Sunday, May 22 2005

Three times in a row now I’ve met the same man on my way to San Francisco while in and around the airport.

The first time, I saw him on a flight out and on a flight back. It was the first time I’d recognized someone I’d seen on a previous flight.

The second time, we both had 16F printed on our boarding pass. He’d gotten to the seat before me, so I let him have it. I sat next to him instead, and we talked about how crazy that was. I figured out he was a fellow geek (it was my assumption to begin with – not sure why) and said things like “they didn’t lock the record as we were both updating it” and stupid geek things like that. He has a really good laugh, and uses it a lot.

The third time, after parking my car in economy parking, he walked up to the bus pickup stop I was waiting at. We began talking – he commutes on a to San Francisco every Sunday night, returning Thursday. When I asked him what he did, he laughed nervously and said “I cannot say.” He has a heavy Indian accent and speaks like a lot of English speaking Indians – with a wider vocabulary and better command of the language than I have, but with a rolling accent. My brain has to work hard to understand him. I laugh, and say “Really? Top Secret eh?”.

He replies by first giving a huge belly laugh, then saying “No, really, I cannot say. You musn’t keep asking, I insist on having your consideration. If you keep inquiring about what I do I will laugh ever so hard. You will surely put me in a coma.” I draw the line at putting someone in a coma, so I stop asking. Anything less wouldn’t gain my compliance. We get on the shuttle. We get split up in the airport. When I board the plane and take my seat, he’s sitting at the window seat next me. Crazy!

We talk about the coincidence a bit, and for the rest of the flight we ignore each other. After the flight while in the terminal I stop to put on my jacket, and he stops next to me and says “tiny bits!”, raising his eyebrows at me, obviously excited. I say “sorry?” and he replies “I said tiny bits!” and starts laughing super hard. Puzzled by “tiny bits” I say “I don’t understand” and he responds “it’s what I do! Tiny bits! Everyday!” and begins laughing as he walks away.

I never did get to finish the conversation, as he essentially disappeared right after that. I’ll have to ask him the next time I see him.