Travel & Chance EncountersPosted on November 24, 2013
(Apologies for the poor quality of the below photo; however, the story is what matters the most.)
Early on in my trip to Buenos Aires, my friend and I attended a tango show one night and was your typical tango performance that was geared towards tourists. None of the performers stood out save for one-a man in his 20s with dreadlocks that went down his back. He played the accordion which is a rather critical instrument in the world of tango music and so it was easy to remember him. More than a week later my friend and I were at the Buenos Aires airport waiting to board our flight back to the United States and lo and behold there standing in line was the same accordion player with dreadlocks. Buenos Aires is an extremely large city (near to three million people), not to mention what were the odds that this individual would take the same exact flight as us? We never had the chance to talk with him so I have no idea if he was Argentine, from Miami (where the flight was headed to) or was simply transiting to another locale like we were. But when you are a white Bob Marley, it’s easy for people to remember you and remember I did.
The same type of thing had happened six years prior when I traveled to Mexico as an exchange student in high school. My flight from Newark Airport to Mexico City was predominantly Mexican (yes, go figure); however, in addition to myself there were a few individuals who weren’t. Well, there was one group that stood out as they were neither American nor Mexican, but rather British. The parents were young and blond and their child who looked to be about five was even blonder. When we arrived in Mexico City, I ended up going north to the colonial city of Queretaro where my program was and so I have no idea where this British family went off to then. Flash forward a month and while sitting in the food court area of the Benito Juarez Airport, lo and behold there was the same British family again. I couldn’t believe my eyes that the family would be traveling back to the United States on the same day as me as well as on the same flight back. As big of a city as Buenos Aires is, Mexico City is even bigger not to mention the country of Mexico is expansive as well. I was only 16 at the time and too shy to speak with them but I know if anything like that happened again now, I would for sure. You don’t encounter many Americans who travel into the heart of Mexico and so to have seen this British couple doing so with their very young son, well, it was a most impressive of sight.
For me, one of the coolest things about travel are chance encounters such as these.
Have you ever had a chance encounter when traveling?