Has anybody had the experience of unexpectedly running into a friend or somebody you know during your travels overseas? Well, I â€˜m sure it’s happened to many people. It’s a small world after all! (an expression popularized by the Disney attraction in Anaheim) Let me tell you about a couple of my unusual encounters.
It was shortly before the Christmas Holidays in 1973, when I treated myself to a 3-week trip to Mexico as a gift to myself for graduating UC Berkeley. For the first week of my trip, I stayed in the ‘up and coming resort’ of Puerto Vallarta. My hotel, the Marsol was located at the beginning of the popular Playa de los Muertos on the southern end of the strip. Sauntering along the beach, I ran into David Whitehurst, a college roommate of mine during my senior year in college. He was vacationing with his father, a medical doctor and his younger brother. After graduating from college, Dave moved back to Chicago to live with his peeps. I spent over an hour chatting with Dave, mostly reminiscing about the wild times we had during our final year at college. Shortly before he returned to his hotel, I invited him to a party at the Marsol that I was involved in. That’s another story in its own right.
Well, after that one hour on the beach with ole Dave in Vallarta, I never saw him again. I’m guessing he’s either practicing medicine or ODed on drugs… oh well!
The next unusual story involves my parents, who were vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico sometime in the early 1980s. While walking around town, they were approached by a young American fellow who was aggressively hawking condo timeshares. Sizing up my parents, he was able to gather a lot of background information on them. Upon learning my parent’s last name and where they currently lived, a light bulb went off in the guy’s head. Apparently the young man grew up very in the same general vicinity (in the adjoining town). Chatting with my parents some more, the young man, asked my parents if they had a son about his age, to which they replied yes. Aha, the young man replied - “I think I know your son, Is his name Hanumann?” My parents nodded. The young man continued, “Believe it or not, I attended the same Junior High School, 1962-1965 with your son.” It’s definitely a small world after all!