Sunday, May 29, 2005
Immeubles en Fete
People in France are generally considered more reserved and proper. It's difficult to make friends quickly, as you do in the US. However, these French friends, once made, usually form a strong bond and last a lifetime.
In this environment, it is rare that a person gets to know their neighbor. I was told early on, that neighbors already know enough about your personal life (through the walls) and so they don't pursue a friendship. This is not to say people are unfriendly. On the contrary, people are friendly and say hello. They just don't ask if you're getting a divorce because they've heard you screaming at your spouse (upstairs) or if your daughter ever sleeps (as I'm sure they wondered when I first moved in).
So it was with a smile that I read about the 6th annual Buildings in Festival/Immeubles en Fete -- basically an official meet your neighbor day all across Europe (but originating in France in the 17th). This year it will be held on Tuesday, 31 May.
Last year there were 3,000,000 participants in France and 500,000 people in Europe. So Tuesday night, get out the champagne and ring the doorbell across the hall -- you've got a great reason. You might find a new friend.
-- said Auntie M in Paris
# posted by Anonymous : 7:47 PM
# posted by negrito : 10:43 PM
When we were staying in our friend's apartment this past Christmas in Paris, we definitely could hear everything....and with two kids WE were the ones making the noise.
# posted by Raehan : 6:42 AM
We currently live in an inner-city apartment complex where you don't really see anyone about, even though there is like 140+ apartments in my block. We are going to move out in future months to an inner-city house where I think it'll be cool to know some of your neighbours. Maybe Australia should adopt this idea too.
Have a great Tuesday evening... (Let's know how you go!)
# posted by Melody : 7:29 AM
Negrito, So true. I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised by the NO vote.
Raehan, It does sound pretty good, but I only know 2 people who participated last year... we'll see about this year.
Melody, With two small children who I let make a lot of noise during the day... I completely agree with you... but I think I'm going to try it anyway.
# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 8:00 AM
# posted by mrsmogul : 11:32 AM
Auntie, you're a brave girl, go for it! And let us know what happens!
# posted by Sammy : 12:01 PM
# posted by : 3:57 PM
# posted by Philip : 7:00 PM
# posted by Oz : 6:17 AM
In France (and especially in Paris!), people won't really talk to you if you are not making the first step...I guess that is why lots of strangers find us rude. But if you get to know people better, they are as friendly as anyone else.
I hope you had fun!
# posted by Anonymous : 11:54 AM