Friday, July 30, 2010

Small Town Big City...

I've been following a blog. This blog. And every Friday, Wendy, puts up a question. This week's question was "Who is your neighbor?"
Easy Question?  It used to be. But, it got me thinking...partially due to jet-lag and I Can't.Sleep!

"Downtown Jamesport"

I grew up in a small town. Very small. 
500 people small. 
I knew my neighbors. 
Hey, in fact I knew probably 99% of the entire town, including their dogs, cats, and horses.
I knew to stay out of Mrs. Sour Face's yard, she didn't like kids.
I knew to stop by Mr. and Mrs. Bubbles because they would have some cookies, they liked kids.
I knew that my BFF lived on the other side of town, only a 10 minute bike ride away.
I knew that I couldn't get away with anything, because not only did I know everyone...they knew me and who my parents were. 

But, this small town girl is now living in a city of 3 million. 
"Downtown Taipei"
Mind-boggling? Yes!
Fascinating? Quite!
Loving it? Hmmm, most of the time.  
I love that everything is just right outside my apartment building.
Need milk or eggs? No problem, 5 min. walk to the grocery.
Can't sleep and need a snack? No problem, 24 hour McD's and a 7-11 just 5 min. walk away.
Coffee? Starbucks, just a 5 min. walk's full? No worries, there are other coffee shops or I can walk another 3 min. down the road to yet, another Starbucks. 
Pathetic? Just a bit?
Spoiled? Definitely

"Green OB"
I forget how spoiled I am until we visit my little hometown or in this case, my FIL's hometown.  My in-laws moved to this beautiful little village about 11 years ago when they retired.  
Oberreidenbach. Say WHAT?
Big name for a village of 700, eh?

But, being back in a small town brought memories back from my childhood.  
Everybody knowing everybody. 
Green. Green. Green. Lots of Green.
Fresh. Clean. Air.
Did I mention Green? 

But, back to Wendy's question..."Who lives in my neighborhood?"...Neighborhood = Community.
Do I know everyone in the city? Ha! That is funny!
Do I know all my neighbors? No, but I know most of them.
Am I lacking in community?  Nope! Community in the expat world usually circles around schools, employment, expat community centers, or places of worship.  
For me, community lies within the school my kids go to and the church we attend. Some of those people just happen to be my neighbors.
Which for a cup of sugar is only down a flight of stairs or two...or when I'm lazy down the elevator. ;)

If you like to follow blogs, Wendy's blog is a great place for inspiration and encouragement....check her blog out here.

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Wendy Paine Miller said...

Hey MaDonna,

Thanks for the shout out! How cool is that. And Oberreidenbach sounds like my kind of place to retreat. I think about my One Question Fridays. My husband probably wants all the questions to cease b/c I'm never w/out them, but hey, at least it makes me interesting.

Thanks for connecting like this today! Makes blogging worth it.
~ Wendy

MaDonna Maurer said...

Thanks Wendy! I've really enjoyed your thought provoking on many levels! And keep the questions least on Friday he gets a break from one question, right? =)

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