Do I know you?

Back in Berlin, I walked to the subway at the Templehof Airport and had just come down the stairs when I saw a woman walking towards me. She was shorter than I am, had long black hair, was smartly dressed, and looked terribly familiar.

I paused for a split-second. She paused, too.

We both continued, and then both paused again.

As we passed each other, she stopped completely, and so I did, too. We looked at each other, and she said "Do we know each other?". We had, apparently, both been trying to decide whether to nod at each other. As I learned in a talk yesterday on intercultural communication, Americans will nod quite friendly-like to anyone they make eye-contact with. Germans will only acknowledge the existence of people they have been introduced to. This is why Germans think Americans are superficial, because they act like friends, but aren't.

So we were trying to discover if we had been introduced to each other. Apparently, each of us could quite clearly remember the other's face. But a name? And where did we meet?

I tried "Do we know each other from computing, or from handball?" She tried theater and business women's breakfast. Yes, I had attended a business women's breakfast many years ago, but somehow the image of this woman in my brain was much younger.

I said my name, it meant nothing to her. We shrugged, smiled, and wished each other a very pleasant day.

But it is still bugging me: who was she?

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