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Personal experience: What kind of neighbors can you get in America

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American neighbors are a much more peaceful phenomenon of nature than the familiar drill man, the Rammstein man and the scandal man. Is that the man-hero-lover dilutes the dismal routine of the tenant: a minimum of drama, a lot of smiles and no non-binding greetings.

We lived in the fourth room. Room two was home to Ben, a contracted painter. Ben rolled downhill - constantly drunk or stubborn, guests with brown paper-colored faces came to him. Ben craved companionship. In rare moments of enlightenment, he could press me against the fence and tell the story of his marriage, which turned his biography into a blazing fire of unquenched ambition. Well, you've heard all these stories more than once: my wife took everything out of the house, along with the carpet, cleared bank accounts, broke her beloved "corvette".

For some six months, Ben turned into ruin: his face became beetroot, then plaster appeared when he fell down the stairs drunk. In the end he was evicted for non-payment, and he said that he was leaving to live in the woods, in our opinion - to be homeless. Goodbye Ben.

Over us, on the second floor, lived: surfer Warren, "technical writer" Graham and the builder with the exotic name Jurie. Warren did not work (he had a comfortable, hard-working girl), but he learned his banjo passages and did not get out of the water.

From his wetsuit dripping on my bike, and every time I asked him to take action.

The quietest Graham retreated - he occasionally drove his Toyota Tandra with a torpedo littered with shells and noses from the beach. Graham also had a Buell motorcycle on perpetual joke, like the cruiser Aurora, which he had never uncovered during the 2 of the year. The battery was on recharging, as if under a drip. I did not understand what Graham wrote about this technical; Once he came to look for a job in our office, and I guessed that the writing caracter had knocked on the door to him.

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The builder Gyuri turned out to be Romanian - no, I did not ask about the laying of tiles, or about Count Dracula - he still would not understand the humor. With Jury we drank beer a couple of times, he turned out to be a very depressed native of Transylvania - he lost his house after a divorce, paid alimony and looked at the world through a vessel full of black disappointment. Women are bloodsuckers, girls are whores with an eye on your pocket.

And especially we must be wary of Ukrainian women, because they have no heart. Ukrainian women, parry.

Upon learning that I was dating a 25-year-old, he didn’t even hide his envy. I didn’t go to him anymore, and then I completely moved out. I met Jurie a couple of years later, he introduced me to his Filipina wife. I hope he checked her cardiogram first, or how her heartiness is measured.

Lauren, from number 5, suffered emphysema. She was brought green oxygen cartridges the size of a half-liter bottle. Her door was always open, Lauren gasped and she needed a draft. Once she called me to visit through this very door, and for an hour I was chatting with her in a gloomy apartment filled with furniture to the eyes.

Saying goodbye, out of idiotic politeness, I wished her to recover, to which she laughed: “I'm afraid, not this time, dear!”, Whistling loudly with the remnants of my lungs. A week later, I returned from work and saw Lauren taking an ambulance. After a couple of days, the movers arrived and cleaned her apartment, leaving a battery of oxygen cylinders near the door, as on Everest.

A student lived over the fence - an 5 man who picked up a house. The guys had 2 state of aggregation: booze and hangover. In the mornings, I looked out the window and saw chewed neighbors wallowing in sun loungers in those same scrubbing sun glasses worn only in California.

My friend Matthew once caught a couple of them from the bottom of a stream in Arroyo Seco, and from that time on I understood where they were taken from. The students grew orange and apple trees, to which no one was concerned. The orange was so tearing that it littered the whole earth around, it was painful to look at it. Once I could not resist and offered them to harvest. Until the winter, I no longer bought apples or oranges. And it usually ended with drunkenness - someone called the police, the neighbors got a fine, and until the end of the semester everything was quiet. Then I moved to the trailer park, where I rented a room and met Sarah.

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Sarah was the brightest of my neighbors, without a doubt. She managed to break a few of my strong templates about Americans. For a start, I learned that it is possible to smoke weed not just daily, but several times a day. It turned out that one can smoke during working hours in order to calm down or to have fun, before the trip, driving and after the trip, working on a field expedition, kayaking and so on ad infinitum. She also showed me a strong Californian kinship: this is when mom, dad, cousin, stepfather and two friends have lunch first, and then bong together in circles, discussing the difference between the varieties of ganja.

The trailer park was inhabited by 2 type residents: tourists on huge RVs, traveling across the continent, and constants, who rented their homes from the wheels and settled for years, slowly growing into the ground. Tyler was engaged in repairing the roofs and was always stuck on the road with a mobile phone, trying to catch the signal. Pete-stutter was holding a three-legged dog named Norman.

Pete hung around with the winds everywhere, chasing leaves and debris. On the ground floor there lived an old landlord named Bill, Parkinson's victim — Bill trembled with everything, including his voice. Every week he gathered a religious club, a 15 man burned incense and walked in a religious procession around the pool, chanting mantras.

Bill told me that in his youth he coexisted with a Russian sailor and in proof with a cracked voice he sang "Broad is my dear country."

I pulled up. It turned out that Bill knows the words better than mine. In Sacramento, I settled under the same roof with three blacks and a Vietnamese. Stevie was a real character. Panicky hypochondriac, he endlessly scrubbed the bathroom and rushed around with stories about the finding of rattlesnakes or puma in the neighborhood, which sleep and see how to kill the local ones. Stevie worked at the post office the night after three and hid from the collector from the credit union, who tried to collect his BMW for debts.

Stevie had a good taste for cars. He was very worried about pressure and cholesterol; to relieve anxiety, Steve had breakfast, lunch and dinner with grilled beef. For a health amendment, he decided to ride a bike, and even bought a used 2 great without saddles. Four months he could not pack up and buy spare parts for them. January night, Stevie got into his beemer and disappeared forever, without paying for the last month and leaving a garage floor for junk.

Calvin understood Gauguin and Cezanne, the history of the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine and jazz interpretations. However, he was terribly surprised that in a soda can of 40 grams of sugar and this is even written on it.

The lanky Chris rode a hippie bike fix until he got a mulatto girlfriend. The mulatto sent Chris so easily that I heard it on the floor below, at the other end of the house.

Once a week the parents of a landlord appeared in the house, a Chinese couple: a stern mother, as if carved out of stone, and a father, who did not know Belmes in English, but was eager to communicate. He forced us to keep the bathroom door open, from mold, and once with gestures he told me about the fall of the Malaysian Boeing. True, I did not understand what he meant - even if shouting in Chinese very loudly, the meaning remains vague.

A neighbor's plum grew near our fence, I almost plucked it on my part - it was good to eat plums. I never met those neighbors. Probably for the better.

Kolya Sulima

Blog printed with permission Author.

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