Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Six - Or Maybe Just Two - Degrees of Separation

SYDNEY -- I took a wine tour today, riding in a bus for three long hours to the Hunter Valley, the wine producing region north of Sydney. At one of the wine tastings arranged for our group of thirty, I struck up a conversation with an attractive and exotic-looking woman. It turned out she's Tahitian, visiting Australia with her husband.

I was delighted to chat with her because at one time I was visiting Tahiti on business fairly regularly and still have a great affection for the place. Of course, I couldn't resist asking her if she knew an aquaintance of mine from those days ... and indeed she does. Further, she promised to call him upon her return to Papaete and pass along my aloha.

I had heard about the Six Degrees of Separation theory, but never really took it seriously. I am starting to change my mind, however. This kind of thing has just happened too often. In fact, I have discovered that, as much as it's possible to do so, the theory has come close to being proven.

What I believe to be true without question, however, is that there are followers of the Boston Red Sox everywhere in the world. It's been sunny and very hot here, so I've been wearing my Red Sox cap whenever leaving the hotel. It's not fancy or even particularly distinctive: Navy blue with a red "B" above the bill. But it's instantly recognizable by other Red Sox fans and so far I have been hailed three times by fellow citizens of Red Sox nation in the two full days I've been here in Sydney. I'm not even surprised any more when it happens! Oh, and one Yankee fan -- at least I presume it was a Yankee fan -- who muttered "Red Sox suck" as he passed by me in the street.

Ten years or so ago, my wife and daughter and I were in Hungary in the town of Pecs. Walking along a side street one afternoon, I was startled to see a large decal in the rear window of a battered Skoda: "BOSTON RED SOX, 1986 AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONS."

I wish I could have met that guy!


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