Are You a Good Neighbor?

I’ve been living here in Ewa for almost a year now and I know the names of 3 of my neighbors.  I wave hello to all the others but I have not introduced myself at all, why is that?  I have also stood on the street talking to other neighbors about dogs as I do encounter many people walking their dogs at the same time.

I think there are a few reasons I’m a bit standoffish and no, I don’t mean to be a snob at all!

* I lived in a rough part of Kalihi for so long I’m used to having my guard up and when I see someone suspicious in the neighborhood, especially when I’m walking the dog, my senses are on high alert.

* Strangely enough because I lived in Kalihi for so long, I did get to know my neighbors and it took some time before I ever talked to them.  You can’t befriend everyone in Kalihi, I lived on a public road, if they think you are friendly they walk onto your property like it was their house!

* I’m bad at introducing myself, it’s never the first thing I think to do!  I know the name of people’s DOGS for goodness sake.  I promise next time I will introduce myself!  (To think I’m usually a pro at it at functions and at my workplace!)

* I don’t want to trust people TOO much.  My dad always said you have to know your neighbors because it’s a sort of neighborhood watch for the community but sometimes the people stealing from you IS your neighbor, so then what?

* As my dad said when I was younger “you spend too much time inside the house!”.  Well duh, it’s hot outside generally and I didn’t garden.  Now I do garden but the front of our house is the garage door and the gate to the front door.  My gardening and household chores happen in the back of the house.  If our house was like the typical house most things I did would occur with me exposed to my neighbors. Also because I’m home all day I tend to do everything during the day when most people are at work.  When they come home at 5pm I’m inside cooking dinner for Josh.  Maybe I should make it a point to walk the dog at 5pm so I am forced to meet more neighbors.

* Maybe it’ll take some time?  Not everyone likes to be friendly with the neighbors and I respect their space too.  I guess I’m just thinking of what Josh said once to me “do you think we’re good neighbors?”

Well, I think we are because we mind our own business.  We are polite and Josh talks to a lot of the neighbors he just doesn’t remember their names.  We don’t party and keep people up late with lots of noise.  We pick up our dogs poop not like the other neighbors who leave their dogs poop on our front lawn-so rude!  We inform neighbors if their dog is loose so they don’t lose their dog, so I think we do pretty well.

On my part I just have to learn the neighborhood and the flow of the community, it’s so different than what I am used to: Noise, chaos, lots of yelling and sirens.  I’m used to people fighting across the street and speaking various languages other than pidgin English or just English.  It’s a very different flavor here.  It’s quiet here, people trust their kids to play around the neighborhood unsupervised, I should feel comforted by it but sometimes I feel out of place.

I’m always waiting for something to happen like it ALWAYS did in Kalihi.

I’m in the suburbs now though, so I gotta make nice.  🙂 I know I just have to hang out in front of my house more, at the right time, so we’ll see what happens…

Anyone have any neighbor stories to share?  Ever moved into a new neighborhood?  And are you a good neighbor?


3 thoughts on “Are You a Good Neighbor?

  1. I find that I usually introduce myself or talk to people more when I'm walking our dog and they also have a dog(s). It makes it easier to start the conversation and people like to talk about their dogs. It usually takes me a while to start chatting/getting to know my neighbors too. Maybe it's me being shy or really unsure how they are and I have my guard up too…

  2. Okay, good I don't feel so bad! I just see the other families always talking and they have things to bond about because most of them have children! But that's no excuse, one other guy here doesn't have kids and he's always going around chit chatting with everyone! And the neighborhood is clean…SO FAR…lol…it's like 2 years old!

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