Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 3:22 pm Posts: 442 Location: USA
We have new neighbors across the street that moved in a couple of months ago. The parents and grandfather were born in India, and they have 2 little boys about 4 and 2. They haven't been too bad, and are usually fairly quiet. Today I was weeding in the front of my house though, and watched the grandfather take the two boys onto other people's property to look at their flowers and even picked a couple of apples (which of course aren't remotely ripe)! The grandfather seems pretty traditional, wears a skirt etc. I don't know what the culture is like in India regarding wandering around on other peoples properties, but it certainly isn't OK here!
He then came over to our yard and tried talking to me, which I was polite until he told me he was "so sorry" to hear that we didn't have kids. UGH. I know English is his second language, and comes from a much different culture, so I just politely said I had to finish my chores, but now I'm dreading running into him now. I reallllly want to move.
I really want to say something to the neighbor that had their apples picked (which was waaaay back on their property),but I don't know if it is best to not stir up trouble?
You are right, it is a very different culture....I would suggest reserving your opinion on his bingo, he is older and his world view likely dramatically different. When I travel 3rd world I get this often....the places I have gone to - as an example the locals could not comprehend that a woman could be educated and support herself. They liked me and worried for me - that was their intent.
As for the apples they weren't on your property so I don't see where it is really your concern, I would hazard a guess the neighbors aren't worried about a few apples.
You asked for advice, and in this situation you say they keep to themselves, the grandfather made an effort to meet you....I would suggest you might give them a break, they are new to the neighborhood, aren't causing trouble, I think you should be relieved so far.
As an Indian (born and raised in the US) I can tell you that they probably don't give a rat's ass if its not on their property or if their neighbor would be pissed at that. I know relatives that will do things like that and when you say something to them they will say "Oh they won't mind," and completely ignore that if a person had already told you NO. And then they might play the 'ignorant foreigner' card if caught saying that they didn't know better. My mom does this all the time, and I feel bad growing up each time a contractor came to do something cause she would sprung all sorts of new things that weren't in the contract and con him into doing more than he agreed on.
And yeah, most traditional Indians will assume that if you don't have kids, it just means that you haven't been able to bear them, or that you aren't able to, and in either case it is reasonable to commiserate. The idea of voluntarily not having kids is an anathema to them (I imagine it is to most traditional cultures).
I don't mean to steal the spotlight or 1up you or anything, but I had terrible neighbors. I'm pretty sure the dad at least was a skinhead, and he practiced with his bow with his kids doing stuff in front of and slightly off to the right of him. Also, my sister said he stared at her in the mornings through his window as she went off to school. I thought they were bad, but their kids were the worst. The older one stole a video game of mine and the younger one would regularly ring our doorbell as fast as he could for as long as he could, and sometimes even urinated on the front steps! Also, they tore up our garden, and the younger one chased me around, waving a fucking wrench. I went to tell the parents that their son was trying to kill me, and the asshole yelled at me, "WE DON'T CARE!"
I do not miss those people. Our previous neighbors were nice, and gave us vegetables they had grown in their garden.
According to Planned Parenthood, 99 percent of women who have ever been sexually active have used birth control. So next time someone tries to make you the freak, you can just laugh and say, "Well, apparently I'm not the freak since statistics say 99% of sexually active people in the US have used birth control."
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