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
12:53 PM



Do you really think it will happen though??? I doubt it would have happened in my apt. building on Belles Feuilles. Tell us the news tomorrow of all your new friends!!

# posted by Anonymous : 7:47 PM  

it seems that this year, they really prefer their neighbours to the ones leaving outside the country even if it is Europe...

# posted by negrito : 10:43 PM  

That sounds so wonderful!

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  

What a great idea! But sometimes I like to know that my neighbours DON'T know me!

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  

CMAC, Who knows what will happen in my building. I'll let you know.
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  

I know my neighbors! They are a couple in their 60's and I even wrote a post about them! But they don;t know that!

# posted by mrsmogul : 11:32 AM  

I've posted about my neighbors too, like Mrs Mogul, but I think that if I showed up at their doorstep with champagne they'd call a psychiatrist, seeing as our 'neighborly relations' are not so hot.

Auntie, you're a brave girl, go for it! And let us know what happens!

# posted by Sammy : 12:01 PM  

i'd love to do that too, but my husband is on a business trip and only two single men live on my floor. one is always shirtless and the other has to lock his door 3 times every morning before going to work. so, i think i'm going upstairs!

# posted by irene : 3:57 PM  

What a marvelous idea! I suggest you sip a few glasses yourself first to get your courage up and then start ringing . . . I would love to hear how it goes . . ..

# posted by Philip : 7:00 PM  

How was European Neighbours' Day? We're currently visiting with family in Canada and the US. Take care!

# posted by Oz : 6:17 AM  

I think what you say about friendship in France is right. I am french, but I went several times in the USa and in Canada, and every time I am surprised of how people are open to discussion, and friendly, even if they don't know you.
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  

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