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Thread: It really is a small world!

  1. #1
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    Cool It really is a small world!

    The celebrity encounter thread made me think about a conversation we had at work recently about our world being so small, the whole 6 degrees of separation, etc.

    Here are my 2 favorite stories-

    I was in Paris this spring, on top of the Eiffel Tower, and this guy walks past me with a baseball cap on that says Tybee Island, which is about 4 hours from Atlanta. I said, hey, I'm from Atlanta, and he said, wow, we live about 2 hours from Atlanta. Then another random guy turned around and said, we live in Atlanta too! THEN, this other guy walking past said, we're from Birmingham but we flew out of Atlanta yesterday. I was on top of the Eiffel Tower, people! How strange was that!!

    Then, later in the trip, we were in Amsterdam at this bar and an English gentleman started a conversation with us. He asked where we were from, and I told him, and he said, oh, I met a guy from Atlanta once. And it turns out that the guy he met from Atlanta WORKS FOR MY COMPANY!!! In this building!

    Anyway, I'm sure there are other great stories like this out there.

  2. #2
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    Here's my favorite small world story:

    When my DH (BF at the time) & I were in college at Texas A&M, he had a roommate his junior year from Seattle that he didn't get along with much. The roommate's girlfriend, who was very nice, was also from Seattle. They only roomed together one semester and then went on their separate ways.

    Fast forward about 4 years. We're now living in Eugene, Oregon, and I had joined an internet mailing list for beagle owners. We had gotten one of our beagles, Nacho, when we were in College Station, and he came with us to Oregon when we moved. I lurked on the list for awhile before joining in, only to discover that another list member turned out to be DH's old roommate's girlfriend (now his DW), and they owned Nacho's littermate!


    I'm betting there would be some great small world stories just between the people on this board, if we knew the right questions to ask each other.

  3. #3
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    My college friend and I went to Europe the summer after our junior year. We ran into people she knew at the Eiffel Tower and on the street in Amsterdam!

    I wonder what percentage of Americans have a "6 degrees of separation" story related to September 11. It just seems like everyone was touched in some way. Like my sister's friend's friend who made it out of the WTC but was severely injured. And my former professor's son who worked at the WTC but was late to work that day.

    Gaye

  4. #4
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    I'm way too close to WTC to play that game! My office is 7 miles from there so I am connected to way too many of those folks!

    I have lots of "small world" stories. The most recent one was last week. I was looking the engagement announcements in the paper last Saturday and I see a name that I know from way back. I used to play with this girl, Tracy, before I was even in kindergarten. I was probably 3 or 4 years old. I always kind of wondered what happened to her. Then I read the announcement and see that she works with my best friend- on the same floor, but not the same dept.

    Also, while reading the engagements once more, I saw that an old friend of mine from high school got engaged to an old (sort of) friend of DH. Of course, DH and I cannot go anywhere without someone recognizing him. We were at a concert with hundreds of people and some girl from high school who he hasn't seen in over 10 years recognized him. We were at a park last Thanksgiving and this girl who is there with her boyfriend asks him if his name is Kyle. She never met him, but knows his sister- who obviously described him to a t! Weird.

  5. #5
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    My dad and stepmom both went to the same university at the same time. Turns out, my stepmom's first husband lived on the same dorm floor as my father. My dad and stepmom didn't meet then, but 20 years later they did. They are so perfect for each other, I always wonder what might have been had they found each other back then. Of course, I guess I wouldn't be here!

  6. #6
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    I have to add another Paris story!

    A few months before I left to study abroad in France, several people in my residence hall told me I just had to meet another woman who lived in our dorm who had studied in France the year before. But we never connected (a feat on a campus of 7500- you got to know EVERYONE after four years!). I even saw pictures of her when I stopped by her room to chat- she was just never around.

    So, fast foward to my first week in France- a random street in Paris that I wouldn't be able to find again if my life depended on it. And guess who I ran into? Yep, she had been in Paris visiting friends for part of the summer.

    In a college bible group I met a guy who was born in the same hospital on the same day as me.

    My brother ran into one of our childhood babysitters in the Manila, Phillippines airport a few years ago. He was leaving after a summer's mission work, she was arriving to visit family. I can't believe he even recognized her, after 20 -odd years.
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  7. #7
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    when DH started his job, he met a guy who was maybe 20 years older than him... they got to talking since they both used to live in NY. DH asked 'J' where he used to live...DH said, "i lived in that town too!' so J said which street/apartment building he lived in, and DH said, "that is where we first lived when we came to this country!" (DH came to the US from russia when he was 4 years old). so J said, "i lived on the 3rd floor" and DH said, "We lived on the 3rd floor!"... and they lived there at the same exact time! well, J didn't exactly remember this 4 year old russian kid, but J had a black fluffy dog that my DH totally remembers. talk about a small world!

    another paris story, but maybe not as cool... we asked some people (in french) to take a picture of us at the place de la concorde... turns out they didn't speak french - they were tourists too, and live about 20 minutes away from us...

  8. #8
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    Speaking of It's a Small World...
    We took the boys to Disneyland this past summer and some people behind us in line for the Matterhorn (I think that was it's name) were from Nampa, Idaho. That is a city about 10 miles from Boise, where we live. The most significant thing, I thought, was how small the population of Idaho is to begin with. Weird. It would've been more weird to run into someone else across the world who we were actually acquainted with. The story about the Manila airport blows my mind!
    Suzy

  9. #9
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    I will add my European stories to the mix. I went to Europe with my ex (then BF) in 1985. We were wandering around Zurich about 1:00 am after frequenting a festival down by the river and ran into an old elementary school mate of my BF's. Just so happened we had a hotel room with 4 beds and he and his buddy were looking for a place to sleep. Then about 2 weeks later I was sitting on the steps of a penzione (sp?) in Florence and guy who had lived in my apartment complex when I was a sophomore in college ended up staying at the same place. Definitely is a small world!

  10. #10
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    I have a funny small world story.

    DH and I got married 3 years ago (next week!). We had a beautiful wedding, and had a wonderful honeymoon.

    We were at the airport in Dallas, boarding our plane to go back home, and this guy taps DH on the arm and says "did you get married last weekend?" We say "yes" and it turns out that he was at our wedding! He was the husband of one of my mom's co-workers, which is why we didn't recognize him right away.

    Also, there may be another one here....boisewinesnob, I used to work for a company that has a plant in Nampa, ID. Woodgrain Millwork...I worked for one of their subsidiaries in Iowa.

    P.S. Laura, where did you end up eating when you were in Des Moines?
    Last edited by LaraW; 10-18-2001 at 04:15 PM.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by aggie94

    I'm betting there would be some great small world stories just between the people on this board, if we knew the right questions to ask each other. [/B]
    I think Eva's right. For a while, I've had my suspicions that Laura and I used to work for the same company in Colorado ... Laura, you may have sat a few yards away from my old office. (Does CLS mean anything to you?) I've never posted anything as I didn't want to come off as a cyber stalker, and I'm always a bit cautious when posting to the internet.

  12. #12
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    My strangest small-world story also deals with Disneyworld in Orlando. My son and I were there along with my mom and dad. The first day, we walked up to entrance gate number 387 out of 4 million (ok...slight exaggeration)...just gate in random along with the many many other people in line. The person directly in front of me look amazingly familiar. I tried to peer around to get a slightly better look. No wonder she looked familiar....it was one of my favorite high school teachers!! Same gate, same minute, right next to each other.

    The other small-world story is slightly more embarrassing because of a confession. Former boyfriend (AGES ago) invited me to go to a Nascar race in Atlanta. Ok..not exactly my cup of tea, but sure...why not...I'd never been to a race. Couldn't TECHNICALLY say I didn't like it if I'd never been. (I hope this doesn't offend anyone...but I figured the "fans" would be entertainment enough...counting tattoos, black t-shirts, folks who should NOT be wearing what they're wearing. ;-)) Didn't tell a soul I was going. Huge race!! HUNDREDS of people literally piling through the gates....I hear a voice yell my name. It was a guy who worked with me!! Same gate, same minute...right next to each other. Ouch!! Busted.

    Yep...the world is too small.

  13. #13
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    My DH and I were on our honeymoon in Jamaica. One afternoon, we sat down at the bar next to an older couple that had also just been married. It was the 2nd marriage for both, and they both had grown kids.

    We start to talking, and DH told them we are from PA. He mentions the name of the dinky little town in PA where he grew up. This woman says "My 1st husband was from there, and we lived there while we were married"! Turns out they knew tons of the same people.

    Every time my DH travels to Japan on business, he'll wear something that says "Penn State" and it never fails that he is approached by at least 5 people who tell him they went there too, or have a family member who did.
    In a nutshell, I'm saying no to fishbread.
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  14. #14
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    I thought of another one!

    In the mid-late 90's I worked at Ohio University in Athens, O, coordinating international programs. One exchange was with a university in Denmark and one of the students who came from Denmark to Ohio for the year had previously lived in the U.S. as a young girl.

    Turns out she spent several summers in Sequim, a town of 3500, on Washington State's rather remote Olympic Peninsula, where I grew up.
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  15. #15
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    Most of my 'what are you doing here' encounters seem to take place in airports.
    Years ago, my childhood BF and her family went to live in England for a year, and the very day they departed, my family and I were on our way to a two week 'tour of Europe.' Imagine our astonishment!

    Another, more convoluted series of encounters had its' roots in that same 'tour of Europe' trip, when it turns out that one of the women we met (and shared a dinner table every night with on our cruise) was classmates (maybe roommate?) with the wicked stepmother who entered our lives after my mom died. Also, this same dinner-table-sharing woman's husband and my dad routinely bumped into each other in various airports around the country for the next few years.

    I'd share more, but they're usually of the 'oh, what are you doing here and how can I get myself away from you quickly' variety.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
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  16. #16
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    Several years ago my ex (then boyfriend) were invited to the wedding of his ex who he hadn't talked to in several years. We declined to go only because we already had vacation plans to go to the Bahamas and to Disney World during that same time.

    So, we're in the Bahamas on the second day of our trip (we were only going to be in the Bahamas for 3 days and 2 nights). We decided to get up early and hit the market before we do the rest of our tours that day. It was very early and the market was bare. So, who do we run into at the very first shop that we go to, but the aforementioned ex and her new husband. They were on a cruise of the islands and just happned to stop that particular island on that particular day at that particular time. I thought it was pretty neat.
    Last edited by NydiaC; 10-19-2001 at 09:32 AM.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

    --Thoreau

  17. #17
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    small town, small world

    I am from Wisconsin, went to college in Lynchburg, Va.. For starters, the first person I met there was from Iola, WI were I ended up getting my first job. Town population is under 1,000. Anyway, I had never heard of the town until meeting her. Now, I've been here almost three years and live down the road from her parents.

    Almost as good ... My senior year, I didn't get too involved with my dorm because of other worries. At the end of the first semester, I was talking to one of the freshmen on my hall. I asked, "Where are you from?" Her reply: Wisconsin. I said, "You're kidding, where?" Her reply: Pound. I remember being quite confused because that is my home town of about 400 people where everybody knows everybody. Turned out she was a distant cousin I had never met. Weird.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by LaraW


    P.S. Laura, where did you end up eating when you were in Des Moines?
    Well in terms of eating it was a horrible trip. We got in way too late on Thursday, so I figured since our last game finished around 5 on Friday we would be able to hit one of the restaurants you mentioned. Of course the first shift of the game, one of the boys who my SO is a guardian for broke his leg so we spent the rest of the evening in 2 separate ER's. Then on Saturday night we came back to the room after the 2nd game and stuffed ourselves on junk because we had forgotten to eat earlier in the day and didn't feel we could justify a nice meal. Sunday we left right after the morning game so had no option there either. We went to the downtown area when we had to go to the second ER but never got any closer to any of the restaurants you mentioned. Des Moines has this tournament every year however so I will keep the list handy in case I go back. I appreciate all your input.

  19. #19
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    When I was 16, I met this guy Tony while I was skiing. He was my first kiss; we "dated" for maybe a month before I called it quits with him. He lived nearly 30 miles away, I didn't have a license, so it was all long-distance. All told, we probably saw each other 5 times for a few hours at a time, bundled in ski clothes.

    Fast-forward 6 years. We've had no contact with each other since wayyy back when. I'm at a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert (maybe it was Cherry Poppin' Daddies? don't remember), and I was really into the "swing" craze. I'm there with a few friends, but this guy who's all decked out in costume asks me to dance for a while. I did, I said thanks, and then I moved on.

    Later, he dances with my friend. She brings him over to introduce him to all of us, and just as I"m about to say my name, he says, "I know who you are." It was him.

    Let's just say that I did a good thing by cutting him loose.
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  20. #20
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    Thought of yet another one!

    Sorry, these just keep coming to me. Can't believe I didn't think of this one sooner, 'cause it's the best one I have!

    I went to graduate school in Ohio and one of my fellow students was from Puebla, Mexico- a city of 2.5 million people.

    When I found out where Rodrigo was from, I told him that a roommate of mine in France was also from Puebla, and jokingly asked him if he knew Cesar ***. Turns out the families were longtime friends and Cesar and Rodrigo had grown up together, attending the same schools, etc. Rodrigo had come the U.S. to study for the first time the same year that Cesar went to France.

    Thought I'd entered the Twilight Zone.
    If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

  21. #21
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    LaraW,
    just to get back to you on the Nampa, Idaho co (in case you are in suspense!), I have heard of the place, but don't know anyone who works out there. But I do have another story:
    I work at a hospital in Boise, Idaho. About a month ago they posted an announcement on corp email that they had hired this new guy to be head of Medical something-or-other (it's not really called that!...just can't remember). They mentioned that his last job was some Naval organization in Iceland. Well, my best friend from high school's little sister is a teacher now at the US school in Iceland. I thought, How big can that place be? So I email the new guy and ask, "do you know so-and-so?". And, of course, he knows her because she taught his son.
    Suzy

  22. #22
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    When my son graduated from college, he sent out a resume to a company in Oregon. After the telephone interview, they invited him for a visit. He accepted and said he would rather fly out of Indianapolis[closer to his college] than Chicago because of traffic, etc. The owner asked if he was from Chi. and he said he wass from Indiana. Well, when told the name of the town, she said she wass born and raised there! He got the job. Vicky

  23. #23
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    Re: small town, small world

    Originally posted by JenZen
    I am from Wisconsin, went to college in Lynchburg, Va.
    Did you go to Randolph-Macon Woman's College by any chance?

  24. #24
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    LauraB,

    Nope. Liberty University. Were you at Randoph?

  25. #25
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    Years ago I was visiting a friend of mine in Chicago for a girls' weekend. The whole weekend, my friend kept referring to Kim, a new friend she had made. She really wanted us to meet because she thought we would get along well, but Kim was busy and we couldn't work it out.

    When I got on the plane to go home, I got to talking to the woman sitting next to me and she turned out to be my friend's friend Kim. She was a lovely woman and I was glad to have the chance to meet her after all.

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by JenZen
    Nope. Liberty University. Were you at Randoph?
    Yes, I went to R-MWC. But, only for one year and then I transferred back home (SC). Some of my friends went to bible study over at Liberty and had some of their friends from Liberty over to visit a few times.

  27. #27
    I worked at a coffee bar at UC Santa Barbara while I was in college there. I had lots of regular customers who would order the same thing every time (I worked the night shift near the library, so I filled lots of orders for triple and quadruple mochas!).

    I went trekking around Europe after college, and in a small town in Switzerland went out for drinks with my friends and some guys we'd met. The bar turned out to be packed with backpackers. I saw a face I recognized... my nightly customer who always ordered a double nonfat mocha with mint! I went over and recited his order, and he laughed and said he had to buy me a beer for keeping him in coffee for two years. We sat and talked for a few hours... funny that I learned more about him in one night than I did in two years of making his coffee! And we knew lots of the same people, but had never met before. Strange!

  28. #28
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    Since someone mentioned that there might be small world encounters on this board thought I'd mention one that just happened on the "what do you do for a living" thread (I'm not sure that's the title but you know which one I'm talking about). Turns out Catharine is in her last year at George Mason Law School in Virginia and took civil procedure from my brother who is a professor there! So, yes this BB is also a small world.

  29. #29
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    I'll add one more...

    After college, my roommate and I went backpacking around Europe. While we were in Salzburg, I think it was, we were just walking around the city and someone from behind says my name. It was a high school classmate. Also, we were staying in a woman's home, sort of a B&B, and when we checked in, she mentioned that two more girls would be checking in shortly (the room slept four). Turns out the two girls were from my hometown, and one went to high school with my roommate! We met several more people from Milwaukee, Wisconsin while on that trip! Wierd!

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