Why it’s ok to be selfish sometimes when our neighbours are having issues…

My neighbours next door have been rather noisy for the past week. Bro Jib and Ah Guan, both long-time tenants of the unit, have been quarrelling more than usual. For some reason, Uncle Ma, another tenant who used to bunk in with Bro Jib, has moved his tilam to Ah Guan’s room even though both previously don’t see eye to eye.

According to my parents, Encik Tan and Auntie Susi, the elderly couple who owns the flat, have been sighing and complaining. Both Encik and Auntie are in their 80s, have no kids and they lost contact with their relatives. Encik Tan and Bro Jib get along very well. They play chess and watch soccer together – just like father and son. Encik is thinking of willing the house to Bro Jib but Auntie is hesitant. She favours Ah Guan more, because she finds great joy in imparting all her family recipes to him and secretly hopes that Ah Guan can be her godson. However, the endless quarrels over who should be the eventual owner of the flat have left Encik and Auntie tired, disappointed and hurt.

Tomorrow, Encik and Auntie are going to a law firm to draft a will. They want to have a break from Bro Jib and Ah Guan, take time to cool down and think through their options before deciding. But my parents felt that tonight may be the most dramatic of all.

“Don’t open the windows too big. Wait they quarrel at corridor and throw toilet rolls at each other, we may kana,” my mum said. “The living room main door also, in case got anything accidentally ‘fly’ in.”

Dad advised that we stay out of the dispute, even though we get along well with Encik and Auntie.

“This is after all their family problem. Encik and Auntie told us some things but we cannot assume they told us everything. After all, we don’t stay in their house, we don’t know exactly why they make certain decisions and we are also not a direct vested party to whatever’s at stake. Wait we show concern or unwittingly say wrong things and people say we KPO go and kajiao their plans how?”

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At first I thought my parents seem a bit selfish. After all, we have known Encik and Auntie for so many years. Sometimes we go out for meals or attend CC events together. But come to think of it, if my family faces an issue, we also don’t want others to meddle in our business, or anyhow comment. If we don’t like others to do that to us, why should we do that to others right?

Perhaps it would be more helpful that we give Encik and Auntie the space and time to think things through and sort things out. If they ever ask us for our help in anything, I am sure my parents won’t say no.