Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Readers share stories of adventures traveling halfway around the world from home

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They say travel expands the mind. In a strange way, it can also shrink the world. I asked readers to share small-world coincidences they encountered while on vacation.

in 2016, Louisa Garland of Annapolis went on a three-week trip to Morocco. The tour guide for her group was a 32-year-old man from the Atlas Mountains who lived in Marrakesh.

“Two years later, in 2018, I was walking down the street in Copenhagen and stopped dead in my tracks,” Luisa wrote. “There was my Moroccan guide! We stopped and talked for a few minutes about the stillness of seeing again thousands of miles away.”

In 1998, Catherine Barron and her husband, EARLY – both teachers – took their 16-year-old son, Michael, on a trip to Europe. By the time they reached Prague, Michael had had enough of eating in European restaurants. He wanted pizza.

“The porter at our hotel said the best pizza in Prague was at a place just off the road, down a little walking street and down an even smaller street that dead-ended,” wrote Katerina, who lives in Fredericksburg. , Va. It was a challenge to find, but they found it.

“However, before we sat down, a voice we recognized called out to us – the voice of another teacher,” Catherine wrote. “It turned out that he, his wife and 16-year-old daughter were also traveling and the parents had heard the same request: pizza.”

In 1983, Alexandria Mary Goldwag and her husband, the D, made a trip to China. While Maria was in the ladies room at the Beijing Summer Palace, Ed chatted with another husband-in-waiting.

“When we both ladies came out and we all exchanged names, I discovered that the other lady was someone I knew,” Mary wrote.

It was her ninth-grade English teacher from Taft Junior High in Northeast DC “Since then, my teacher had graduated from law school and become a judge on the US District Court for the District of Columbia,” Mary wrote. “She later became chief justice.”

In 1994, rate AND Burt Kirschner were traveling to Israel with their friends Gloria AND Fred when Gloria noticed something in a bookstore window.

“I want to read that book,” Gloria said, running into the store.

Norma wrote: “We followed and Fred said, ‘We’ve got two more weeks here.’ Why keep it? When we get back to Silver Spring, you can buy it.’ “

A male customer in the store chimed in and said, “Silver Spring, Maryland? I just bought a house on Lamberton Drive.”

Norma said to Gloria, “Isn’t it here January AND Len lived?”

It turned out that the man had just bought the house of their friends Jan and Leni.

In 1972, Jim Yenckel boarded a train in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Singapore.

“Pulling my backpack over to my seat, I saw a woman sitting down whose face looked familiar,” wrote Jim, from the District.

Jim kept walking, then turned for a second look. At that time, the woman was standing.

“Yeah?” she asked. And then Jim knew.

“She was Dance, secretary at the English-language newspaper in Santiago, Chile, where I had worked eight years earlier,” he wrote. “I always have been Yesnot Jim, hers. Like me, she and her friend were exploring Southeast Asia.”

In the summer of 1973, Annapolis Bernie Wulff and his wife, Luiztook their daughters, Kathleen (then age 7) and Cynthia (then 5), on a six-week European vacation. While standing on a crowded Paris Metro platform near Notre Dame Cathedral, Louise mentioned that their daughters were the only small children she could make out, before adding, “Apart from that family over there.”

“That family over there” turned out to be friends from Baltimore with their two young children.

On a trip to Europe years ago, Terry Mitchell bumped into a lot of people he knew.

“I was working in the Pentagon press conference room and had just finished a briefing with a Marine general,” wrote Terry, of Alexandria. “The next day I flew and landed at Schiphol airport [in Amsterdam] and as I walked toward the plane, the general was standing there. He looked a little surprised as I greeted him.”

Next stop: Italy. Terry was standing outside a shop on the island of Capri in the pouring rain when a couple ran up to him.

“We used to ride the bus to Metro together,” Terry wrote.

On the way home from the same trip, Terry was delayed overnight at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. As the flight home was called for boarding, Terry and another woman stood up. She was a Pentagon correspondent who knew Terry from his work.

“We both said ‘What are you doing here?’ each other,” wrote Terry, “I should have bought a lottery ticket after that trip.”

tomorrow: More travel coincidences.

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