Two years on and the ‘newness’ of my hood has almost worn off. It’s become a comfortable glove that fits and when something’s amiss I immediately notice. This rhythm altered recently when the daily shenanigans in the backyard changed. The mornings had become strangely quiet and I hadn’t heard the familiar, ‘I’ve poo poo finish.’ I got a confirmation that this set of neighbours had moved out when I saw two strangers (carpenters as it turned out) making ready the place for new tenants.
Finally I’m free of the ‘demon generator’ and its poisonous fumes! The latest tenants are pretty quiet or maybe they’re just not as many as the previous. I guess time will tell. I’ve become accustomed to some of the daily routines of other neighbours. It’s pretty interesting that although I’m familiar with their voices, names and some household habits I’m unable to recognise them if I happen to pass them on the street.
I’ll recognise their voice if they happen to speak but I’ll be left to puzzle over the face. The voices drift to my window and sometimes I’m forced to shut my window when it becomes overly loud. For instance I’m familiar with Kelechi’s father bellow, ‘shut your mouth!’ I recently caught a glimpse of him and so he’s no longer a disembodied voice any more. Strangely enough he’s not in possession of the typical potbelly men like him are wont to have and even looks slightly muscular.
The architect of Kelechi’s morning wails now has a face. The sound of flesh being smacked and the heart wrenching cries that result are definitely not my favourite. Furthermore hearing those muffled cries continue at lower decibels is not something I’d recommend. Now I can recognise the entire family from a distance.
I’d already bumped into all three kids and their mom doing school runs a while back. I immediately recognised the high pitched voice when we passed by each other. These encounters give a more holistic picture of the ‘familiar strangers’ that surround me. I feel like a detective when this happens. It also gives me something to share with you right here…
The rainy season has kicked in with a vengeance and the Eskimos next door continue using their air-conditioner. Come to think of it though, maybe it hasn’t been used these past three days. Yours truly has all but boarded up the windows and barely left cracks for adequate ventilation. Cold friendly I still ain’t!
In other news, the neighbourhood convenience store run by the token Ibo chap has expanded. In the usual tradition of his brothers, he recently opened a second store a few yards from the flagship. The new space is not as spacious, but engineered to cater specifically to the cosmetics needs of his many customers. This will hopefully help customers find the items they want faster.
A building on the street undergoes construction but the road still undulates and oozes mud when it rains. I’m resigned to this as a permanent state of affairs throughout the rainy season. My only hope is that it’s not more reminiscent of the moon’s surface by the end of the rains. Although with the weather forecasts from the meteorological service that hope might be in vain.
Like the organic entity it is my neighbourhood has experienced growth. There are obviously many changes I’ve not noticed but again there are things that have also remained the same. Adjustment and adaptation are crucial for thriving in life because the only constant thing in life is change. What are some of the changes in your neck of the woods?