Sunday, 30 June 2013

Question 8c: How Settled do you feel in your Neigbourhood?

IMG_3343I don't know the street names. Don't know the short cuts. Don't have my local café or pub. I'm not recognised when I go to the shops. Basically, I haven't lived here long enough.
Thursday night I passed a café with live music. There was a nice atmosphere, people hung out in the street with paper cups of coffee and cans of beer. I stopped, listened to three songs. I could have stayed longer, but it felt as if I was a visitor, an observer. A tourist even. However, that's quite a nice feeling and I should enjoy it while it lasts.
Most of the Swenglish participants felt more at home in their city in general than in their neighbourhood in particular. But there were a few exceptions. A person in Malmö said that she felt more at home in the Möllan area than in Malmö itself. And in Brighton a couple of people felt particularly settled in the Hanover area. Perhaps it's easier to feel settled in an area that's got a specific character or it could just depend on for how long you've lived somewhere. Or if your friends live in the same area.
Many people mentioned neighbours. The ones who had a good relationship with their neighbours - or at least said hello to them on a regular basis - felt more settled in their area. I'd thought that people in England were more friendly towards their neighbours, inviting them over for tea and stuff, but through living with the Swedish Swenglish people I realised that there's not a big difference in Sweden. It mostly depends on where and how you live. If you live in a house in a village it's more natural to chat to your neighbours than if you live in a block of flats in a big city.
This study is by no means scientific, the answers are based on interviewing 15 people in England and 15 people in Sweden, aged 22-59. Look out for the next question: How settled do you feel in your flat/house?


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