Thursday, April 26, 2012


Today I'm going to tell you a story. It might be my favorite story from our whole entire trip. It's not a big story or a long story (although I'll likely make it so) but it is a true story and one that brings a smile to my heart.

W is for what are the odds?

On the last day of March the hubs and I were sitting in a little burger restaurant in the middle of Hong Kong with our friends G and A. We'd been out walking and talking and had taken the mid-level escalators into the central part of town. These escalators are a must-see if you're ever in Hong Kong.

Did you know Hong Kong is incredibly steep and hilly? Honestly the women here must all have great legs because you literally have to climb a mountain to get anywhere. Maybe you knew this about Hong Kong but I didn't. Since it is so steep and hilly someone had the brilliant idea to put a series of escalators and moving sidewalks smack dab in the middle of the city.

Keep in mind Hong Kong is positively teeming with people so their escalator system helps with the flow of foot traffic up and down the slopes. The mid-level escalators run downhill from 6- 10 in the morning to help with commuters traveling to work and then switch to uphill mode from 10:30 until midnight. The system consists of 20 escalators and 3 moving sidewalks with a vertical climb that's close to 450 feet. They're the longest covered escalators in the world and if you rode from beginning to end it would take you about 25 minutes.

Super cool.
But nearly impossible to capture in a photograph.
So I didn't.

Besides helping commuters get around, the central escalators are also a pretty big tourist attraction. Running all along the street beside the escalators are restaurants, bars, and shops. It was in one such little burger place that we found ourselves on this sunny Sunday afternoon at the end of March.

The little burger place had a glass front that faced the central escalators so we planted ourselves on four stools in front of the window to watch the world go by. There are more than 8 million people living in this city so there is plenty to see. Hubs hopped outside to snap a few photos and we were enjoying our french fries and chit chat when A asks, "Hey, do you think there's anybody in this city that we know?" Hmmm...good question.

As we're mulling the thought over in our heads G points to the escalator platform outside our window and says, "Well do you know that guy because he definitely acts like he knows you?"

We glance over and see two tall men standing on the platform looking back at us. Hubs noticed the taller of the two first and while he was wracking his brain trying to decide if he knew this man thru work I shouted, "Oh my goodness-that's PJ!!" which of course is not his real name but that's what he'll be called here.

PJ just so happens to be one of my most favorite boy people in all the world. He went to high school in England with my girls and spent a lot of time with daughter1 especially. My girls knew whenever his name came up I could be counted on to start talking about the beauty of arranged marriages. Other mothers do that too, right?

He happened to be in Hong Kong for the weekend and I'm wondering what are the odds that in a city of more than 8 million people on the other side of the world we'd be sitting in that little restaurant, right in front of the window, at the exact moment he passed by and happened to look over? The odds have got to be something like a thousandmillionhundred to one don't you think?

Now I'm going to insert the super freaky crazy bit here and hope he doesn't read my blog. Because even to me it sounds a little nuts and I'm the one telling it.

We haven't seen PJ in more than five years nor have we been in touch with his family, BUT...about four days prior to seeing him on the street in Hong Kong I had a dream and he was in it. In my dream he was running around Hong Kong with daughter1. Daughter1 who at this very moment is probably wishing her mother didn't blog but hey, if I can't talk about the crazy here then tell me where I can. Because this was ca-razy.

I actually woke up from that dream and sent daughter1 a text message telling her about it in that 'haha guess what kind of crazy dream I had last night' sort of way. Four days later, and here we are...standing in the middle of Hong Kong catching up face to face.

There's a word they use in England that fits nicely here and that word is gobsmacked. It means astounded... flabbergasted. It comes from the word gob meaning mouth and smacked meaning clapping the hand over in surprise.

Yep. We were all gobsmacked.

Not so much so that we didn't get a picture but gobsmacked nonetheless.


  1. Yes, other mothers talk about arranged marriages...even from the nursery. :)

    How cool that you met up with PJ! That is ca-razy!

    If I had just had the dream a few days earlier, I would be trying to figure out some hidden meaning in the meeting in Hong Kong and I'd drive my hubs ca-razy with my crazy talk. :) It's just tooo weird, don't ya' think! Hm.

  2. Those escalators are something else! And wow on the dream then seeing PJ. That is weird. I am like Angie I would probably be trying to figure it out. lol I am going to miss traveling with you when we are finished with A to Z, tell your hubby he is just going to have to take you along somewhere else. lol.
    until next time... nel

  3. Fantastic story - hope you will now keep in touch with PJ.

  4. Thanks for the definition of gobsmacked. Now I understand the name of the candy called gobsmackers.

  5. I don't believe there are such things as coincidences, your meeting up with "PJ" is such a gift!

    As for the stairs, I did sit here for a moment looking, looking...

    Tijuana is a steep city too--though not as photogenic. I've been there on three mission trips, and just walking "up" the street was a workout. I get it. I wish I had it here, the calves could use some "cut."

  6. What a great story! And how incredible is that! A few months ago my husband had gotten on a plane to fly to Seattle and thought he recognized the young man sitting next to him. Turns out he was right. It was a kid we knew who used to take violin lessons at MacPhail where our daughter took lessons. My husband was on his way to Denver and this kid was on his way to Dallas. And they ended up being booked in seats next to each other.

    But I'd say my story was semi-gobsmacked, while yours is full-blown gobsmacked! :-)

  7. Amazing that you actually saw someone you knew. Back when Hubby lived there, it seemed all the pilots and their families lived up above the city, where it was a bit cooler.

  8. Indeed, what are the odds! Ca-razy! ;-)

  9. Coincidence or fate? Time will tell, but pretty amazing no matter what.

  10. Just when we think the world is so big...And I do might or might not have an understanding about those mother arranged marriages. ;)

  11. I am just astounded! What are the chances of something like that happening? I'd say it was meant to be, wouldn't you?

  12. that is crazy--what are the odds--and i agree, there is nothing wrong with a little mom arranging ;)

  13. Wow! What are the chances, is right?! It really is a small world, huh?

    I'm still trying to picture those escalators and moving sidewalks in my head...can't wrap my mind around that one! LOL

  14. This does not totally shock and amaze me because my travel companion (Hubs) is known to run into peeps he knows all over the world! Really. On our Sabbatical trip by the time we got to Venice and the third random coincidental running into... the kids were 'over' the shock and awe and were starting to look for people Dad might know. Ha.
    Maybe a sign? Perhaps Daughter1 and PJ need to reconnect...? ;)

  15. Ok... I don't believe "everything" happens for a reason, but I also don't believe in coincidence either... (go figure) but it does seem like the odds were not in your favor for this meeting to be pure coincidence so I would tell daughter 1 to get mentally prepared! (kidding!) We d have friends who have sons who live on the other side of the country from us that we (semi) jokingly told them for years that we had arrainged for them to marry. It was funny that last time we were all together there did seem to be a small spark between Allison and their younger son, but you know how that ended. I really love the young men they have chosen and am glad everything turned out the way it did.

  16. Amazing! And what fun.

    If you get that arranged marriage thing worked out, let me know. :)

  17. WOW that is too cool and what are the chances! I think your dream before hand is some kind of gift of predicting the future......! Wow what a story!

  18. You are hilarious! Ca-razy!!! I jokingly arrange marriages with other Mom's but my kids are little...I suppose I'll still do it when they're older too. I know a lady in our church always says she had a list of three...and her daughter married one of the guys on the list. HAHA!

  19. now thats a cool story, first I'm amazed at the escalators I never knew this!!!1
    Now to see someone from the past or that you actually know in a city that big borders on the highly super duper amazing!!!

  20. How CRAZY!!! It must be a sign . . . PJ looks like a nice boy.

    You look very pretty in purple!

  21. Cue the song -- "It's a small world after all.." Such a fun thing!

  22. Oh, I totally do the arranged marriage bit too. And this "meeting" really was ca-razy! How small is the world!

  23. I would be dumbstruck to see 'moving sidewalks/stairways!!!! What an incredible story and adventurous time in Hong Kong. Loved your share.

  24. That is such a cool story!

    Gobsmacked. I like that word. : )

  25. "Gobsmacked" is one of my favorite British words, and it sure applies here. How freaky ... in a good way. ;)

  26. Wow! What an incredible story!!! I've had a few moments like that...going up an escalator...seeing a friend from years ago going down the an airport in D.C. Weird. Random

    We've also caught a connecting flight only to have someone from back home catching the same connecting flight...way out West...with them coming from a completely different direction.

    Love these God moments!!!

  27. What a wonderful chance meetin' for ya'll. I must say ya'll are so darn stinkin' cute in those pictures too.

    I can't imagine how fun your gobsmacked experience was!

    Have yourself a perfectly blessed and beautiful day sweetie!!! :o)

  28. That is a perfect word, I can't believe how that all came about! This really blows my mind and I can't wait to share it with my family. By the way Hong Kong sounds amazing.