In early 2016 I did a series of posts on this website dedicated to interesting little side stories from my 2015 trip to Europe. That series concluded in early February 2016, and I thought I had detailed all the stories worth publishing, but just yesterday I realized there was at least one side story that I had forgotten to write about. Thus, today the Europe 2015 Side Stories catalog has been temporarily reopened for a single day in order to add another entry to the series. For this story, we need to go back to Istanbul.
One of my days in Istanbul was spent checking out the major sights in the Old City, and at one point on that day I was standing in the area near the Hagia Irene church when a stranger walked up to me. “Excuse me, were you a CU student?” he asked. I was surprised both that a random stranger had started talking to me, and by the fact that he somehow seemed to know me. I told him that I had been a CU student, though I didn’t know who he was. He explained that he was a professor at CU and recognized me as a student he had sometimes seen walking around campus years ago. I didn’t recall ever having him as a professor, or even seeing him while I was a student, so I couldn’t say that I recognized him. We chatted briefly about our respective travels before parting ways, and when he left I had this incredibly odd feeling come over me. Somehow, someway, this guy who knew me just so happened to run into me in Istanbul, of all places. Were I more paranoid I would swear that I was being stalked. I’ve never had another experience like that before or since my meeting with that professor in Istanbul. I wonder whatever happened to him.