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.