LETTER FROM CANADA

Neighbours

You don’t choose them, but you rarely want to change them.

I had very decent neighbours in Svätý Jur, but even there, people responded quizzically to acts of altruism.(Source: Sme archive)

Neighbours. You don’t choose them, any more than you choose your family. They just come with the country you live in and the property you buy. If you’re lucky, you find a few diamonds among the coal.

Hereabouts in Canada I hear a lot from a particular neighbour, because she has been fixing up her ramshackle house for over a year, hoping to cash in on a hot property market on Canada’s West coast. Except her house is basically a tiny bungalow with lots of shanty-type additions and rickety superstructures, giving an outward impression of bulk but an inner one of chaotic and avaricious speculation.

The crew she has engaged to enlarge her treasure works at night, as well they might – most are recovering addicts and ex-cons (she has a generous heart). One of them I know well – a certain Ernest, who has a long string of convictions (17, according to a local paper) for burglary and break-and-enter, up and down Vancouver Island. I met him last year when he stopped by our house for a chat with his crack pipe (!).

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Everybody wants to be home for Christmas, even migrants

Flight and train tickets are hopelessly sold out by now. But what about those who cannot make it?

Slovak family in Australia builds a sandman instead of a snowman for Christmas.

IIHF: Sudden death to determine 2019 ice hockey world champion

A new overtime format will be used for the first time at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia.

Migrants face problems when it comes to health care. Mainly myths

The issues include finding a general practitioner and securing health insurance.

Devils return to Piešťany

The second year of the march again raised some controversy.

The devils marched through Piešťany.