mardi, juillet 22, 2008

Strange Encounters

Today was a day that started off rather normally, then took a very odd turn. I slept in pretty late and then spent most of the day working on some blogging, doing dishes from last night, and otherwise trying to be a bit productive.

At sometime in the early afternoon, I got a call from someone at a Berlin land-line phone number. I wasn’t sure who it was, but when I answered, the male voice spoke in American English and and introduced himself with a name that sounded a lot like a person that I was supposed to meet in Berlin (a colleague of a colleague) sometime this week. So, without thinking too hard about it, we made a date to meet later that night for drinks in Prenzlauer Berg.

Later, I arrive at the station where we’re going to meet and start looking for this person, but only find a completely unknown guy standing around and apparently waiting for someone, too. After I made the round of all the exits of the S-Bahn and U-Bahn station there, it was almost 30 minutes later and I presumed that the date had fallen through. The person in question had said earlier that day that he didn’t have a cell phone, so there wasn’t any way to follow up.

As I got on the U-Bahn platform, I got a call from this same guy, asking where I was. I said I was on the platform, but that if he was there, I would head downstairs and meet him. When I did, I found the same unknown person waiting downstairs, looking around intently. I finally approached him and we had a really odd and awkward conversation where we tried to figure out how it is that we had made a date to hang out with each other when we had no idea who the other was.

As it turns out, he also knew the guy that I thought I had been meeting tonight. From what we could figure out, our shared acquaintance had given this guy my cell phone number instead of his, and then he called me and we had somehow misrecognized each other as this same person. It was the oddest thing.

Nonetheless, we can congratulate ourselves for the deft recovery of what could’ve been a failed and disappointing night. We went to a nearby internet place and looked up our shared acquaintance’s real cell number from my email records, and then we tried to call him and get him to come meet us. In the meanwhile, we wandered down Schönhauser Allee and grabbed a beer somewhere and chatted and got to know each other.

We never got a hold of this third person (although I eventually left a message on his answering machine that must’ve sounded hilariously unlikely), and instead we spend the rest of the night bar-hopping in the Prenzlauer Berg cluster of gay bars, eventually turning in for the night around 2am and taking the night bus to our respective homes.

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