Couple discovers photo of themselves 11 years before they met

The now-married pair were unaware of the missed connection until they found the image

The photo of Xue and Ye in Qingdao, China. Photograph: Channel NewsAsia

The photo of Xue and Ye in Qingdao, China. Photograph: Channel NewsAsia

 

Two strangers pose for separate photos at the same spot at the exact same time, in front of a towering red sculpture in a town square in China. By chance they appear in the same photo, their respective gazes trained on the two cameras taking their picture. But in a little more than a decade they will be married.

This unlikely series of events happened to a couple in China who recently discovered the photo by chance. Xue and her husband Ye, who were only identified by their surnames in local media reports, were unknowingly standing several metres apart at the spot in July 2000, 11 years before they met in a different city a thousand miles away.

At the time of the photo, the two were both visiting May Fourth Square in the eastern beachside city of Qingdao. Xue was accompanying her mother, who was recovering from surgery and took the trip to boost her spirits. Ye was part of a package tour group booked by his mother, who had to drop out at the last minute due to appendicitis.

At the exact same moment, both posed for pictures in front of the square’s central sculpture, which commemorates the May Fourth Movement, when Chinese students took to the streets to protest their country’s ill treatment in the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the first World War.

They went their separate ways and spend the next decade unaware the other person existed. Even after they met and fell in love in 2011, they did not know of their missed connection until they recently saw the photo of Xue, with Ye standing off in the background.

“When I saw the photo I was taken by surprise and I got goosebumps all over my body,” Ye said.

Like any modern coincidence of this magnitude, their story went viral. The couple’s friends said it was incontrovertible proof the two were meant to be together. Now with twin daughters, they plan to go back to the same spot.

“It seems that Qingdao is certainly one of the most special cities,” Ye said. “When the children are older we’ll go to Qingdao again and the family will take another photo.”

– Guardian service