Zero degrees of separation

You’ve probably heard of the seven degrees of separation rule; this idea that if you starting looking for connections there are only seven steps between you and any other person.  I have always said that in our neighbourhood there are only two degrees of separation, tops.  I may have to downgrade my estimate.

For example, our next door neighbour was also a work colleague of Rogelio’s father. The neighbour on the other side was also my driving teacher.  Rogelio expelled the kid on the fourth floor for flaunting his hashish in Biology class.  Everyone knows everyone and usually via several connections.  Some are those connections are blood.

Our next door neighbours are Santi (my driving teacher) and Fabiola.  Santi’s brother Carlos  is married to Fabiola’s sister.  Carlos and family live on the first floor.   Just a seven floor elevator ride to get home after all the  family reunions.

Antonio is an elderly blind man and a front door fixture in good weather.  He meets and greets everyone as they come and go from the building.  With good reason, since he is related to almost everyone.  Antonio and his wife live on the fourth floor, while Antonio’s sister and her husband live below them.  Adult children of both couples have left home and moved to Madrid for work.  But at least two of the offspring  have bought units in our building.  That means a minimum of 4 out of 39 units hold one extended family.

Is your head spinning yet?

I always thought this was funny.  Kind of quaint.  So different from my spread out Canadian family.  But really, who would want to live in the same building as 20 of their relatives?  It has always made me chuckle to imagine my extended family all packed into one apartment block.  Chuckle chuckle….

Then I found out that Antonio’s sister’s husband is Rogelio’s Mom’s second cousin. In other words, I am related to the whole damn lot of them.

So now I am not laughing so loudly.



  1. I want to be Spanish and have all my relatives herded together… well at least the crazy ones on my side of the family!

  2. Ok first off….I am Portuguese…so I can completely understand this…and yes we are all related..and it just makes life easier..hungry..go visit Tia So andSo on the 1st floor….need your jacket mended….4th floor..Tia Blah blah…hahah!! Anyways so fun..always a party/fight happening!
    Now second…I wanted to tell you I love your blog!! I am spreading the word here in YVR for all to read you!! Love it! You make me laugh…and make me realize yes we are a little odd over there..and we have strange traditions (note we do not put a pooper with the nativity scene) but I never realized it until you pointed it out lol!!
    Thanks from home 🙂

    1. He Laura! Thanks so much for the kind words. I am glad you are laughing along with us. You would be in a great position to point all the strange things we do in Canada. If you see something “crazy canuck” at YVR let me know!

  3. Well, I hope that means you have a big bunch of babysitters to choose from. We don’t have any relatives nearby, since my husband is from Cáceres and most of the family lives there. I seriously envy people who say stuff like, “Oh, I just dropped the kids off at my parents-in-law’s for a while”.

  4. haha!! Can’t help you there as I am half crazy Canuck (born and raised) and half crazy Portuguese (spent summers there). So just plain loopy is what I am 😉 Love it all…Thanks again for the laughs!

  5. Lol. Small world, for sure. My husband grew up in Missouri, and I grew up in New Mexico. When my son had to do a geneology chart in 5th grade, we discovered that my husband and I are 4th cousins. Now that’s a strange day. Perhaps we belong in your apartment complex. I’m with Theresa. I hope this means you have lots of babysitters. All the best.

  6. We have exactly the same scenario with 2 Families in our building!!!! And then the are even called the same, Juan Carlos fat Senior, Juan Carlos Dad and Juan Carlos fat Junior.

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