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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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Student travels 5,000 miles to meet random Facebook friend suggestion

Can we be friends?

texas Source: The Same Page/Vimeo

ALL FACEBOOK USERS are familiar with the concept of “suggested friends”. The list is typically comprised of people you half-know with whom you share a few mutual friends.

Belgian student Victor Van Rossem was browsing Facebook one day when the site suggested he befriend Neal D. Retke, a 49-year-old man from Austin, Texas.

Van Rossem quickly developed a bit of a fascination with Retke, as he explained to The Daily Mail.

I became fascinated by him. He had a long beard and looked a little unusual. He looked like someone I wanted to meet  — a very eccentric person.

The student sent the Austin resident a message on Facebook, but did not receive a response. He then decided that there was nothing for it, but to travel to Austin to ask Retke if he would be his friend.

The Belgian wandered the streets of Austin, putting up posters and asking passers-by if they knew Retke, before eventually tracking him down and asking him if they could be friends.

giphy (4) Source: gif-database

Miraculously enough, it doesn’t appear as though Retke was creeped out by the lengths Van Rossem went to and the pair wound up spending three weeks together.

The friendship is now the subject of a short documentary entitled Neal D. Retke for President, which can be viewed below.


Source: The Same Page/Vimeo

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Amy O'Connor

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