That is my question. I feel like asking this, because it is only now that I realize the existence of the word neighbors, n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-s.
It’s not as if I have lived in a secluded, remote place all my life. It’s just that when I was growing up, I wouldn’t care less about the neighbors. When our family lived in a bungalow, our dear Nana didn’t allow us to be like the other kids who would go from one house to another looking for playmates, instead our beloved Nana asked our kid neighbors to come and play at home. And when we lived from three-story building to high-rise condo, I still wouldn’t care less about them. I remember quickening my pace or closing the elevator doors, even though neighbors were yelling “waaait!” I’m kinda bitch, I know.
When I got married, husband decided that we rent a condo near my place of work. And you know how it is in condos situated in very urban areas of Makati – no one wants to know each other’s business. Though your door is just a few steps apart from theirs, you want to let your ears pretend you didn’t hear the “ooohs” and “aaaaahs” that echo through the walls during nighttime, because you’re not even sure if they came from two gays, yaya and the driver, old men without a partner. Or just cats, hehe. Enough of these revolting details…
So anyway, I could write a dozen more reasons why I didn’t feel the existence of neighbors before. But this afternoon, I began to really take note, neighbors do exist.
I am just a bit bothered that they are singing, again, a song. I heard the words loud and clear though my doors were closed, but since I decided to consciously, forcefully not listen to it, now I can’t remember any lyrics from the song. Which is good. I wouldn’t want to have the last song syndrome or LSS of whatever they’re singing. Because the last time I didn’t consciously, forcefully not listen to them, husband and myself found ourselves singing, (and thank gawwdness, not dancing) to the tune of “Nobody, nobody but you, nooobody” from lunch until midnight! Gosh, the young kids were singing and dancing to it, while its tune squeals from a broken and presumably dusty boom box. I know, this shouldn’t be enough reason why I should dislike them. Besides they’re kids and they may only be doing it for a school presentation (waait, they did that the entire March so there’s no more school that time right?). But having it as our wake-up alarm in the morning until late afternoon for almost one full month is just TOO muuuch. That’s one point, or should I say, one dozen points.
Hubby is even more alarmed, actually scandalized is the better term, whenever he hears the nagging mom screaming, nagging, screaming, nagging then letting out a final scream to her kids. The worst part of this drama, after hubby hears all of these, he faces me and says, “sana hindi ka maging ganon.” Whaaat, does hubby really think I’m gonna end up like the neighbor mom? No way, over my dead voluptuous body. :P I can’t be like that! Two points for the neighbors!
Then, the second apartment, thrice a month more or less, would have their own party at their place, from around 8pm until 5am, drowning themselves in bottles of San Mig or Red Bull. Are we lucky that there’s no videoke blaring all night? Yes, we’re lucky also that they’re not the rowdy Tondo types who would throw bottles and knock each other out. But our fortune ends there, I blame it on the ventilation (though I dunno if it’s connected to sound waves) and the fact that we’re just about 5 meters away from their place, we hear all their earth-shattering laughter, with magnitude beyond the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Japan. And that’s from 8pm until 5am, I repeat.
Those are three points, which seem shallow, but for a couple used to having their own peace, those three points say a lot – yoohoo, you have neighbors now! So can you conclude my answer to the question, to like or not to like neighbors?
Oh yeah right, sorry, I forgot the part where I should likewise be discussing the likes, the potential of liking our neighbors. Here goes… For now, (sigh), there’s none. Nada. But maybe that’s our problem, we don’t mingle with them, and we choose not to, so we can’t really judge if we should like them or not.
I don’t know their names, not even their faces. But hey, I perfectly know their voices! And maybe, it will stay this way for quite some time. Until an opportunity to like them comes.
What I do know is that they kinda like us. Haha, I’m assuming, I know. My basis is that last month, when it was earth hour, they only began turning off their lights when we did, and their cue to start turning on the lights again is not their clock but our lights. “Ayun, puede na raw, may ilaw na sila,” said our neighbor kid. And I noticed twice already that whenever I start sweeping our li’l backyard, our neighbor mom will start sweeping theirs too. So maybe someday, we will talk to neighbors and get a bit friendly. Knowing your neighbors may be good too – you’ll have someone receive mails if you’re not around, you’ll have someone to look around your place if you leave home, and if you’re in dire need of gossip, perhaps the nagging mom have something in store for you.
But for now, hubby and myself are just comfy having our own peace in our little place.