The people that you meet each day


As I just wrote about, every morning there’s like a little jukebox that fires off in my head (which I suspect is related somewhat to la main étrangère). Usually the jukebox plays more recent stuff but today it came up with a real old one from the late 1970′s:

Thanks to the magic of YouTube and other websites, nearly everything that has ever been broadcast on television is now online somewhere.

There are several versions of this song (the jobs change) but the chorus is always the same:

Who are the people in your neighborhood,
the people that you meet each day?

Now obviously a lot of things have changed since 1977 and one thing that’s definitely changed is that very few people in America ever meet the people in their neighborhood and they damn sure don’t meet them every day.

Here in Europe, more specifically Romania and Unicorn City where I live, of course that tradition continues. I walk around all the time (getting high on that that sweet sunshine) and I really do meet people in my neighborhood every day.

In fact, it’s one of the most important reasons why I live here. People in American and Britain (and many others) are very wired into “social media” and the internet and everything else but it’s becoming increasingly rare to meet people in your neighborhood each day. You’re far more likely to “meet” strangers a thousand miles away from you than the people who live right next door or down the street.

The Sesame Street song above is quite a happy and cheerful one (complete with silly puns) for a good reason – humans are very social creatures and we like to meet and spend time with people we know. Here in Romania I sometimes schedule times for me and my close friends to meet but just as often I serendipitously run into someone I haven’t seen a while and we stop and chat and sometimes sit down and have a coffee.

Quite frankly, it’s wonderful.

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3 Responses »

  1. Right. My wife and I live in a duplex and have had the same duplex neighbor for about 24 years. However, we really don’t know any of the other couples on the streets (10). I don’t think it’s because we are anti social, social media kind of shoots down that idea, I think we just don’t have time anymore. Both my wife and I work long and strange hours. In fact we don’t see each other that much now that I think about it. She works and commutes 12 hours a day and I work 3rd shift. Social media is my primary outlet for socialization. Sad, but true.

    When i worked in Spain we did something similar during the evening hours. At the end of the work day a walk through Zaragoza always included a conversation with a curious Spaniard. Not only that it was great practice for my Spanish. Quite frankly I thought it a good way to live and had hoped to have stayed and worked in Spain.

    There was a time many years ago we both would arrive home about the same time and take that evening walk around the neighborhood. Though we really didn’t know anyone, we did meet people and if we could have kept that routine I’m sure some good friendships would have developed. However, in today’s world (a Republican one here in the USA) we must work the hours to keep the stock holders profit margins up to maintain their life styles, while ours kind of fall apart. Sad, but true.

    • Yeah, I’m sure you have become an overworked victim because of a political party… I am also sure all the stockholders who you are enriching [sic] are registered Republicans – what bastards! I mean, why would they be so heartless as to buy stocks from profitable enterprises? My heart goes out to you and your persecuted family, I am shedding crocodile tears for you.

  2. It is foarte minunat! I like this way of life mult :)

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