Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of pics to include in this post, but it's one that I love and want to journal about because it deals with meeting new friends (and running into acquaintances) halfway across the world!
Australia didn't provide much in the way of random run ins...however, once we got to Bali, it was a different story. For one day, while Mr Fix It was out surfing in the ocean, he came in and mentioned that some guy walking by was named John as well (that's Mr Fix It's real name if you didn't know). I asked, "How do you know that?" He said, "Because he works in Huntington Beach about 10 minutes from us and he is friends with Pat." Pat is a friend of ours who attended our wedding with his wife, Shelley. I've known Pat and Shelley for over 10 years as their daughter grew up playing softball in the same league as Little Miss. We have been on teams together, coached together and Shelley and I served as board members on the softball board for a couple years together. How random that somehow Mr Fix It runs into a guy and strikes up a conversation with him about where he lives, works, etc and somehow it gets around to a mutual friend that doesn't often come up in our conversations. Very strange...
Then one day in Bali we headed down to a place called Bingins Beach where Mr Fix It likes to surf when he is in Indo. He told me about these little huts that people own and use for restaurants and to offer massages to surfers and others who come down to the beach. He took me to this one hut and when we walked up, the ladies there all came up and greeted "Mr. John." (I shared some pics and a post about the food here.) They remembered him from his last trip there which was four years ago! Mr Fix It had told me that they will remember you once you visit and won't forget your name, but I was totally surprised at how well they remembered him. So much so, that one of the elderly ladies asked him 'where his lady friend was.' He didn't really respond and she said, "You had a girl friend with you that I gave a massage to...where is she?" Mr Fix It laughed and said "Watch it...I'm here with my wife now!" I asked about this girl and found out it was a spanish girl that Mr Fix It had met on his last solo trip to Indo and he hung out with her for a bit. Though they 'hooked up' he swears he wasn't intimate with her and I laughed...turns out that it was during the year that Mr Fix It and I had taken a break from our dating relationship so what did I care. We all thought it was funny how the woman 'threw him under the bus' in front of his wife.
At our resort in Bali, Mr Fix It befriended a couple who was celebrating their honeymoon on their one year wedding anniversary. They lived in South Africa and though Mr Fix It had run into the guy several times and had a few surf conversations with him, it wasn't til the very last morning that we were leaving that I met his wife. They invited us to sit with them at breakfast as we were both leaving the resort that day. We literally sat for probably 3 or 4 hours just getting to know them and sharing stories about our lives and countries and such. We talked about politics and our election system and religion (found out we are both Christians and they have served in mission trips)...it was great. By the time we left, we had gotten their names and e-mail address and they had extended an invitation for us to visit them in Durban, South Africa for a surf trip. Mr Fix It *insists* that we will absolutely be connecting with them and trying to meet up some time in the next few years for a South Africa trip. :)
While hanging with the couple from South Africa, he told us a story about how he almost got into a fight with another surfer out in the water one day. The other guy had been cutting him off catching waves and what not. He then proceeded to tell us how convicted he felt about telling the guy off and threatening him and so he went back over to him a little later and apologized and had a short conversation with him. We kind of laughed about it. Later that afternoon, we headed off to the airport and began our plane trips back to LAX. Once we arrived in LAX (like 21 hours later), we were waiting for our luggage and then in the customs line. Mr Fix It made friends with a guy who was standing near us and had just returned from Bali as well. They began talking about how much they love Indo and surfing and what they do for a living. Then randomly, the guy mentions this altercation he got into with another South African while surfing in Indo one day. Turns out, we had run into the same guy that our South African friend had told us about! So random.
We totally laughed about it and told him how we had become friends with that guy. Isn't funny how in this huge world, somehow, we are able to make it all seem so small by the friendships and encounters that we build along the path of our life?
Have you ever had any random run ins while far away from home?
3 hours ago