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Living the Life

The Good Neighbor

Moving is stressful. Once the decision has been made, and a new place has been found, there’s the physicality of the move — packing, sorting, transporting and the reverse. Something always gets broken or misplaced. For expats, there may be the added stress of a new job or a new culture to deal with. And without the comfort of friends, family and the familiar, it’s no wonder that moving ranks as a major stressful life event. Some of the factors of a move will eventually be resolved and can even be prepared for. However, neighbors are part of the roulette wheel of life — you won’t know until you know.

Neighborhood Watch Sign

A good neighbor may be hard to find.

Living in the city means having neighbors who may be only as far as a few pieces of plywood, sheet rock and insulation. The irony of such proximity is that privacy becomes even more valued. You may never know your neighbor except by random encounters in the elevator or the mailbox. Furthermore, the chances of having a neighbor who welcomes you with baked goods is just as likely as having one who leaves garbage outside your door. Although there is no way to know whether you’re in favor with the moving gods until you’ve actually made the move, there are a few online resources that may help.

Meet the Neighbors
Members can set up message boards for their building or neighborhood. You can search by zip code and then see the types of comments and responses. Some boards are more active than others but it’s a free peek into the people who live near and around you.

Bad Neighbor Map
The late-night partyer, the one who doesn’t clean up after his yappy dog, the snoop who goes through your mail — with so many possibilities, it’s surprising that there are actually people who can be good neighbors. The Bad Neighbor Map is a chance to leave a comment, tag it to a location on Google Maps, and prepare someone else. Hopefully, it won’t be someone you know.

Share Some Sugar
With a tagline: Why Buy When You Can Borrow, this site serves a dual purpose in that it allows you find and be a good neighbor. You can find the someone who’ll come through with the extra egg for the cupcakes or be the person with the right-size Allen wrench for that IKEA furniture assembly.

In the end, it’s still do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we all strive to be good neighbors then there will be less of the other kind to welcome you to the neighborhood.


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