Wherever we stay we are bound to have neighbours. They are the people who live nearby. Unless we go and live in the desert or deep in the jungle we will always find them near. Come to think of it there are also neighbours in resorts and jungles but they may not be of the humankind.
My family and I live in Happy Garden, a neighbourhood of terrace houses and a few rows of shops. Our house is somewhere in the middle of this housing estate .so we are surrounded by other houses. Some of the neighbours are wonderful while some are horrible, Yet there are others who just keep to themselves and avoid heir neighbours.
Right next to my, house on the left is a family consisting of a young couple and their three young children. The parents earn living selling vegetables in the night market. In the morning they go out collecting vegetables from the farms. Come afternoon they will be busy cleaning and sorting the vegetables for sale in the night. They are an industrious lot. The little ones, the youngest is about four, help their parents in their chores. We are grateful they live next door for they are helpful and kind people. We regularly get vegetables from them at a reduced price and sometimes for nothing at all. In turn, we keep an eye on their house whenever they are away on business, which is practically every night.
The other next-door neighbour is a retired teacher and his wife. Their children have all grown up and left the nest. They are left pretty much on their own. In the ten years or so that they have been our neighbours we hardly know them. I would say they are aloof. We tried to be friendly with them when they first moved in, but our efforts were of no avail. They just nod their heads in reply or just ignore us completely. Now we leave them alone. That seems to be the way they want things to be. They have erected an invisible wall between us and them. The other neighbours also have the same experience with them. So this ex-teacher and his wife live like hermits in the midst of other people.
Further down the road is the noisiest family in the whole of Happy Garden. Their radio is on almost 24 hours a day at a hardly tolerable volume. Fortunately, we are a good five houses from them, so the noise is not too bad. The people nearer to them either enjoy the loud music or they have become deaf to the noise. Whatever it is no one seems to complain about it. Perhaps it is because of the man of the house is a huge burly fellow who drives a tanker for a living.
Opposite us on the other side of the road is another wonderful family. The salesman father is usually away on business. So the wife looks after their two children and the kids come over to my house often to play with our toys. They are not much younger than me so we get along very well. The wife often brings food for us to eat. She is a great cook. The biscuits and cakes she makes are especially delicious and we always welcome her to our house. The salesman’s mother also live with them. She is a gentle old woman now in her late sixties. She normally sits on a rattan chair just outside her front door and watches us play.
The other neighbours are generally good people. I would say that our neighbourhood is free of bad hats and troublesome people. I have never seen any argument between neighbours. Anytime any difficulty arises we seem to be able to settle it before the situation gets out of hand. For example, there was this man who started bringing home his huge lorry. For a time we had to bear the noise of the diesel engine early in the morning and late in the night. Then someone must have made a complaint to this man and soon he never brought the lorry back again. So we have peace except for the fellow with his loud radio. However, that is tolerable.
On the whole, I suppose most of the people living here adopt a live-and-let-live attitude. We do not make trouble for each other. Some are very friendly but some are not so. However, we do not have any hostile neighbour. That is something to be thankful for.
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