Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Last week my phone rang, 'Just thought you'd like to know that it's 32 degrees here, I've just selected which fish is about to lose its life and become my lunch and I'm having a beer.'

'You're a bastard, Dad.'

'Heh heh. Back on Sunday, talk to you then, bye!'

My father was in Bangkok *working*.

Okay, that sentence looks slightly sifty. He was actually working, arms dealers need conferences, didn't you know?

When he got back he was telling me that on the last day he went on a canal trip and then went and checked out the Grand Palace - where he bumped into two friends of his.

Of course he did.

So in a country that is about fifteen hours in a plane away from New Zealand, in a city with a population of around nine million, my father managed to bump into people he knew? Okay it was at a major tourist attraction, so that would bring chances down somewhat, but hell, that's quite a coincidence.

Or is it?

I was pondering this and when I trawled through my memory archive I discovered a few other wee coincidental pearlers lurking in dusty corners of my brain.

When we went to Malaysia I announced to the crew that the competition for the trip was to see who bumped into someone they knew.

The boys rolled their eyes a sighed a collective, 'Yeah right, Kate.'

Then, on the last day of the trip we were all shopping in a big mall and I looked up and said, 'Gidday Mary, hi Philly!' My team were speechless as I smugly introduced them all to one of my oldest friend's mother and her friend, who were stopping off on trip back from the Uk.

Guess who was little Miss Gloaty for the rest of that trip?

Another from the coincidence archive was when I was in Tokyo I was working with an Australian guy who when he met me said, 'I'd never really known any New Zealanders until last year when I was working in Breckenridge and I got to know a New Zealander really well....oh shit what was his name?'

Blank stare from me.

'Shit, what was his name?' (Is what he thought he said, what actually came out of his mouth was was 'Sheet, what was hees nayme?')

Another blank stare. ( I didn't think it was necessary to point out that -at that time- there were practically four million people living in New Zealand, so trying to guess would have been possibly just a little bit silly.)

'Shit. His father organised the Commonwealth Games.'

'Mike SonoffatherwhoorganisedtheCommonwealth Games,he's a friend of mine - I went to varsity with him.'

'Bloody hell, your country is small.'

When we considered that a New Zealander and an Australian discovered, when they were working in Tokyo, that they had a mutual friend who he had met in Colorado, we thought that was reasonably uncanny.

I'm on a roll now.

When my brother Sunshine and Mrs Sunshine were in Africa, they were hitching from Harare to Victoria and got a ride on the back of a ute. When they pulled into a service station they guy noticed Mrs Sunshine's NZ flag on her pack.

'You guys from New Zealand ? You don't happen to know a bird called Nicki W?'

'Umm, yes' said Mrs Sunshine, 'I used to flat with her.'

'Riiiight, I think you better come home with me.'

Nicki W had been staying with his neighbour for about three months.

This is Africa, people. It's a big place.

One more.

Years ago my sister won a national competition and went to the States, where she was staying along with about forty others from about twenty different countries. (Almost sounds like she was in a beauty competition, doesn't it?') She was in Texas where she was billeted along with a woman from Italy. They were looking at the photo albums of their hosts, from a trip they had made to Italy. And Big Sister's Italian friend found a photo of herself in there.


As you do.

Enough from me, I am now opening the floor, anyone else had weird coincidences? Or is it just that my family are never destined to win the lottery, but bump into random people we know in really obscure places all over the world?


Medbh said...

I need to travel more. When we move to a new place, there's always a period where I think I see people that I know and then realize I'm mistaken. Strange.

laughykate said...

Medbh, when you live in little wee country down the bottom of the world, you can't help but travel.

our hero said...

wrote a longish comment, got lost by blogger (or maybe moderation).

feh. short version:

sister #1 ran into our sister-in-law in a restaurant in denmark. Sister #1 lives in Chicago, sister-in-law lives in London. Neither knew the other was even traveling.

Sister #2 walks into a pub in Greece and sees the Australian owner of the pub (the Down Under) in San Diego, California where she's been hanging out for 4 years.

Neither sister is a big traveler. I however, have been traveling for work for the last 15 years, with over 500,000 air miles, and I have NEVER run into anyone I know!

plenty weird!

laughykate said...

That is classic! Just hold out that your one in a gajillion chance will come up with winning a lottery somewhere (and not getting an obscure disease).