Tuesday, August 4, 2009

An Extremely Unlikely Encounter

On Saturday, August 1st, Erin and I flew from Merida to Mexico City. Apart from being a tad bumpy, it was a completely normal, two or so hour flight... until we landed.

When our plane docked at the terminal and everyone stood up, I began my compulsory scanning of the people around me. After about a minute or two, someone several yards in front of me caught my eye. The profile looked extremely familiar, and then he turned to look at me. Our eyes locked in a confused stance for a period of time that, while short, would normally have been well over the awkward stranger stare. Then he smiled, snapped his head up in a quick, salutatory nod, and lightly yelled "Como estas!?". I couldn't respond as I had started laughing, returned the nod, and then turned to Erin to tell her who was on the plane. It was Ricardo, a Mexican classmate of ours for several levels in our Italian study in Florence!

When we deplaned, we met in the terminal, all completely stunned smiles and laughs. I had forgotten that Ricardo lives in Merida, and it just so happened that he was on the same flight as us to visit his family in Mexico City. I'm not much of a believer in destiny, but Mexico City is either the second or third most populated city in the world; home to some 22,000,000+ inhabitants.

I sorely regret that we didn't think to get a picture with him in the rush and haze, but we exchanged emails and will be in contact. This leaves me with two concrete goals: reestablish contact with some of the other classmates from Italy, and strengthen my Spanish to a respectable level.