As I mentioned in my last post, I had a couple of friends over for dinner yesterday. The food was good (surprisingly), the wine was easily drunk and there were plenty of hot shots. Just as we were about to go downtown to continue at Molly Malones I hear a knocking on the door.
First of all, no one knocks on doors here. Visitors normally use the doorbell, so this was kind of odd. Secondly, it was in the middle of the night for god’s sake. Who the hell would come visiting at half past twelve? And how did this person get through the front door downstairs?
Through the peephole she looked like a youngish girl with a coffee cup in her hand. It turned out I only saw what I wanted to see. When I carefully opened the door, there was a completely unfamiliar woman in her 40’s standing outside my flat. She told me we were neighbours and offered me a piece of home-made pasha. I was so baffled by her visit that I didn’t know what to do. She continued by telling me that she couldn’t sleep and politely asked if she could come in for a while. Sure, I said and invited my never before seen neighbour for a beer with the guys.
Apparently these walls aren’t as thick as I’ve been believing since she insinuated that she was kept awake by our music. Whoops. Flashing through my mind came all the parties we’ve had in this flat and I could only imagine how much noise we must have been making all these years. She informed us that her husband wasn’t home and that she normally would be able to sleep despite the disturbance. How embarrasing… I’ll never be able to have any friends over any more!
We chitchatted for an hour (we were already late for Molly’s when she came) about this and that, the house we live in and how strange it is that we never see any neighbours. She made me promise to pay her a visit some other time to look at their flat. I even have a reason for that now since she forgot her pasha-mould here.
So why doesn’t people get to know their neighbours anymore? Or is it just this house or this part of town or this city or this country? You could argue that there’s no reason to get to know someone just because you happen to live next door. I guess that’s true and I’ve actually never needed my neighbours (like for borrowing sugar or a phone or something). But still. It might be interesting to know who these people are, and wasn’t it once upon a time good manners to pay your neighbours a visit when you moved in?
On the other hand, now that I know that these particular neighbours have their bedroom next to my livingroom where my stereo is doesn’t make living here any easier… So maybe ignorance is bliss after all.