Need Help? Who You Gonna Call?

How well do you know your neighbours? Do you say hello when you see them? Or do you look away and pretend they don’t exist?

It’s the third time that I have this kind of conviction. When an emergency arises, who are you going to call? The closest people around aren’t necessarily always your colleagues, friends or family but believe or not – your neighbours.

DIY to save money and the hassle? It depends. It’s so true that some things are best left with the experts. I remember 5 years ago, the electricity in my unit went off completely. The outage occurred not due to some natural cause but a faulty switch which I tried to fix it myself. Silly me!

Relying on the only source of power – my smart phone, I managed to find my way in the dark, called my brother and asked two neighbours of mine for assistance. Before I got the problem resolved, their help in the interim proved to be so invaluable.

Through my brother, I got hold of an electrician named Gregor that night. I’ve known him for years. He’s one of those guys – No problem is too big or too small for him. The fact that he could come over on such a short notice, I was very grateful for that. His 5 star service and humble character impressed me once again. What a life saver! 

What’s next? The more recent case saw me getting into a sticky situation, it was almost embarrassing. Two weeks ago, I locked myself out of my apartment after taking the rubbish out in the garage room near the main road. It was almost midnight, cold and dark. Most people would already be in bed that time of the night. Poor me! I was still outside my door, standing alone with a set of keys in my hand. No matter how hard I tried, the key just wouldn’t turn. To not make the situation worse, I decided to ask for help. But ask who?

For the convenience, I thought of the neighbour on my left. I peeked over the side but couldn’t see anything other than the blinds and the lights in the living room. Well, at least the lights were still on. Should I or shouldn’t I? I had no time to think. I rang the bell hoping someone would come and answer the door. A minute passed, it was quiet with no sign of movement. Just when I thought it was going to be a long night, I heard the sound of footsteps coming towards my way. There he was – my new neighbour! I was half relieved to say the least!

I’m sorry to bother you but… do you think you might have WD-40 lubricant by any chance? The lock on my door is stuck for some reason – I asked politely. Hmm… He paused for a second, the look on his face showed some hopefulness, then walked back in to check. A minute or two later, he came with a can of lubricant similar to WD-40. Yes! I cheered inside.

Just one spray was all it took. That missing clicking sound I so desperately wanted to hear was back. The next thing knew, the door was unlocked and re-open in front of me! I was overjoyed.

Home sweet home. I kept thanking him for his help, I even commented he’s saved my life. He responded with a smile and a few nice words, before we each retired to our own places.

What can I say? Certainly not everyone is wired about the idea “love your neighbour as yourself”, but at the very least, let’s be civil and be neighbourly. You can never know, one of your neighbours might become your accidental hero one day…

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