Saturday, 20 October 2007


My office colleagues use to make fun of my compulsion to classify the dishes in the dishwasher following a very precise pattern (smaller plates up, bigger plates down, small cups on the right, bigger cups in the middle, glasses to the left, ... it's not that difficult, isn't it? ;)). When someone does not follow The Rule when putting a cup into the dishwasher, I kind of feel disturbed, as if some kind of equilibrium was about to be broken. I do not force anyone to follow The Rule, but I have the irresistible urge to put those damned cups to their right places before switching on the dishwasher! Like we would say in Catalonia, "qui no té un all té una ceba" (lit. "he who does not have a garlic, has an onion", meaning that everyone has some oddity).

I've always believed there is an underlying Order to things, to events and to the Universe in general. My thing with the dishwasher is just an example of my general need for visual perfection, for symmetry, for completeness. I know that my urge flows against the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is quite a phenomenal Law to pick a fight with, but I also know I'm nothing but a little pawn in Universe's big chess board, and I know I'm not alone.

We as humans cannot look at the whole picture, because our brains are too small to comprehend the grandiosity of The Order, but we can get glimpses of it, we have been blessed with flashes, quick shutters that let us guess there is something out there. One of those flashes struck me recently, and I want to share it with you.

As I worked in Barcelona, J was one of my colleagues. After we came to Salzburg, J married his girlfriend J, whose wedding we attended. Some months after I started writing this blog, we learned from a Catalan girl living in Salzburg, G, and we met her for a cup of coffee. It turned out that G and J came from the same town in Catalonia, and she and J's younger sister went to school together. The world is small, one might think. But I'm not done yet.

A couple of months ago my new colleague G started working in our office. Mar and I met him and his girlfriend E one day, and it turned out that E's childhood friend K works with Mar.

A couple of weeks ago we met again G, the Catalan girl who went to school with J's wife's sister, and this time we met her boyfriend M, too. As it turned out, M comes from the same town in Upper Austria as G, my new colleague, whose girlfriend's childhood friend works with Mar.

So, we established an acquaintance loop going through 10 different people. What are the chances for something like that to happen? Yeah, I heard about that interesting six degrees of separation stuff, and maybe it's true that we are really bad at estimating the actual probability of such coincidences, but... isn't it much more beautiful to think of that as a glimpse to The Order?


imac said...

Hi, I;m imac, Just came across your blog, The word Austria caught my eye, as we, (my wife and I and some friends)have just had a holiday over there at Waidring at the Hotel Tyrol Adler.While there we had a short visit to salzburg. I would say that it was the best holiday we have had.Anyway my blog has a few photos from our holiday.

I really thought your blog was very interesting and your photos were very good.

sleeping_lessons said...

interesting thoughts. your blog is fascinating; a good read :)

Tonicito said...

imac, many thanks for visiting and for the kind words! Austria is quite a wonderful holiday destination, all the year round. Be sure I will be visiting your blog to take a look at those photos!

sleeping_lessons, welcome to my blog! I'm sure you are going to find a theme to your blog very soon! You'll see...