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Neighbours

por Inês Dantas, em 21.07.14

I can remember an Australian soap opera called Neighbours, where the introductory song’s lyrics were ‘Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours (…)’ I’ve always had a good relationship with my own, naturally being nice and helpful. Besides the compulsory salutation when we meet, I always ask one or two questions or make a circumstantial comment. Recently I met ‘K’, a couple with Turkish origins but who’ve been living here for a long time. In one of our chats they told me they were going to their allotment in the suburbs; I was interested where it was, what they grew, so we spoke for while, wished a nice day to each other and said goodbye.

When I arrive home at night, I had a bag hanging on the door handle. Intrigued about its contents and origins, I check what it is. To my surprise I find two lettuces and several peppers.

I smile!

The next day, I see Mrs. K and thank her dearly. She’s with her son, whom I’d seen several times. He’s a teenager, and I distinctly recall him frequently wearing hoodies. I always found him very nice, but I didn’t know he was her son. I tell her that (except the part of the hoodies), and she smiles proudly.

Some days went by…

Yesterday, after work, I was eating an ice-cream with ‘U’, and I realise the time: I have 10 minutes to get to the supermarket, I still have to buy a lettuce to make a salad, so I luckily arrive shortly before it closes and go home, with the lettuce in hand. I arrive to the door, and there it is again: a hanging bag. I think: “It can’t be; not again!” Besides a lettuce and cucumbers, there is a kilo of raspberries and some gooseberries. I can’t believe it. I go down, knock on the K family’s door. She opens and greets me, I thank her a lot, she calls her husband, I thank them again, they tell me to wait and come back with a plate full with dolmadakias (I only know the greek name). I like dolmadakias. A lot. Thinking I should taste one, Mrs. K says no, telling me that they are for us, for dinner! I remain speechless. I come back home with the plate full of dolmadakias and decide that during the weekend I’ll  make her a Portuguese surprise…

 

So here it goes--an excerpt of the lyrics of the song:

 

 ‘Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours

With a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend

Neighbours, should be there for one another

That's when good neighbours become good friends

 

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours

Just a friendly wave each morning, helps to make a better day

Neighbours, need to get to know each other

Next door is only a footstep away (…)’

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