When I went visiting my parents last week, we went to the city park where we used to go when I was a little. The place is still as green and as lively as I remember it when I was much younger. I saw a lot of family spending their time having a picnic, elderly sitting on the bench at the side of the park under the tree shade playing chest. I was wondering if they already knew each other, or they know each other from coming to the park. Kids were running around, playing football, riding a bike, blowing bubbles - I felt happy just by watching all of it.
I can't remember the last time I live somewhere where everyone knows everybody. When I was young I used to lived in a community. I knew all my neighbor and vice versa. We lived in a housing complex where there were around 50 households, and I could name them all including their grandparents, parents, uncles, aunties, distant cousins and they all knew me and my family. It was normal for us to visit each other, just because. If my mom baked a cake or something, she would send some to at least three or four neighbors that were closest to our house.
In the morning, mothers would gather nearby the complex volleyball field where the grocery merchants open before they go back home and start cooking. In the afternoon, my siblings and I could hear the sound of the bell at the security guard post as a sign it was 4 pm and it meant it's our playtime. All the kids in the neighborhood would gather, and we all would play together until we see one of our neighbor who lived at the other end of the complex from our house driving his motorbike home. That's our cue to go back home, and not long after that, we would hear our dad's car entering our house.
It wasn't awkward to go to any of our neighbors and ask for some sugar if we were running out of it. In the past decade, I think I've lived in places where I don't know anyone. In my apartment, my next door neighbor is just three steps away from me but I hardly see them and they barely see me. When I try to make conversation in the elevator with the other residents, it usually ends real quick. Being in that park remind me of community living. As people getting more and more individual, I think it's something that is really easy to be forgotten.