It was a cold winter day, and I was sick with a cold. Still, I had to take this flight to Vienna for a work meeting which I did not want to cancel. So there I sat on the airplane, window seat, eyes closed, trying to sleep and not feel the feaver. I did not feel like speaking to anyone, so it happened that I did not exchange a single word with my neighbour that had taken the seat on the aisle. It was a short flight and we deboarded the plane an hour later without having had a conversation.
We ran into each other again when we were looking for transport to downtown Vienna, however, and so it happened that we took the bus together. I was glad to be feeling better, and here a beautiful story unfolded before me, which I had almost missed. When spoke about why each of us was in Vienna, it turned out that he was there to attend to an appointment he had made 20 years earlier: After their graduation from high school, he had travelled to Vienna with some friends from school. They had agreed then and there, as you do at that age, to meet again 20 years after. Where?... Well it had to be a place that would most probably still be there 20 years from then. It was decided to meet at the café of hotel „Sacher“, famous for its cake and pastries.
And here he was, 20 years after the exact date, on his way to the café in order to see whether any of those friends from the past, of which he had lost sight in the meanwhile, had also remembered their appointment.
I was awed that this person took the chance, taking on himself to travel to Vienna 20 years later on the basis of such light-hearted agreement. Not a lot of people would do so, I thought to myself. We parted when we arrived in the city and wished each other a good time in Vienna.
When I arrived at the gate to fly back home the next day, I saw him sitting there already, waiting for me. We knew we would be travelling back on the same flight, so it did not come quite unexpected. Obviously, my first question was whether any of the others had shown up at hotel Sacher. He shook his head: No they had not.
Such a pity, but still he thought it was worth while the adventure. It paid off for me at least: I found a dear and special friend. This happened seven years ago. We should agree to meet again in Vienna, 13 years from now.