When living in a metropolitan city, it’s sometimes hard to make the same connections with your neighbors as you would see in one of those classic comedy sitcoms where everyone seems to know everyone with painstaking detail and Kramer comes flying through your front door.
The suburban pipe dream doesn’t have to be an unattainable thing, and instead of following the cliche troupe of asking old Maria next door for a cup of sugar, why not try to provide a helping hand or make a meaningful connection that doesn’t solely involve awkwardly meeting each other’s gaze whilst you drunkenly bring your fourth empty bottle of wine out to the recycling bin, trying to act sober?
Considering the lockdown is coming to a point where we’ve completely forgotten what month, day, or time it is, we thought it was only right to share a few ways you can finally extend the proverbial olive branch to those mysterious individuals that you call your neighbors.
Start up a chat on Whatsapp
It’s funny how we use our phones to play Pokemon Go, send memes, or fill out copious amounts of Buzzfeed quizzes, yet we seem to have forgotten it’s actually a great communication tool.
Why not be the leader within your own neighborhood and start up a group chat so even your elderly neighbors can be kept in the loop about all the action going down in your neck of the woods? Or make friends with the charming stranger you’ve noticed a few times across the street? This is a simple way to make sure you’re not only up with the play but also it can be a fantastic way to boost morale, especially among the elderly since many are at high risk and can’t leave their homes.
Get up and get, steal their pets
You’ve spotted an absolute angel from across your balcony, you both yearn for each other’s touch as they call from across the street with dulcet tones, their fur flowing in the wind… but you can tell they’ve been craving to go outside more than anything else. If you spotted a cutie who clearly needs to be walked because their owner is either at risk or simply can’t be bothered to take them out, why not offer to fill this void?
Although we’ve become accustomed to this non negotiable hibernation, our doggy friends, on the other hand, have not. So if you can safely take out one of your neighbors’ pooches for an hour or so, why not be this canine’s cheeky bit on the side? In return you’ll get some fresh air and a new friend to cuddle and adore.
Shop till you drop
The one thing I’ve loved about this quarantine is the reclamation of self-love. For me, this includes going to the supermarket weekly for a tub of ice-cream, a bag of crisps, and a couple tasty beers to wash it all down. Although I’m slowly making my body look like a punched lasagna with great success, it doesn’t mean other people have the privilege of being able to walk down to the shops with such gleeful delight.
If you’ve noticed elderly neighbors who have rarely been leaving their homes, if at all, why not offer to do them a solid and grab them some groceries? Not only will this mean you’ll be helping someone in need but you can once again line up at the check out without being judged at the checkout for throwing in a couple more Bon o Bon to feed your already expanding food baby. Also you might be lucky enough to score some killer home baking if you’re living adjacent to an Argentinean Betty Crocker, because modern problems require modern solutions. Make sure to take all the necessary precautions, of course.
In addition, maybe you can order a nice meal from a local business for your neighbor. Our resident food expert Kevin has compiled a few fantastics restaurants you definitely won’t find on your traditional delivery apps which are well worth checking out
Respect (Just a little bit)
The one thing I think a lot of us need to learn during these never ending lockdown times is a simple bit of respect, which I’m sure for the most part has become more and more of a struggle the longer we’re stuck inside. My partner can attest to this; my cell phone almost took a nose-dive out of our bedroom window because I was playing a mobile game instead of washing the dishes (my bad).
Our neighbors, in turn, deserve this same respect. So as tempting as it is to party all day and all night, don’t forget that there are some people who are perhaps struggling to cope with the already mentally draining cycle of bed-couch-kitchen-couch-bed without having to deal with you practicing the art of pig squealing at 3 AM (yes, I’m talking about you 4A, I’m on the brink of a nervous breakdown you absolute cretin). Live by Aretha Franklin’s glorious words and you too will avoid becoming the villain of your building.
Also if you’re finding yourself stuck in a rut watching the same movies or shows on Netflix why not check out our in-house streaming scholar Jorge’s latest article where he takes a deep-dive into the top Argentinean platform offerings.