Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Meet the Neighbors and a Lesson in Coffee History

So we are finally all moved in, mostly unpacked and loving our new home. As much as we dreaded the whole packing and moving thing (because it really does suck), I think it's a good thing now that the hard part is done. Love the new apartment and love the location.

Growing up where I did, where it was commonplace to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor, I've always longed for that kind of neighbor thing but have never really found it most places I've lived. I promised myself that I'd at least meet the closest neighbor soon just to introduce myself and just hoped it wouldn't be too awkward. Turns out there was no need to worry. As I was leaving yesterday to run to the store, my neighbor was outside and greeted me. We chitchatted and I mentioned how whatever cooking she does always smells so spicy and so good. Turns out she's from Ethiopia, so that's the kind of cooking I was smelling. At that mention, she says that I must try some. I protested that I was on my way out to the store, but she wouldn't take no for an answer. I expected just a quick taste, but an hour later I've met half of the family that's arrived for a visit, have learned that much of Ethiopia has a really mild climate and is not desert, am pretty stuffed from having way more than just a quick bite (picture is similar to what I ate) and have personally thanked all at their table for the gift of coffee since it turns out that Ethiopia is where coffee began - with a goat and a shepherd long ago. Fortunately, along with their generosity, my neighbor and her visiting family also have a sense of humor, so they just kind of laughed along with me instead of looking at me like the nut I am. Apparently there is a kind of "coffee ceremony" tradition in their culture, so you know I'll be finding out more about that.

So meeting the neighbor has turned out to be way better than I'd even hoped. I just wanted a nice neighbor and instead got a very generous and wonderful neighbor PLUS the whole coffee connection on top of that. I love my new place.

2 comments:

  1. Good neighbors rule! I wish we could bring the "quiet neighborhood" concept to the world at large. I'm always surprised how fast cultural, ethnic, religious, and class barriers come down when people are in comfortable, friendly environments.

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  2. Few things are better than good neighbors. Other than coffee. And my good neighbors invented coffee (well, kind of). I totally agree that in the right kind of environment we really all can get along pretty darn well and even have an interesting time learning.

    Just realized you have more blogs than just "the blog." Cool!

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