A Good Neighbor

Un bon voisin

gives you presents
helps you when you need it
is available, trusting and not nosy
is easy to live near to.
is friendly
is not nosy.
is respectful of your space and property.
is there when you need them and is interested in getting to know
you without being nosy
lends you things when you need something.
lives and lets live.
respects one's privacy yet is there for assistance
respects the neighborhood
respects their neighbor's privacy.
says hello when they see you on the lawn.
says hi and asks how you are doing, keeps an eye on your house when
you are on vacation
watches your house when you are away

dit bonjour, qui est poli, qui est toujours aimable et qui n'est pas envahissant.
est calme, qui est gentil
ne pose pas de problèmes relationnels
quelqu'un dont le chien n'aboie pas sans arrêt
rend service, ne fait pas trop de bruit
respecte l'autre voisin
respecte les gens qui vivent à côté de lui
respecte votre vie privée, vous dit bonjour quand vous vous croisez
sait être amical mais discret
sait rester discret et être à l'écoute des plaintes de ses voisins
s'occupe de ce qui se passe chez lui
tolère et respecte le voisinage
vous laisse dormir et veille sur votre maison quand vous êtes absents
vous salue et vous offre son aide au cas où....


J'ai remarqué que, malgré le fait que, du côté des Américains, le voisin semble beaucoup plus sympa et moins bruyant, lorsque vous définissez le bon voisin, pas mal d'entre vous le définiriez comme quelqu'un qui ne se mêlerait pas de vos affaires.

Le voisin Américain est-il si curieux que ça? Car chez nous, le voisin peut être curieux mais de façon générale, c'est parce que c'est une petite vieille qui vit seule avec son chat et qui s'ennuie pas mal...

J'ai entendu dire, et j'aimerais votre avis là-dessus, que dans certains états US, on peut porter plainte contre son voisin qui fume dans son jardin... C'est vrai? ou est-ce que c'est le résultat de lois comme celles de l'Utah où il faut se tenir à un certain nombre de mètres pour fumer sans déranger?

Well, my neighbors aren't terribly nosy. They don't stick their noses where they don't belong. But yes, they are curious, especially if big events happen (births, weddings, power outages, basement flooding.....)

As for the Utah law against smoking in gardens, I did a Google search and I think the law is only for apartment dwellers. But at Brandeis, we have a rule like that, too, only nobody follows it.

Theoretically, you have to stand 15 feet away from a dormitory should you be smoking. I think people should follow that rule, since otherwise, it stinks up the lobby/entrance, which is especially unpleasant when it's hot and the windows are open, and someone's smelly cigarette smoke is wafting into your room. But it's more than just an annoyance (a poor choice in perfume is equally annoying) since second hand smoke is a health hazard. And I think my health is more important than a smoker's right to satisfty his/her nicotine craving.

So my opinion on the matter is, it's a good law. I mean, if the smoke can diffuse so it's not inhaled into the lungs of by-standers, then let him/her smoke away. If he/she is smoking in my face in a shared space, like a dorm or apartment building, I think my right comes first.

The whole smoking rule thing is absolutely absurd to me. To me, the idea of second-hand smoke as a health hazard is silly. Like many things, second-hand smoke can be hazardous when experienced in excess. In the scenario you described, in which the smell of smoke wafts by an open window on a hot day, the smoke is little more than an annoyance. And if you are really worried about your lungs in a situation like this, shut your window and revert to using a fan. Honestly I think that smokers are seriously hated on, and I am far more annoyed by the multitudinous persons with severe body odor that often dominate my personal space. I'd much rather walk quickly by someone smoking than spend an entire class period seated beside a member of the pervasive unwashed population.

Anyway, neighbors should be friendly but not nosy.

First of all, I am shocked that you think second-hand smoke is silly. It is scientifically proven to be harmfull to the lungs. Even in small amounts. Because small amounts over time add up to large amounts in one sitting. What if you had a little child sitting next to that open window, would you want her to be inhaling someone else's smoke? And as for the closing the window factor. Yea, that could work, and considering we Americans are already so energy-savy, we dont even need to worry about saving every last bit of it. I have no problem with smokers, I just dont want their life choices to effect my life.

Now on to neighbors, where I grew up, I didnt have the typical nosy neighbor. We were all a pretty tight group, always having lunch together. The adults are all very friendly with one another and so are the kids. Almost every holiday is celebrated as a group. But I know this isnt the typical American neighborhood. I know some of my friends are really chatty with some of their neighbors, and would prefere them to just stay on their side of the fence. So I guess it just depends on where you live.

Je trouve l'expression second hand smoke très amusante... Mais je trouve que l'expression française tabagisme passif est plus parlante...

J'ai trouvé votre échange très amusant, et j'ai l'impression qu'il y a une paranoïa par rapport à la cigarette aux USA, franchement, le tabagisme passif tue, c'est vrai, mais seulement si on est élevé dans une famille de gros fumeurs... C'est ridicule (désolée...) de penser qu'en sentant la fumée par la fenêtre on met sa vie en jeu... Franchement vous mettez bien plus votre vie en jeu en mangeant un bon gros mac do gras et saturé de sucres et autres saletés tout seul, qu'en allant manger une salade au retaurant avec Johnny votre copain fumeur!!

Voilà, vous ne voulez pas que les fumeurs vous intoxiquent ok, c'est pour ça qu'il y a des zones fumeurs et non fumeurs dans les restaurants, mais franchement de là à vouloir exclure socialement les fumeurs... C'est intolérant...

(et Kelly merci pour le passage sur les gens qui puent, c'était superbe!!! ^_^)

hahahahhahahaha je suis tout à fait d'accord...c'est vrai que finalement tu vas prendre plus de risque à manger bien gras toute ta vie que de fumer même régulièrement toute ta vie...

il faudrait faire une étude scientifique....

En tout cas, je conseille à tous ceux qui doutent encore des dangers de la malbouffe de voir Super size me!

Okay, I was writing in response to the often disregarded Brandeis rule that requires smokers to be x amount of feet away from the building. I think that as a precautionary measure against fires, it is reasonable. However, the case against secondhand smoke from fellow college students "indulging" close to their dormitory buildings is a little silly. My comments were in response to Jennifer's post specifically. Because I was responding to Jennifer's mention of the smoking rule on campus, young children are really not at all pertinent to my argument. I am commenting on the righteous college students who find it appropriate to roll their eyes or cough aloud anytime they see someone smoking. I never denied the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, I am simply emphasizing the fact that many things can be harmful in large doses. I just think that there are many more important things to cry over, and that the secondhand smoke argument is a bit tired. And I don't think that every smoker should have to shoulder the burden of causing cancer in the young children of the world. I am generally impartial to this matter (believe it or not) - i certainly don't endorse secondhand smoke; you won't see me handing out flyers on campus in support of it - but I think smokers are seriously hated on, and I don't think that all the hatin' is necessary.

And thank you Eugenie, for you support. : )

I find it is a common sense to do research before trying to pass your opinions for facts.

To those who bleat that a little bit of second-hand smoke is innoculous, go to PubMed and read the scientific literature available. The reason second-hand smoke is cancerous is because the polycyclic benzenoid compounds found in cigarette smoke attacks DNA, altering the guanine base so that it results in a mutation of the gentic code. Even if at times, the mutations are unnoticable (do not kill off large groups of cells), exposure to carcinogens only increases the likelihood of a carcinogenic event. Cancer aside, you risk a slew of other health problems.

Secondly, to clarify for those who are over-eager to interpret what they want, I do not "hate on smokers". My complaint (in the earlier post) concerns their disregard for the building rules.

C'est pas pour stéréotyper mais tu penses pas qu'une mère qui mange des gros hamburgers gras pleins de saletés et qui les fait manger aussi à ses enfants c'est comme du tabagisme passif, voire pire vu que toi la fumée va te déranger deux minutes mais eux ils auront des habitudes alimentaires vraiment mauvaises toute leur vie'?

C'est vrai. Avoir des mauvaises habitudes alimentaires, ce n'est pas mieux. Mais quand quelqu'un fume à côté de moi et bien du coup moi aussi je "fume" car je ne peux pas ne pas respirer tout simplement, là c'est quand-même un peu différent...parce que je n'ai pas choisi de fumer et je dois "subir" les effets du tabagisme de l'autre. Quand je mange un hamburger plein de gras, c'est moi qui en ai pris la décision et je dois assumer toutes les conséquences. Alors que pour le tabagisme passif, je n'ai pas le choix!...

Oui mais une maman qui fait de la mauvaise nourriture grasse et nocive à sa famille et ses amis, elle le fait subir indirectement...

oui dans ce cas c'est pareil. c'est comme quand mes amis veulent fumer chez moi, je ne leur dirai pas non.

j'ai l'impression qu'on a un peu la même vision de ce qu'est un bon voisin, aux US comme en Fr.

Mais c'est marrant moi j'avais une image assez marquée des voisins aux US, c'est sûrement due à la Tv,... cette image où le voisin apporte un petit plat fait maison, au nouveau voisin arrivé!!

lol contact que, nous n'avons pas trop en France, je pense!!

Dites donc! dans l'association de mots vous disiez que vos voisins étaient des amis, donc des gens sympas avec qui l'on partage des choses. Ce ne serait pas un peu contradictoire de dire maintenant qu'un bon voisin doit s'occuper de ses affaires et ne pas être trop curieux?

I think we mean to say that a good neighbor is someone who is mindful and respectful of your personal space. Not all neighbors are friends and share that kind of relationship. For example, my family has become very good friends with the neighbors to the left of my house. We invite each other to parties, ask for favors, borrow tools, send holiday cards, and could talk for hours. However the neighbors to the right, we hardly know. They barely say hi in passing and have created a convenient hedge of bushes around their yard (its very pretty but it seems it serves for more uninviting reasons then for aesthetic quality) Even so, I respect their choice to be more private about their business. I think a nosy neighbor is someone who tries to find out more about their nieghbor than one would like to share. The type who ask a million questions you don't want to answer and try to be vague about but they just keep asking. No one says you have to be friends with your neighbor but its kind to be respectful of their privacy. Have you had a neighbor who just wouldn't leave you alone? How do you deal with your neighbors?

I think that for some people in the US, their neighbors are their friends. A lot of people grew up with other children their age who lived around them, and so there is the notion of sharing a childhood with a neighbor. To me, that's very romantic...I grew up in a big apartment building in the city, and the few neighbors who were kids were all kind of rude and went to private school and just led very different lifestyles from me. So I always thought it would be great to have a neighbor who was also my best friend! It was kind of an idyllic notion for me, but I know that for a lot of people, their best friend was their neighbor at some point.

I thought that unlike some of the lists, there was a lot more similarities than differences. Nice to think that at least some qualities are universal.

One difference that I saw is that although both the French and the Americans want to have respectful neighbors, and dislike ones who try to be nosy and invade their private space, the French also mention that they would like a discrete neighbor. Is there an assumption that to some degree, your neighbors will find out what's going on in your life and you just hope that they won't tell the entire neighborhood?

Non non, je pense que la discrétion pour nous ça veut dire :::le silence:::

Je rêve d'un voisin sourd muet....

(mais il y avait déjà un post à ce sujet autre part...)

J'en ai rien à faire que mes voisins connaissent toute ma vie, mais je veux juste qu'ils me laissent dormir et surtout surtout qu'ils viennent pas s'inviter chez moi... (je me répète, à part si c'est Chandler, Monica et Rachel (pas Joey, il piquerait dans mon frigo) mais ça en France c'est inimaginable, d'ailleurs les Friends ne sont pas des voisins, ils sont des amis devenus voisins!!)

Je pense effectivement qu'il s'agit d'un voisin pas trop bruyant....j'ai toujours habité en immeuble et je vous assure qu'être reveillée par les talons aiguilles de la voisine qui, tous les matins,à la même heure, traverse le couloir du bâtiment en courant comme une forcenée, c'est beaucoup moin agréable que le sifflement des petits oiseaux...!...peut être que je devrais organiser une collecte dans la résidence et lui offrir un réveil de sorte qu'elle ne soit plus si pressée le matin...enfin on peut toujours rêver!

Ou gentiment proposer au propriétaire de faire poser de la moquette ;-)