Thanks, travel neighbors

I broke a contract this week. I’d agreed to take a room at a miniature guesthouse here in Varanasi, but backed out at the last second. Changed my mind and went with an equally priced room in a much larger guesthouse. Why? For the neighbors.

Here at the new spot, I just opened the door onto the shared balcony and found a neighbor taking down laundry. “Hey neighbor!” It’s absurd, practicing this sitcom picket-fence ritual over and over. But it also becomes more comforting the longer I’m away, because having neighbors is proof you have a home.

So here’s to the neighbors — sorry, but you’ll always be the preferred confessional for the thrills and frustrations of the day. Don’t worry, I’ll listen too, and after that we’ll both stare hypnotized at the traffic below the balcony.

To the neighboring family drinking chai on the stoop across the street — thanks for reminding me this is still somewhat of a family neighborhood.

To the mystery flute player upstairs — your free concerts are appreciated.

To the neighbor with the watermelon addiction who fills up the hall trashcan — thanks for reminding me to eat more watermelon.

To the next neighbor I pass on the staircase — as much as I like deep conversations, I also have a small daily quota for meaningless banter that you’re going to help me fulfill.

To the neighbors whose emails I’ve noted but never written to — it doesn’t mean it wasn’t great hanging out.

And to the neighbors who don’t think of themselves as neighbors yet — just hang around the neighborhood a little longer.

Photo by domeniqueb via Flickr.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | April 7, 2010
Category: General

2 Responses to “Thanks, travel neighbors”

  1. j.c Says:

    That is such a nice way to view people along the way, these thoughts sort of made my day.

  2. Park Hotel Says:

    “Hey neighbour” lol,classic line,nice post!