I consider myself as someone who's quite quiet, conciliatory and understanding. My principle is to leave people alone and I expect them to leave me alone. I live in my little shell, my safe-house, observing the world from the middle of its mediatic web and expecting to be protected from its aggressions.
When the neighbor is renovating his basement and starts with the jackhammer at 8:00 am on Saturday morning (while I just went to bed three hours before because my wife & I are working mostly in the evening and have night owl's habits) I don't complain because I understand that the work need to be done whenever he can do it. When the neighbor's kids are howling or banging the walls (actually, in the first year, I thought they were raising a baby gorilla) and the mother is shouting back at them (and I am quietly sitting in my office trying to concentrate on a complicated article that needed to be written and laid-out yesterday), I don't complain because kids are kids and it's not an easy job to take care of them properly. When the people upstair are walking loudly or moving furniture and I feel the sky is falling down on me (while I am quietly trying to watch TV), there is no use complaining because I cannot ask them to stop living their life (although some understanding and compassion for others should be expected). Well, I guess the world just doesn't work that way.
I never did or say anything to offense my neighbors (at least voluntarily). Nevertheless, last summer someone killed one of my cats with a pellet gun. This summer someone threw poison in my garden (maybe for the feral cats? But the poison can melt into the soil, be absorbed by the plants and eventually affect us) and threw a dead rat wrapped in a plastic bag in the backyard. My newspaper is regularly stolen. This fall, someone threw eggs against the front door (they missed and got the wall instead) and this week someone ripped our door-bell button from the door frame. What have I done to those people? Is it just a series of coincidences and am I paranoid?
Or is it because we speak english — and my wife is Japanese — in a neighborhood that is mostly francophone and local (“pure-laine” like they say)? I find it hard to believe that there is so much hatred and racism in our country...