Would You Rather Live In A Neighborhood Where You Know Your Neighbors Or One Where They Keep To Themselves?
I grew up in a big city, where the only communication between my neighbors and I was a polite “Hello” when we would bump into each other in the hallway. Knocking on your neighbors’ door and asking for a cup of sugar was unthinkable! If you have lived in an apartment building you know what I’m talking about.
That was until I moved to Italy and rented an apartment in a small neighborhood 20 minutes away from the center of Milan. I still remember my initial shock when I was walking down the street and people were greeting each other everywhere. It seemed that in Cernusco Sul Naviglio everyone knew each other!
My neighbors would regularly knock on my door to ask me for a cup of sugar or just to share the latest gossip. It felt like the concept of privacy did not exist there at all.
I remember how I was thinking, “Why can’t people here just mind their own business?”
I’ll tell you one thing… Two months later I knew that the guy, who would wake me up every night at 2 a.m. by slamming his garage door, lived on the 3rd floor. I knew that a city mayor lived on a 4th floor and that is why we would always be the first ones to receive invitations to the celebrations of the city. I even knew the name of an evil-looking basset hound that lived next door and, it seemed, got sadistic pleasure out of scaring little children and old ladies.
Now, after living in both – big city and a tiny neighborhood, I can say that I like the fact of knowing my neighbors and being a part of the “community”. I also enjoy the fact that in case anything happens I can always ask my neighbors for help. But, unfortunately, to get something, you have to sacrifice something. In my case good neighbors came at the cost of privacy and personal space.
What is your opinion? Would you rather live in a neighborhood where you know your neighbors or one where they keep to themselves?Read More