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A good deed rewarded October 9, 2006

Posted by dorigo in personal, travel.

What is your reaction when you notice a very strange coincidence in your everyday life ? Do you try to link it to previous observations, or directly jump to attempt an explanation in terms of divine intervention ? Or do you, like me, start computing odds by assigning priors and evaluating approximate integrals by heart ?

This morning something very weird happened to me, but I did none of the above. I just smiled and thought I’d write it in my blog…

What happened was that this morning I took the car to go to work. I usually take the train, but since yesterday I had found the battery dead and had to jump-start it, I wanted to drive a little more today, to recharge it fully.

So I was driving to the university, and as I reached the outskirts of Padova I had to stop at a large intersection, Piazzale Stanga. The waits there are long, and I started looking around. I thus saw an old man with a white beard and a hat in his hand, asking for change. He was coming in my direction.

I usually avoid giving in to requests of change, for no particular reason – certainly not when I am in a rush to take the next train.  But since I was in my car, doing nothing, and since the poor man seemed just another honest guy whose luck in life had been less than fair, I took a 20 cents coin from a drawer and lowered the glass of the driver’s side window.

Now, you need to know that my car’s window commands has been defective since last year – the convenient “one-touch” button that lowers completely the glass or raises it back ceased to work after the last time I had the car serviced. I never cared to get it fixed, but it did bother me a bit.

Today, indeed, I had to keep the button pressed to lower the glass completely. The guy arrived promptly, I placed the coin in his hat, said hello, and pressed the button…

The glass closed completely on a single press of the button.

I was kind of taken aback, and pressed the button once the other way: the glass went down completely, as it should. I played with the commands for a while, and convinced myself that the window commands had fixed themselves.

Magic ? A reward for my good deed ? Or just the reset of the electronic system that my car withstood after the battery had run out of juice ?

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