Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Neighbor

We have a new neighbor in the building across from mine. Most buildings in Hong Kong are very close to each other. There’s not a lot of privacy when you can see into the windows of the building next door. I’ve always been lucky because my bedroom window only faces one other apartment. They can only see into my room and I can only see into theirs. From some apartments you can see into several of your neighbor’s windows.

People solve this problem by keeping the curtains closed all the time. Chinese people don’t really like sunlight anyway and no one would ever have any privacy without curtains. I like sunlight and I’ve never liked the idea of keeping the curtains closed all the time. Luckily the neighbor across the way always kept theirs closed, so I got used to keeping mine open – unless I was changing or doing something I didn’t want anybody to see.

After a while I just kept the curtains open all the time. I never saw the neighbors open theirs and they’re so thick and cover the window so completely that you couldn’t even peek out without being obvious.

Then the new neighbor moved in. Suddenly I looked out the window and saw into their room. The curtains were actually open. I couldn’t believe it. It was a while before I saw any people – I only just saw their furniture. The window is actually a double sliding glass door that goes to their laundry balcony, so you can see the room from floor to ceiling.

Yesterday I was putting away laundry and I glanced out the window to see a guy standing in his. He wasn’t watching me – he was just looking out the window and only noticed me after I noticed him. He smiled & waved and I smiled & waved and we both went back to our lives.

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