Neighbours

I have moved out of my old apartment and in to a brand new one. This sentence makes me feel like a proper adult because this time last year I was still living in my family home in Dublin. And now here I am with two apartments under my belt, what a grown-up belt wearer I am!

Moving out is the worst thing you can do, I think it should be made a corporate punishment for criminals.

“You were caught shoplifting so you will now be forced to help someone move out of their apartment, and she has a lot of books. And we mean a lot!”

No-one would ever steal again.

“I didn’t realise how many books you have,” my boyfriend mumbled on our fifth trip to and from our new apartment, the tiny boot filled with bags of charity shop salvaged novels.

I looked at him, dead in the eye:

“Know that no matter how many books I have or how little space there is, I will always buy books. Always. That’s the way it is, it will never change” I said helpfully. I’m the best!

The last day in the flat, when me and my housemate were cleaning every surface we came across while drinking a bottle of prosecco (because if there is ever an occasion to drink champagne…) we realised we didn’t have the new code for the electricity metre. First we were tempted to just leave it and let the company try to find us, starting a crazy adventure where we spend our lives on the run, dodging our £200 electricity bill for the rest of our outlaw lives, but then put down the mugs of Prosecco and decided to just pay it.

So we went from corridor to corridor in our building knocking on doors to ask if anyone could provide us with the electricity meter code, but alas what we found was rather depressing. The age of neighbourly neighbours is no more. Out of fifteen doors we knocked on, two people answered. Others we could hear coming to the door, looking at us through the peep hole and then walking off. Or even worse were the people who didn’t even come to the door, just turned their TV up louder to drown out my friendly, but persistent, knocking.

“Maybe we should hold up a sign saying we aren’t trying to sell anything?” I suggested.

“Or maybe everyone is an asshole,” my housemate shrugged.

If I saw two lovely young girls in nice dresses standing at my door I would throw it open as wide as possible and exclaim how I could help them (that was meant to sound less pervy).

The world has changed so much. There are no more sharing cups of sugar around or knocking into next door to use their phone. No more neighbourly chats at the letter boxes, and only awkward silences in the lifts of apartment blocks.

The only way for me to show my neighbourly love now is to shout and wave manically whenever anyone in the building opposite comes out on to their balcony.

“CAN I INTEREST YOU IN A CUP OF COCONUT SUGAR?”

No-one has waved back yet, but I’ve only lived here a week. These things take time, and louder shouting.

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