"A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn`t climb over it" - Arthur Baer
Do answer this question truthfully: 'How many of you know your neighbours really well?
Frankly, I don't know my neighbour in Lancaster at all. This was not the case when I was back in India. Even though Hubs and I moved houses each year we always introduced ourselves to the neighbours and were on friendly terms with them. Same was the case when someone new moved in as our neighbours. I knew how difficult it was to move houses and a friendly face always made it easier.
Growing up in Nagpur in India, we knew our neighbours really well and still do. The times were different, people were friendlier and more forthcoming and there was a sense of community which sadly is lacking these days. Then, people trusted each other and were less cynical. Earlier, people in Mumbai were tagged as being not a neighbour friendly group but now all of us living in urban India fall under that group.
I remember spending so many summer afternoon's holed up at a neighbours place playing carrom or cards with a gang of kids from the neighbourhood. My mother never came to check on me whether I was being bullied. She trusted our neighbours and they had a free reign in scolding us if we were up-to some mischief. There was no ill will or ego clashes between the elders if we got a big dressing down from our neighbour.
But not all neighbours can be godsend. Some just belong to the category in the posted sign.
Some of them are just waiting for an opportunity to piss you off. Be it loud music at an unearthly hour or the not acknowledging your existence in this world. They live to drive you crazy.
Thankfully, I have had decent neighbours in most of the cities barring a few neighbours when I was in Pune. That time our dog Buddy was still with us (he is alive and well and now living with a friend). People were quite unfriendly and behaved as if I was a leper just because I had a dog. It was completely bizarre.
Then there was a nosy neighbour who wanted to know every aspect of our life. She would always know when we came home, when we went out, what was delivered to our house. I actually felt good because we had a neighbourhood watchdog and so our house was safe from burglars.
Now, I don't know my neighbours, not that I don't want to know them but because I am not sure if they would take it in a neighbourly spirit if I go knock on their door and say hello. These days most of us think twice before we comment or give advice even to our family and close friends. Most people are touchy and want you to mind your business. In such a situation, I can never guess if it would be rude to speak my mind out and give my honest opinion or zip my lips and keep a distance.
How do you deal with your neighbours?