Faceblind backpacker strikes again

A British backpacker has once again found herself having a twenty minute conversation with two complete strangers because she initially thought she recognised them.

Caroline spotted the couple on the beach at Cable Bay on New Zealand’s north island and after what appeared to be some mutual smiling and waving she approached them, only to realise pretty quickly that she had in fact never seen them before.

Caroline explained “Last night I had to stand in an ice cream queue for a very long time because there was just one person on duty and she was having a complicated phone conversation with someone who was teaching her how to change the till roll.”

Caroline had just decided her ice cream need wasn’t strong enough to remain in the queue, when the couple in front of her started to chat to her.

The long queue at the Cable Bay shop led to an incident of mistaken identity

“They were called Beth and Boyd and they were really nice,” said Caroline. “We had such a good conversation that I didn’t mind waiting in the long queue anymore. And when I saw what I thought was them on the beach today, it felt like I was bumping into old friends. I couldn’t wait to go and catch up with them again.”

However Caroline soon realised her blunder but not before expressing enthusiasm at how pleased she was to be reunited with a baffled German couple who had never met her before.

“This happens to me a lot,” explained Caroline. “I am great at mistaking strangers for people I know, and equally good at failing to recognise people I do know when I see them out of context. I find it’s best just to smile at everybody, then nobody gets offended, although sometimes strangers do take it as an invitation to start hitting on me.”

The German couple were more than happy to give Caroline an earnest and in-depth report of all the places they have visited so far during their five week tour of New Zealand.

Caroline said “Considering they didn’t know me, they seemed very keen to talk to me. They’re touring New Zealand in a campervan, maybe it’s been such a long time since they talked to anyone other than each other, they were just thrilled to have someone new to speak to.”

This certainly seemed to be the case, because several hours later the German couple spotted Caroline sitting on the beach reading and approached her for a further twenty minute conversation.

The beach at Cable Bay where the incident took place

“As they approached, I wasn’t sure if it was Beth and Boyd, or the German couple,” confessed Caroline. “So I had to wait until they started speaking and then work out who they were from their accents.”

Face blindness affects 2.5% of the population. “I think other people have it a lot worse than I do,” said Caroline. “But I have watched films where two actors look so similar that it takes me at least half the film to realise that they are two separate characters and it’s not a film about someone with a split personality.”

Caroline was disappointed not to see Beth and Boyd again during her time at Cable Bay. “Although it’s always possible that I did see them again and just not realise it,” she said.

4 thoughts on “Faceblind backpacker strikes again

  1. This may explain why you never seemed to recognise me when I came across stage to sing to you many years ago in Kiss Me Kate!😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *