Friends Near You

Mario, my partner in Papernomad, is from Vienna, Austria. Mark, who is the head of Griffin Technology and our US partner, lives in Nashville, USA. Both of them travel the world on busy schedules, thus meetings between the two require to be arranged weeks in advance.

On Saturday Mario and his wife Andreea flew to Denmark, staying at the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel. While they settled into their hotel room, Mark posted something on Facebook after which the mobile app alerted him of “Friends near you”.

What neither Mark nor Mario knew: they were in the same hotel, at the same time, on the same floor, just two rooms apart from each other. Nor were they aware that moments ago they had just visited the Little Mermaid – together but unaware of each other.


Mark and Mario in Copenhagen

I am not sure if Mark believes in synchronicity, but he certainly can be considered a person particularly associated with such events.

On his last visit to Vienna, while we were sipping our cocktails in a bar called Loos Bar, he received a text message from his wife Jeanne, letting him know about their family doctor’s recommendation of a tiny bar in downtown Vienna, where they served delicious cocktails… the Loos Bar.

The next thing Mark posted that day: “It’s a crazy coincidence when you unexpectedly run into someone you know in another country. But what are the odds you are staying in the same hotel? On the same floor?”

The odds indeed are small. There are around half a million hotels you can book online and there are 365 days in a year. According to my calculation that works out to be a chance of 1 in 182,500,000 – the chances of winning the lottery jackpot, for instance, are 1 in 13,983,816.

Mark, you should play the lottery.

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