walking down the streets of Rome, Paris, Shanghai, when suddenly out of nowhere you spot someone - your high school English teacher, your middle school crush, heck even your uncle! You try to convince yourself that you must be imagining it, or maybe this person just LOOKS like your uncle, but nope, there he is in the flesh. What are the chances?!
People on Reddit were asked: "Where's the weirdest place you've seen someone you know?" These are some of the best answers.
Back when I was in the Army, I was sent to Fort Gordon, GA to learn a new MOS. I was running around base one day with a friend and noticed a female private with a hoodie that said 'Patch' on the back. I commented on it to my buddy and didn't think anything more of it.
Fast forward about 9 months. After graduation my next duty station was the Pentagon. I meet a girl there, we talk, end up hooking up, turns into dating. One day she puts on her Army hoodie and when she turns around, it says 'Patch' on the back.
We have been married for 19 years yesterday.
I'm Canadian, and I ran into a guy I used to work with while on vacation in rural Myanmar (Burma), which is weird because it's not a very well-traveled country.
My wife and I were staying in a small town with probably only 100-200 other tourists in it at the time. We decided to get some dinner a couple hours early and sat at a restaurant patio. There was only one other table with customers and lo and behold, I look over and there's Alain (coincidentally wearing a t-shirt with the logo of the company we both worked for).
The next morning we saw him again, he was staying at the same hotel as us!
I was on a school trip to Rome (I live in the Netherlands) and I randomly ran into someone I knew from a LARP event. I guess all roads really do lead to Rome. One of my teachers thought it was so romantic and I should go out with him.
My family used to take little summer vacations. One summer (I was about 7-8) we stayed at a campground about 4 hours from home. There were a bunch of kids there and one day we all started playing tag. I was "IT" and was chasing another young boy, and when I tag him, I pushed him too hard and he fell and broke his arm. I remember the scene vividly.
Fast forward to college. I became good friends with my neighbor in the dorm, and we ended up getting a place together our sophomore year. The following year (no longer living together) we went out for a few beers and the topic of broken bones came up. "I've only broken one bone, and it was my arm when I was 7. Some kid at a camp ground pushed me over while playing tag". It was me. Still can't believe it.
When I was in grade 2, our family moved from Manitoba to Arizona for a year due to a contract my Dad was working. We rented out the house fully furnished for the year. While in Arizona, we flew to Alberta one weekend. On the flight from Arizona to Alberta, I sat beside a boy my age and we started talking. It went something like this:
Me: What city are you from? Him: Winnipeg Me: Me too! Me: What school do you go to? Him: School name Me: Cool - I used to go there too! Me: What street do you live on? Him: Street Name Me: I lived on that street!
It turns out, his family was renting our house while we were gone. So I was sitting beside the boy who was sleeping in my bed, while we were in Arizona.
In someone else.
Every once in a while, on the bus or wherever, I'll see somebody who looks exactly like someone I know aged 20-40 years. I know it's just a big coincidence and inevitably some people are going to look like old leathery copies of other people. But still, I can't help but think that maybe I'm right in the middle of a really boring and unprofessional time travel mission.
Every year there is a salmon bake at a lighthouse across the water from where I grew up. When I was 12 my parents drug me along (this was the only year I ever went). I was bored and walked away from my family, and spent the next while skipping stones on the beach when this girl with curly hair (about 10) walks up to me and asks me how I do it. So I teach her to skip stones and flirt the day away.
At the end of the day, she gets called away suddenly and I'm bummed out. My mom asks me what I was doing - and I tell her "I met the girl I want to marry!"
Life happens, I meet girls, I get engaged, it falls through. Eventually I meet this girl and we date for 5 years before getting married.
Married for 2 years when we are talking about our childhood "love" interests. I tell her about this girl I met at this salmon bake. My wife gives me a weird look. She asks me when this was - and what the girl looked like. So I described this girl with curly hair (my wife has curly hair) that had to leave early to perform (my wife was in theater when she was younger) and then I said "and I remember she had this yellow shirt with a butterfly on the front". My wife thought I was making this up. Why would I?
She calls her mom, and 20 minutes later her mom texts us this childhood picture of my wife @ 10 years old wearing a yellow shirt with a butterfly on the front. My wife was 2 years younger than me, and performed at the salmon bake that year.
And she remembered this boy that taught her how to skip stones.
Went on holiday to Bali. Our neighbors were staying in the villa next to us. It was even better because we didn't find out while we were at the villa, we were out in the town and saw them go past on the road. We all waved and were quite surprised, then went back to our villa later that day to find out they were next to us, which was an even bigger surprise.
I'm an American who moved to Amsterdam some years ago, and my first year there on a random Saturday I decided to head out for a drink. Sat down next to a cute German guy who was in town for the first time from six hours away, helping a friend move kind of thing, and it turns out he's doing a PhD in physics. I am doing mine in astronomy and have a physics background, so we spend maybe ten minutes discussing our research topics, when he mentions offhand how he used to study in New Zealand.
I get a confused look, and then get all excited. "Johannes! Prof W's E&M; class in Auckland, first half of 2007!" Freaked him out until I explained- I was a semester abroad student in Auckland that year, and not only were we in the same class we even did homework together and such. But lost touch once I left the country, with no one having a clue what happened to the other. Only to randomly run into each other five years later in a random bar in a random city on another continent!
I was once mugged by 4 guys on one of the main shopping streets of Nairobi, Kenya. One of the guys had me in a choke hold and just before I was about to pass out, they dropped me and ran. At the time I didn't know why.
12 months later, sitting on a beach on an island in Thailand, I meet a British couple who did business in Kenya and we start to talk about how dangerous it was getting for foreigners. They described an incidence the year before of turning a corner and seeing a white guy being mugged and a shopkeeper rescued him by hitting one of them over the head with a bat.
They were in the same street, on the same day, at the exact same time I was there. It was me who they witnessed being mugged. What are the odds of randomly meeting up on a beach in Thailand a year later?
Saw my ex girlfriend at a family reunion. I was not thrilled to find out she was part of the family...
My first semester of college, I moved out of state. I was first to move into the apartment and had a few days to my self. After orientation I found my new roommate sitting on his bed. When I introduced myself, he asked where I was from. When I told him, he said. "I used to have a friend named Simon."
I said I used to have a friend named Will. We were best friends in first and second grade until his family moved.
I organize sex parties so I've seen some pretty interesting stuff.
Back in about 2008 I went to a friend of a friend's house. I didn't realize but she was having a swingers party. Unbeknown to her she also had invited my parents. When I arrived I saw mom in the hot tub and dad cooking at the grill, with no pants on. I left VERY quickly.
I'm from Quebec, where our French has a very 'distinctive' accent. It's very rare to hear it outside of the province, and my ears are super sensitive to it and pick it up quickly. I now work in Taiwan, and one day I hear someone behind me speak with the quebecois accent, so I immediately turn around. Turned out to be someone I went to high school with!
I travelled 3000 miles to Lima, Peru on a business trip. I had an official escort because that city had a little terror problem, and kidnapping of "visitors" was somewhat common. I wanted to stock up on some snacks for my hotel room so we popped into a grocery store in a random area, totally away from the "nicer" shore area. I grabbed some Skittles or what-have-you and my escort grabbed a drink and a few other things he needed. I went through the checkout first and was standing at the front window, looking out onto this street, admiring the broken bottles lining the walls to all of the house "compounds" when I see a good friend of mine from college walking down the sidewalk.
I ran out and yelled his name and we both did the "What are YOU doing here?" exchange. Turned out he was also working there, but for a full year. My escort was like "Man, you white people can go anywhere and make friends!"
I managed to bump into friends in a foreign country twice.
Once it was in London in front of St. Paul's Cathedral, the other time in Palermo at night in front of a bar. Both times both of us were oblivious of the fact the other one was there too. And while it's probably not too weird to walk into somebody in Palermo (its really not that big), London? We were pretty flabbergasted.
As a college sophomore, I went on a trip to France by myself. I was sitting in Notre Dame Cathedral, listening to music, when a girl I dated in high school sat down near me - totally at random. We were both speechless when we saw one another there - out of the blue - in a foreign country within a vast cathedral.
I was camping in the south of France in the middle of nowhere as a kid with my parents (I'm from the UK ) and heard this huge bellowing from across this lake: "THAT BOY, STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING... COME HERE THIS INSTANT!!!"
I jolted in utter shock and looked over to where the shouting had come from. The headmaster of the school I attended was standing there laughing his backside off at me.
The odds of him being at the same campsite in the middle of nowhere just blew my mind as a kid, but we had a few chats throughout the holiday and the person I thought was always an absolute controlling tosser at school actually turned out to be a really nice guy.
Back when I was stripping, my psychiatrist came up to tip me on stage. He didn't recognize me until I asked "Don't I know you?" Pretty weird place to see someone you know, but the weirdness was amplified by the circumstances.
I was backpacking through Europe (I'm American). I was walking to the train station in Amsterdam at 8 am. Suddenly, I hear someone knocking on the window of the restaurant I was walking past. It was someone I went elementary school with and hadn't seen in over a decade.
My mum bumped into this girl she went to college with in the middle of a plaza in Belgium. We live in Australia and they live in India. What are the odds, eh?
I once saw my old IT teacher at a fetish club. He was wearing a leather waistcoat and a little leather top hat, and menacing a young man with a whip.
The "Worst Rave Ever" video from the my little pony convention. Saw a guy that looked just like my friend. Turns out it was him.
I'm from New England and ran into a girl from my high school in Edinburgh, when I was running in heels, wearing a grapes costume, late to a costume party.
Well me and my buddy's once went to a strip club for my friends 22nd birthday and the stripper ended up being on of their sisters. As soon as we walked in he screamed "JESUS JAMIE WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THAT POLE!"
My family grew up in Georgia. My sister took piano lessons from this woman who lived at the beginning of our neighborhood. During a school trip, my sister ran into said piano instructor on an observation deck at the top of a mountain. In Hawaii.
I met a couple in the Dominican Republic and ran into them in New Brunswick, Canada. Neither of us were from there.
I ran into my 7th grade reading teacher at an airport in Thailand 12 years later. She had a really guilty look on her face.
I live in Australia and I have for almost my whole life but I was born in Dubai. Every weekend in Dubai my mum would take me to the Hilton beach club and sit me in front of the pastry chef and eat.
We moved away from Dubai really early on so I don't even remember much. Fast forward to 17 years of age, a new kid at school had just moved from a nearby town. We became friends and we both loved cricket, and we practiced a lot together. My dad and I were giving him a lift home after we were practicing and dad asks, "where were you born?"
He says. "Dubai." The conversation continues and I say I was too etc. then he says, "my parents used to be the pastry chefs at the Hilton beach club."
This blew me away. Here we were 16 years later, halfway across the world. Every weekend I sat in front of his parents and ate what they made for me. To this day I still get goosebumps thinking about it. I mean what are the chances?
In the extremely creepy Sedlec Ossuary. I was on a visit to Prague while travelling by myself and decided to take a day trip out to see the ossuary. I was there for half an hour at most, but while there, I ran into a guy I had randomly met at a hostel in Barcelona the year before.
That was quite the coincidence.
Some of this material has been edited for clarity.
When I was a dumb teenager in the 80s we would drive around town at night in my friends blue 66 mustang and spray people with an old water fire extinguisher.
Fast forward 10 years and I'm selling a house. Our primary buyer, an older retired lady, backs out last minute.
Our realtor drops by to tell my wife and I why. She explains that while waiting at our gate to be buzzed in some teenagers drove by and shot the old lady with a air soft gun. Damn.
She then continues... "Yeah, I don't know what's wrong with kids. When I first came to America 10 years ago we were sitting at a bus stop when a group of boys in a nice blue car drove up smiling. When they got closer they drenched us with some water spray...."
I came home from the Dominican Republic on Sunday. While I was there, I had a bit of health problems. As we were walking to the luggage pick-up, I was saying that I was going to talk to my Doctor ASAP. As I'm waiting to pick up my bags, the guy next to me says "Hey." I look over and it's MY FREAKIN' DOCTOR! Blew my mind!
Some of this material has been edited for clarity.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.