Cricket matches and roosters

Back in my homeland we have a small house in a locality where the houses are falling over each other. The houses are so close together that we can hear loud arguments or children crying in the house next door. Standing on the terrace we can look into all the surrounding houses. Any information that you do not manage to obtain in this way about your neighbors can be gotten by the cleaning ladies who frequent all the houses of the neighborhood.

Our next door neighbors have a lot of people living in the house with children of all sizes. We know this because every time a child is born they distribute mithai (traditional sweets) in the neighborhood.

One of the children is called Abdullah (we hear his mother calling him) and he is too naughty to go to school. They have tried putting him in school but after a few days the school sends him back. So Abdullah spends his time on the street waiting for the other children to return from school. Once the other children are back, it’s time for the cricket matches to start. Since the houses do not have backyards the matches are played on the street. The batsman hits the ball and it lands neatly on our terrace. Now the children are very considerate and do not bother to ring the bell and ask for the ball. The little monkeys simply go into their own house, climb the wall over onto our terrace and retrieve the ball. Another consequence of the cricket matches is that almost every week our gate lights are broken and have to be changed.

On top of all the children, the neighbors also kept a chicken and a rooster in their house. The rooster liked to climb into our house and peck on our plants. Fortunately one of the local cats solved this problem and the rooster is no more.

20140218_180320When we moved to Dubai we came into a locality with 3 to 5 bedroom villas with 2 car porches, a maid’s room and a big backyard. I wanted to make friends with the neighbors so I sent them some chocolates with my husband’s visiting card hoping that they would come over to say thank you. That never happened. I continued to make efforts but to no avail. Finally I gave up. Years later I have realized that only people of same nationalities socialize here. It’s really a shame.

And thinking about it, I kind of miss the cricket matches back home.

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24 thoughts on “Cricket matches and roosters

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  6. It’s too bad… I grew up with grandparents who were always friendly neighbors. Now I live in the city surrounded by multi-family houses with little or no yard space between. Durring the summer months the noise is bothersome so we vacation in the country with my mother. I have a love-hate relationship with my neighborhood. It’s such a diverse community and I love it. The neighborhood is very tightly knit. People help one another and look out for the safety of the neighborhood children. The schools lack needed supplies, staff, and resources. There have been several shootings in the 6 years I have lived here. My husband and I occasionally confront drug dealers – to let them know it’s not acceptable to sell drugs in front of our building (and to take it elsewhere “not out on front street” They’re usually respectful of our advice since we are older and wiser, and we are helping keep them out of prison!) I often think of moving to a rural area and living out my dreams on a small farm or homestead… but I would sincerely miss the diversity and the neighbors who have become extended family!

      • Yes, it’s scary at times! Luckily our neighbors are supportive of our efforts. I think as with anything the key is speaking with respect and genuine concern. No one wants to see children get hurt or spend their life in prison – not even drug dealers! I understand these people are often desperate to make ends meet. I think that makes them more receptive to what I’m saying… But yes, I do need to be careful and tread lightly!

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  11. Yes there is something said about nice neighbors or at least neighbors that acknowledge you exist. I on the other hand love my wide open nothingness behind my home, my nearest neighbor is ¼ mile away. Our horses grace our backyard and I am content knowing that 40 acres surrounds my home. I live where some still leave doors unlocked or keys hanging in the car in the yard. But our community is close knit if one is ill with sickness (cancer, heart attack or other) there are many that rally around them to make sure little ones get to and from school and activities, also provide meals and money if needed. We are over 3,000 in size yet I know most by first name or at least know one of their relatives strange yet most live miles apart for us we are 10 miles from town and still considered neighbors to those who live in town. Strange how some live so close, my husband and I travel to city once and awhile and marvel at the tightness of homes together and say this is not the way for us to live – we both crave our space when we get back home. And the crickets in our backyard are the ones that chirp and make noise as dusk approaches.

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  14. I guess that’s how people roll all around the world. Bus Apna Apna….
    Anyways, I’m in Dubai as well. Would love to meet up with you & ur little cutie pie. You have my email address. Holla! 🙂

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