Saturday, June 15, 2013


What are the odds? Two days ago, I randomly sat down next to a guy at lunch at the aviation safety conference - in the southeast sector of Paris. Never saw him before in my life, never expected to see him again. Had a pleasant conversation with him and his colleagues.

Paris is about 500,000 square kilometres in size, and there are about 12 million people in the metropolitan area. Not counting the business visitors and tourists.

Today, I was in the Marriott on the Champs Elysee, which is more in the centre west part of Paris, a good 15-20 km from where we were Thursday. I was seated in the lobby, skyping with Donna-Lane for a few minutes and getting ready to write a magazine article.

"Hi. Aren't you the guy who lives in the south of France?"

It was random table-mate from Thursday. As I had semi-randomly ended up in the Marriott to use the free WiFi, he had semi-randomly wandered in to check their room rates.

After he'd left and after I'd written and sent the article off to the editor, along with a video interview I'd produced earlier, I packed up and drifted over to the concierge. (Before random guy had shown up, I had been curious about the hotel's rates.)

"How much is your rack rate for a single?"

"Right now, it's 999 Euros, sir."

Oh, good. I was afraid it might be expensive, like 1000 Euros a night or something.

After the media dinner - and several very pleasant conversations - I wandered the streets with a distinguished journalist I'd met for the first time Thursday (a few minutes before meeting random guy), then caught the Yellow M-1 Metro train at the Franklin D. Roosevelt station. And this time, I found the 144 bus stop at La Defence, which got me most of the way home.

It was nearly midnight when I punched in the code to open the outside door to the apartment building. Then, as I was fishing in my backpack for the apartment key and the electronic fob to open the inner door - not easy in the mostly darkness - in walks M. She was just getting home also. No need for the fob now.

Coincidence? Convergence? Should I buy a lottery ticket? (Actually, life is pretty good. Don't really need all that money ... nor all the new 'friends' and long-lost relatives who would come out of the woodwork. Probably just give most of it to charity.)

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