Here’s a piece I like from Flann O’Brien.
Keats and Chapman were entrusted by the British Government with a secret mission that involved a trip to India. A man-of-war awaited them at a British port. Leaving their lodgings at dawn, they were driven at a furious pace to the point of embarkation. When about to rush on board, they encountered at the dockside a mutual friend, one Mr Childs, who chanced to be there on business connected with his calling of wine-importer. Perfunctory and very hasty courtesies were exchanged; Keats and Chapman then rushed on board the man-of-war, which instantly weighed anchor. The trip to India was made in the fastest time then heard of, and as soon as the ship had come to anchor in Bombay harbour, the two friends were whisked to land in a wherry. Knowing that time was of the essence of their mission, they hastened from the docks into the neighbouring streets, and on turning a corner, whom should they see only –
Mr Childs? No.
Just a lot of Indians, complete strangers.
‘Big world,’ Keats remarked.