Home Tech Apple Life’s Big Coincidences: Being in the right place at the right time

Life’s Big Coincidences: Being in the right place at the right time


October 5 is another of those days when I experienced one of those strange coincidences where I just happened to be somewhere when an event of worldwide notice took place. I expect most of you have similar “happenstance” moments, and, like mine, they are dutifully remembered every year.

Tributes outside the San Francisco Apple store on 6 October 2011
Tributes outside the San Francisco Apple store on 6 October 2011

On this day, eleven years ago, I was paying a routine visit to the Apple Campus in Cupertino. I was in the on-site Apple Store when news came that Steve Jobs had died. At the time, I was writing extensively on Macfilos about technology, particularly on the topic of Apple, so the news of Steve’s death was very moving at the time. That was coincidence No.2 for me.

Nearly 22 years before that, I experienced an even more curious coincidence — arriving in Berlin on the day the Wall was opened. It was quite by chance; I had booked the short visit weeks before. That day in November 1989 was momentous for me and for the German people.

It was the first real chink of light through the Iron Curtain. It led directly to German reunification (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), now a national holiday celebrated in Germany last Monday.

All of us have memories of where we were on significant dates, but being on the spot as a result of a coincidental travel decision, is a powerful association. Do you have any such moments of being somewhere when an internationally noted event occurred as you arrived?


At Apple Campus the day Steve Jobs died

Tributes at the downtown SF Apple Store

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  1. It is always curious how some of us end up in odd places at key times in history.

    I do wonder what Steve Jobs would have made of the EU dictating what type of charge cable could be used with his beloved inventions. I strongly suspect he would innovate out, improvise and overcome. Mottos I hold true in my work, and in my life. I bet we would never see a USB C cabled IPhone to comply, whereas today I am less sure.


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