Troublesome neighbours are a reality of life and are not restricted to certain climes.
Sometime ago I was asking my brother if he had received a parcel I had sent for his children and somehow our conversation shifted to his neighbours.
You see depending on the area you live in sometimes, it might be possible for your neighbours to collect from the postman a parcel of yours in your absence. This would save you the trouble of going to the delivery office to pick up the parcel.
So I was enquiring if his neighbours did this for each other and he explained that his neighbours were not on talking terms. In short, one of them had been really mean to the other.
These neighbours quarrelled and after sometime neighbour A drove his car and purposely killed the cat of neighbour B! In this climate, pet killing is hideous. To add insult to injury, neighbour A the next day went in front of neighbour B’s house and was crying ” meow meow meow”
During my undergraduate days, I lived both on campus and off campus.
When I was living on campus, my roommates were the typical Aristoe girls (one of the reasons I left). They were several visits from sugar daddies. They wore designer clothes but refused to buy basic necessities like toothpaste and palm oil, helping themselves with mine without my consent. In short, that was the last time I stayed on campus.
After that semester, I started staying off campus.My brother also lived in the same compound with me off campus.
He was initially in the same flat with me before moving to another one in the same house but we had this troublesome neighbour that was just something else.
I really don’t know what his problem was but looking back now, I think some of it could have been frustration and complex.
His family lived in the living room of the flat we were in and was separated from us. They however had to use the conveniences with us.
They used to live in another flat in the house while we lived on our own but the landlord did some readjustment and they moved downstairs and it was just something else.
He refused to be considerate and would come to the toilet, pass urine and leave
We complained and complained and he was acting like we should be glad to have him share. We’ll we were not having any of that and what was so shameful was that he would come, ease himself and walk away. His wife would then come from their end to flush the urine away. Now that I am much older, I think that that was just being abusive. How can a full grown man go ease himself and walk away knowing fully well his wife would have to come after him to flush. It makes me cringe.
This particular man was so troublesome and he had a way of causing trouble (, once he said I threw off a stick he left in the bathroom.
The issue was he always made most of this trouble when my brother was not around. There was one incident when my brother returned, he was so angry. He said he had dreamt he threw the man on top of the roof (we didn’t doubt that) but I begged him to ignore this man who was just being horrible. How we graduated without a full blown fight was a miracle as there were many opportunities.
I can go on and on but you know the type of trouble received usually depends on how close some neighbours are and if there are any shared facilities.
Living in a house where the conveniences are shared between different people is a different story from self contained flats. The latter saves you plenty drama.
I remember someone giving a testimony about how bad things were for them financially. Living in a room and parlour apartment, they shared the kitchen with their neighbours.
So in order to give the impression they had food to eat, she sometimes put water in a pot and put on the stove like they were cooking something and then carry the pot of hot water back to their room.
I shiver now when I think of how bad that was. I am sure you have had your own share of neighbour trouble.
But whatever the trouble is, we can minimise it by keeping neighbours strictly as neighbours until we really get to know them. That was one way I should have managed some of those relationships in the past.
Beware of the neighbour who will be the first to extend a hand of friendship and has something to say about everybody else on the street. That one usually is the one who has quarrelled with everybody and I can assure you that they are the real troublemakers. Also beware of the neighbour with pathetic stories always seeking to borrow money. You are not a money lender.
Having and being a good neighbour means minding your business but being watchful of any strange activities. It could also involve smiling and acknowledging your neighbours along the way. Remember to be friendly but not familiar.
And for that gossipy neighbour, try to shout a friendly greeting from afar.
What are your other neighbour tips?