Should I welcome our new neighbours?
We have new neighbours. A bit like field mice, I know they’re there, but I’m yet to set eyes on them.
I was first alerted when their kitchen door, which is easily visible from our own kitchen, was left open. It was a big clue because, part from during estate agent viewings, it’s been firmly shut since the last tenant moved out six months ago.
Then I heard voices in the garden. Later, one of the kitchen blinds inched half way up the window – enough to show someone was there; but not enough to show me who it was who’d welcomed in the sunshine.
Given we could use some more small children on the street (not in the least for odd jobs), I’m desperate to find out more but, while I play cat and mouse with the shy new neighbours, Gerlie’s the only one who’s set eyes on a flesh-and-blood member of the new family.
“She’s very nice,” she said of the lady she happened across in the street. Gerlie then probably wished she’d kept her mouth shut as I interrogated her intensely about our new neighbour’s likely age, nationality, dress sense and, most importantly, potential children.
While Gerlie’s no Sherlock Holmes, her one small chat with our new neighbour did manage to yield the following information: The lady looks quite nice. She has a very small baby and two more children, possibly aged two and four. She’s from America, though possibly from a different ethnic group (“She has white skin, I think,” said Gerlie, “but she’s speaking not English in the garden.”) She’s probably new to Dubai. She’s quite pretty and doesn’t wear a hijab. There’s no car in the drive.
She sounds alright, doesn’t she?
So, the bottom line is: Should I go over and welcome the new family? Should I take over a cup of sugar as old-fashioned British manners would dictate? Normally I would but, for a start, it being a rental house that used to be used for short-term lets, I’ve no idea how long they’re going to be there – it could even be only a month. And, most importantly, what if we don’t like each other and the introduction becomes “that awkward moment” that’s the only time we ever speak in the five years they may go on to live there?
Better to maintain a distance for now, I think. Anyone got any binoculars?