Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Our Neighbors

When you live in a community that is really close knit you can't help but know everyone's business. We gave up on any illusions of having the privacy we were accustomed to in the U.S., it just doesn't work that way here. It's pretty normal to ask someone how much they paid for something or even how much money they make a month.

My favorite story to tell is the time that an old woman from upstairs followed Edna into our apartment. She asked us what was in our bedroom. We let her look in and then she asked if Edna had potatoes in her shopping bag. Edna said no, so the woman asked to see what Edna had bought if she didn't have potatoes in her bag. Edna patiently showed her our purchases until she seemed satisfied. Our neighbor Olya came over about that time and told the lady that she had bothered us enough and it was time for her to go home.

Sometimes getting to know your neighbors means getting to know their pets as well. We realized the other day that as well as knowing our neighbors by name, we've also learned the names of their pets. There's Jerry, the German Shepard who lives on the first floor, Cesar, the Doberman who lives on the floor below us, and of course Vera, the 200 lbs. plus black Great Dane who lives on the 8th floor. It's kind of like having community pets. Everyone pets them and feeds them scraps of food, but at the end of the day they go back home.


This is Rocky. Rocky is an English Springer Spaniel. Rocky enjoys chasing cars, bicycles, and the occasional scooter. He does this while barking as loud and as ferociously as he can, right under our bedroom window, way before we are ready to wake up, every morning. I've learned to sleep through the crowing of roosters, but hearing what sounds like a dying turkey caught in a fan belt is a bit much. We've gotten to know Rocky quite well.

Rocky belongs to Andriy and Luda who Joshua sometimes sells scrap metal to. He's actually a pretty friendly dog and if he sees us in our bedroom by the window he'll come running. We usually feed him a few scraps so he's always happy to see us.

Life here is anything but boring.


Ira said...

Hmm, so posting about dogs becomes popular =))

I know exactly what you mean waking up to those nice sounds of doom! We have a cat that comes and sits RIGHT under our window every night practically the whole night just meowing. No mates or dogs to bother her, she just feels like doing that I guess... =))

PS I loved the story about the curious babushka.

Greg & Edna Silva said...

I'm glad we're not the only dog lovers.

As for the cat problem, she probably just had a good meal and feels like singing. Our upstairs neighbors do that every Friday night or so.

Glad you liked the story. You can meet her if you guys would like to come visit sometime. Just email us.