Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another tale of random public transit encounters

So at the end of the day on Friday, my boss dropped me off at Union Station, where I waited for the bus that takes me diagonally across town to my apartment.  And as I waited I overheard 2 middle-aged gentlemen wondering aloud when the bus would show.  I told them it would be ten minutes, and one of them - who had a slight British accent, but one that sounded like it had faded over time - struck up a conversation with me, asking me where I worked, etc.  He was a journalist just visiting, and had been at a hearing on the Hill.  As we talked more, he mentioned "hailing from Britain" (no surprise) and was nice, if a bit proper...but when the bus arrived, he mentioned his home city was Edinburgh.  I jumped up a little bit, and told him I'd studied abroad there.  And he said "lovely.  Shall we sit together on the bus and chat?"  And that is what we did.

As our bus rolled through some of the most depressed parts of DC, we had an out-of-place discussion about theater (sorry theatre) and about all my/his favorite places in Edinburgh and the University.  He said he goes to the Uni library all the time to do his research and asked me to name some of my professors.  I could only remember one - the unforgettable Scottish Ethnology prof Gary West, also a renowned lowland bagpiper - and sure enough, this guy knew him!

He also knew all about the Scottish contributors to our Constitution, and we talked about the Scottish Parliament, the debaucle with the tram there, and how the Scottish National Party is becoming politically relevant.

Anyway, this probably would be slightly boring to anyone not dying for a connection to Edinburgh, but it made my day.  And he may have been mixed up on buildings, but when I told him where my flat had been he said that it was the replacement building for an inn where Robert Burns had stayed.  I think he had the wrong spot but hey, I'll go with it!

1 comment:

  1. The world is sometimes an amusingly small place... :-)