“In a village, things are different.” In many ways that seems true. In other ways it could be that things are different just because there are fewer people. An apartment building is like a village stacked on top of itself. In a village, no one has to hear the toilet pipes from the person who lives on the floor above them. But in an apartment, no one has to smell the next door neighbor burning leaves…never mind, neighbors smoke all types of things. Either way, villages and apartment buildings in Spain share some commonalities yet also have their differences.
One thing that is common is that neighbors are neighbors no matter where you live. You can have great neighbors who want to be helpful, polite, and bring you over something they just baked or bought (which we have been blessed to have). Or you can have neighbors that just want to avoid you at all costs. While not being as good as the first, there are still some benefits to this arrangement. But then there is a third kind of neighbor. These are the neighbors who seem to believe that they don’t just share the building or village with you, but expect you to share your home with them. They want to know what is happening. They want to make sure you obey all their rules. They want you to make sure to keep your four year old from scampering across the floor because it is too loud, or your children from going outside without a coat on a sunny, 60 degree day.
We are not sure how all our neighborly relationships will turn out in our village. We have had some of our neighbors share their produce with us, teach us how to prune the fruit trees, and bring over freshly baked bread pudding. Then every once in awhile you have a gem of a conversation like this:
“You need an electrical pole.”
I know. It has been ordered.
“Everyone can do what they want, but…you need to get that replaced.”
You are right. It was ordered.
“I just look at it and it is so dangerous. Someone could touch it and it could fall down.”
Yes. I hope they come and replace it soon.
“You can do whatever you want, but I tell my husband that he needs to be careful because it could fall.”
Well, the electrical company knows. The telephone company knows. I just don’t know when they will actually do it.
“Well, it really needs to be fixed.”
I agree. Well, I need to go check on the kids now.
The interesting part is, as I understand it, it was her nephew who installed the dangerous light pole. I wonder if she ever mentioned it to him?