Chance Encounter

Blogging Made Me Do It

This is a true story.

Chance encounters with people I have never met, but know by association happen to me a bit. I am gregarious enough to stop the stranger and ask if they are so and so and introduce myself. My hit rate is fairly good and buoyed by my successes I continue to risk embarrassing myself  to make the connection. But sometimes I put two and two together and come up with five.

It happened recently when I was flying interstate. Flying in the plane pictured was a surprise, and later the noise from the propellers proved annoying.

A Virgin Australia Regioanl Airlines ATR 72 at Brisbane. (Rob Finlayson)
ATR 72 Turbo Prop

I noticed her camera first. Then her hair. Beautiful wavy, thick grey and shoulder length. Memorable and distinctive for a women of a certain age. Her face was tanned and the right shape. Her body size matched and she was dressed in comfortable travelling clothes. I sifted my memory trying to find a match of photos of her face.

She was sitting next to a tall guy, but not her partner and normal travelling companion. All the while I was looking at them trying to not get caught staring.

They were discussing the shots she was taking. The photos were obviously important and if my hunch was right I knew where those photos would appear. Sitting in the window seat in the same row with an empty seat and the aisle between the bloke and myself, I strained to hear, listening for her American accent above the annoying noise of the propellers.

Her face and appearance. Tick. The camera, one of the tools of her trade. Tick. Accent, unsure. The destination (Canberra). Tick – she was heading home.

If it was her, she might even move into the empty seat next to me and we could chat for a while about our shared interest. Time was of the essence. Melbourne to Canberra wasn’t a long flight. Talking across the aisle, over the bloke and above the noise of the plane meant I would have to yell. If I didn’t do it and found out later my suspicions were correct, I would kick myself. Dammit I would do it. But I would pass her a note.

Wishing I had my  notepad I pulled out the paper bag and started to edit lines in my head and write. The encounter may be writing material for later. I composed the message so the burning question was on the reverse side of the paper. The note went something like this.

Hi, This is probably the first time you have been handed a message written on a sick bag on a flight. If you are not who I think you are, you will not understand my question and probably – turn over – think I’m a bit weird. Are you Leggy Peggy?  Louise, The Year I Touched My Toes.

I passed the bag to the bloke. He held the paper bag while they both read. So they were together then. I watched carefully as they read and turned it over. No reaction. I knew before they turned to me and both slowly shook their head, the answer was no. OK now I was a little embarrassed. I signed to pass the sick bag back. After adding that Leggy Peggy was a blogger and she reminded me a lot of her, I handed the bag back.

While I waited in the aisle to disembark I was able to explain myself more and why I thought she was Peggy. We talked briefly about what we were doing in Canberra, had a laugh and parted.

So this is what it has come to. Writing messages to strangers on planes. On sick bags.

I enjoy reading Leggy Peggy’s posts about her extensive travels overseas and adventures at home with her partner Poor John. If you need to research a country they probably have been there, so check it out. Her posts are interesting and often provide a good laugh. Especially her dog posts. Leggy Peggy’s Blog is  Where to next?

Oh and the sick bag? The woman kept it. My blog may have scored a couple of  hits.

11 thoughts on “Chance Encounter

  1. Oh gosh, what a lovely post. I wish it had been me! But the next time you’re in Canberra, give me a call. I’ll pick up up at the airport. We live just around the corner.

    And I did have an encounter like this once in Canberra on a wine tour. The gal sitting next to me said to the couple across from us—this is Leggy Peggy.


  2. What a fun post to read. I wish it had been her! But good on you for giving it a go … let’s face it you’d never have known if you hadn’t written that note. Love it. 🙂


  3. Thanks Miriam I had fun writing it. I had it in draft for three weeks and it had three different versions. My sister is a full time writer and she picked me up on a couple of things. I had it a bit ambiguous to start with. I am harbouring secret desires to write crime fiction … Thanks for your comment. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

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