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It’s a small world after all

It never ceases to amaze me just how small the world is.

On my morning commute in to London Marylebone we pulled into High Wycombe as our last stop.

The train itself is made up from 8 or 9 carriages, with each carriage holding between 80 – 110 people.

Trains that will get me to work on time and let me sleep past 6am go from my station at 7:11 and 7:51, but trains from Wycombe to London are a lot more frequent.

Onto my carriage steps a guy that I played representative cricket with in Darwin, Australia, from around 1994—1997.

The odds.

Having just watched Randell Munroe, creator of XKCD.com, speak last night I feel like it is something that he would spend a couple of hours putting calculations together to work out the chances that we would be in the same carriage at the same time…. but Randell Munroe I am not.

If I get a chance I might have a stab at it, but the conditions would be worked up something along the lines of…

  • Kids in our age group at school (5000)
  • Kids that were playing cricket in Darwin at the time
  • People that left Darwin to live in the UK
  • People that chose to work in London
  • People that chose to live on the chiltern line
  • Trains that can take you to London from both stops
  • Carriages on the train
  • Doors for the carriage
  • Seating direction (had I been facing the other way I would have missed it).

Inevitability

If you were to take our two current situations you would say that it was inevitable that we would bump into each other at least once a year.

  • We live on the same train line
  • We both work in London
  • Both our jobs are more 9-5 so we’d be on very similar train times

But the path and process that led us to this point… I’d be interested to do those calculations.

One day.

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