My neighbour

I have never felt scared or insecure in India.

Of course I know that there are crimes and also violence, but I have never felt threatened. I have felt that in San Francisco though in the evening. I was looking over my shoulder all the time there. I understand why most people with money live in the suburbs and drive a car. It’s the safest and easiest way.
Indians can get a bit too much, especially for western women, but I have never experienced them as threatening. Sure, there is no need to be stupid and walk everywhere in the middle of the night, but even in enormous cities such as Mumbai there is never a feeling that you are in danger.

I have a Russian painter as a neighbour here in Arambol. He’s got a nice candlelight holder on the balcony that I was meaning to ask him where he got.

Today he was sitting on the balcony, but suddenly he started singing some kind of death metal songs and throwing empty liqour bottles on the cliffs below.

I realized very suddenly that I really don’t need any candelight holders, so I went inside and locked the door instead.

Later in the evening, he took the balcony handle and threw down on to the cliffs. On the way down he hit the electricity cables which set of some lightning flashes in the air.

Russians are apparently not very popular here in Goa. Not even if they are painters. Why I haven’t really found out yet (I hope not all of them are like my neighbour). The only thing I know is that they seldom haggle which brings up the prices for the rest of us. But I don’t think that is the reasons why Indians don’t find them pleasant.

It is very popular for Russians to go to India. It is easy to get a visa for them because of old socialistic ties between the countries, so the richer they get, the more they travel, often to India. Broadly speaking, I would say that half of the people I see here are Russians.

When I was thinking about the guy next door, I started thinking about my neighbours at home. I got very surprised and a bit shocked when I couldn’t remember my neighbours and also had to put some effort into it to remember where my apartment was and what it looked like.

After a while, a familiar face showed up. It was Bengt, with the dog. But I soon realied that he used to be the president of the board of the block I was living in before, in Västerås. Not in Stockholm. After a while I started remembering what the place looked like.

It was a weird feeling.

My crazy russian neighbour has a crazy neighbour too. A guy who thinks he is Swedish, but doesn’t really know where he lives.