I laugh at myself when I am writing this post because I never believe I will bump into the same stranger several months later. This stranger is a passenger I remember who sat across from me on the same Metro car several months ago. Rarely do I remember the faces on the bus or on the Metro if I hadn’t taken the same ride at the same time over and over again–yes, just like the movie “Groundhog Day.” And this stranger falls exactly into this hypothesis.

Several months ago, he sat at the seat on the same Metro car at the same time every morning for a good several weeks. Of course, as a commuter, I also have my “favorite spot.” So for those several weeks, or perhaps for those couple of months,  there was such a stranger–dark-skinned, bald-headed guy, aged between late 30s and early 40s, often  in short jean pants up to his knees and black sneakers–sitting on the first row of chair by the door.

I did once ask myself how long would this guy taking the same ride in the same car with me. Maybe a couple of weeks, I thought. But in fact, it lasted longer than that. So as time went by, I took for granted that I would bump into the same guy on the same car. Subconsciously, I even thought I shall reserve that seat for him–just in case he would show up. And he never “let me down.” Haha. Until one day, he no longer appeared. Then the next day, the day following next, the fourth, the fifth . . . a week passed, and weeks turned into months, I still hadn’t seen him on the same Metro car when I was on my way to work. I said to myself I would never see him again.

Fine, no big deal. It actually happens with several other strangers I bumped into on my daily commute to and from work. I saw them for a few weeks then they disappeared. Today, when I looked around the crowded Metro car, I spotted him! At first, I didn’t recognize him. After all, it was several months ago when I saw him last. This time, his bald head look shinier like a greased ball. He may have lost some weight. Instead of wearing causal short pants, he was in a pair of khaki long pants and shiny leather shoes. But no matter how he has changed, his dark skin and face are easy to be recognized.

What a coincidence! I thought it was nearly impossible to come across the same stranger after we had lost each other. Is this serendipity? Or it means the Metro service is back to be “punctual” which allows either I or all the strangers who used to take the same ride with me to “reunite” once more, despite the fact that we still don’t know each other by names.


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