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.