Last summer, a hell mouth opened up in our dining room. To get the problem fixed, we had to coordinate our condo corporation and our insurance company, so it took an entire year to get the problem dealt with. In order to close the hell mouth, the contractor had to pull the kitchen, rip up all of the floors on the main level, set up abatement machines and tents to manage the asbestos tiles in some of the floor, and use some pretty intense mould killers (Buffy wasn’t available). So, we moved to a cute little rental house in the suburbs.
And man, has it been weird.
Like… When you live in the suburbs, your neighbours knock on your door. A lot. At first, I thought it was because they were nosy. But after observing them for four weeks, I’ve come to discover it’s because they’re kind of a community. So they want to be sure you’re not an axe murderer.
When you live in the suburbs, you own a lot of cars. Sometimes, there seems to be more cars than people attached to a house. And you drive absolutely everywhere, because you’re living a good twenty-five minute walk to any form of public transit.
There is no such thing as a quick walk with the dog or a quiet afternoon on your porch reading a book. Because your neighbours will interrupt you. They will stop you on the street for small talk, or lean over their fence and ask you what you’re reading.
When you live in the suburbs, you’re a million miles away from things like coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and going out at night means you’re either leaving early or paying a lot of money for a cab ride home.
People don’t seem to be as territorial about their space as they are in the city. Neighbours have no trouble invading your space, borrowing your driveway to park their cars or enjoying a cigarette in your garden.
People feel completely safe leaving their doors open. I don’t mean unlocked, I mean wide open. All day and even at night.
It’s really quiet at night. Like, it’s practically silent. And on weekends, people disappear to cottages and the neighbourhood becomes a ghost town.
I guess I can see how suburbia would be appealing to someone. But me? I cannot wait to get back to my own home, in my own neighbourhood, where neighbours just wave or nod at each other, the sound of sirens, traffic and loud parties lull you to sleep at night, and you lock your door even when you’re running to the mailbox or putting out the rubbish.