Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Triple birthday coincidence

In the late 1980s, I worked behind the front desk at a small boutique hotel in Toronto. In total, there were 6 of us on staff who manned the front desk at various times, no more than 2 at a time. It came up in conversation during a shift that it was my birthday, and my co-worker said, "no way, it's my birthday too!" She showed me her driver's license to prove it because that seemed like a big coincidence.

Fancy Meeting You!

On a flight from Florida to Heathrow (UK), I told the pleasant stranger seated next to me that I was from the Isle of Wight, whereupon she said that her best friend lived there.

Las Amarillas Calandrias

I drew this self-portrait to give to my friend Daniel the last day I saw him, to remember me by, when I graduated from university. I had drawn myself releasing yellow birds from a cage and flying to him and singing along with his guitar-playing, as he sat inside the moon, above a desert night scene. I was purposely doing the picture of myself in the style of Frida Kahlo's magical realist self-portraits.

The Gas Cap

After graduating college, I took a long road trip with my best friend (very long - the Alaskan Highway). We took his car, and traded turns buying gas. At one gas station somewhere in a remote stretch of British Columbia or the Yukon Territory, it was his turn to buy gas, and he discovered upon opening the tank door that the gas cap was missing. There was only one real explanation and it was clear who to blame. We hadn't stopped since our last refueling a few hundred miles before, so I must have failed to replace the gas cap on his car at the last station.

Traveling in Europe

I was in Europe traveling with a tour group. We took a train from Paris overnight to Pisa. On the train myself & some other women on the tour met up, and hung out, with an older woman & her 40ist year old daughter - all partying in the dining car until it closed. We parted ways in Pisa. Our group toured Pisa then traveled to Florence to spend a day or so & tour there. We were then on to Rome for a couple days before we flew home.

Double chance meeting on the other side of the world

On a Saturday in my early 20's, I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Tokyo when I recognized a woman walking by as being someone I'd gone to high school with in Connecticut (USA). After I stopped her to say hello, her husband turned as well and he turned out to be someone I had gone to college with in Massachusetts.

An Irish-American in Paris

I am American and have worked in Paris for several years in real estate. I just started working at a new agency and was assigned certain neighborhoods to work on. I recently came into contact with a very good client,"Mrs. Cooper", a French woman who was married to an American, and had already sold property with our agency before I arrived. She now had another fabulous apartment to sell, an inheritance, that happened to be on one of my assigned streets. Before going to meet her for the estimation, I dug up her old file from the sale of her first apartment : property titles, etc.

Housing Chemistry

I attended high school in small-town New Hampshire and graduated in '89. I eventually settled in Boulder, CO. I recently sold my house in Boulder and the purchaser turned out to be my high school chemistry teacher from New Hampshire who I had not seen in 26 years. I recognized him the instant I walked into the closing. It brought back a flood of bad memories...I was a horrible chemistry student.

Where's my plane ticket?

Lost my plane ticket in Salzburg, Austria. Two weeks later I was in line at a hostel in Luxembourg and started talking to two guys in front of me, who I never met before. They recognized my name. They had found my plane ticket and tried to sell it.

German Soldier in Virginia

I was working in Virginia many years ago, with a lot of former military guys. One of them was telling a story about how, while stationed in Germany, he would get a lot of strange looks from locals when he went off-base in his uniform. I interjected -- "wouldn't you find a German soldier, fully armed, walking the streets of suburban Virginia, pretty odd as well?" That same day I went across the street to fill up my car. When I got out, there was a military Jeep being filled up on the same pump as mine, but on the other side. I looked at the man at the pump, and he was...