Mr. und Mrs. W von whatlifecouldbe fragen in ihrer Blogparade: Was ist für ihre Leser eine perfekte Community? Wie würden ihre Leser am liebsten leben? Eine sehr schöne Frage, die ich mir die letzten Jahre selbst oft gestellt habe. Da die beiden ihren Blog selbst auf Englisch verfassen, erfolgt auch mein Beitrag in Englisch (und ich muss ein bisschen üben, da es in wenigen Tagen auf die FIWE 16 nach Budapest geht..)
Mr. and Mrs. W ask their readers:
What is a perfect community? How do I want to live?
This question I asked myself for many years. I’m not sure whether I already found a perfect place or a perfect community where I want to stay forever.
My experience with different places
Our wishes are a summary of our experiences. Only when I know something I can say, whether I like it or not.
I spent my childhood in a little town with 1300 inhabitants. My elementary school had around 70 pupils. I knew everybody. I knew their siblings and I knew where they lived. We (my parents and my two brothers) lived in a new construction area, so we had many other kids in our neighborhood. We flew our kite, built igloos and drew chalk pictures on the streets. Fewer cars, much space, everyone lived in a house with a nice garden and a big cellar. Our life was pretty much perfect.
But only for us kids. My parents were foreigners in our little catholic town. Not the same confession, no relatives and very few friends. Everyone was kind of nice, but the behaviour among each other was far away from a warmhearted athmosphere. Living in a small town as an out-of-towner is very different to be grown up there.
Our house was only rented (the rent then was the same amount I pay now for my flat in the city..) and my parents had the wish for an own house. So we moved away after I finished elementary school.
We moved to a little city with 3000 people, 15km next to my hometown. It was a different living experience. My older brother and me still met some of our friends at school. When I changed to the grammar school (in 30km distance) I lost contact to most of my friends. There was no such thing like the internet yet. I could only write letters to some of them. In my new hometown I had a lot of acquaintances but only a few friends. It was a strong contrast to my old home. A lot of foreigners and strange neighbors.
I stood up early in the morning (at 6 o’clock) and travelled 45 minutes by train to start school at 07:50. I came back home in the late afternoon. So my only social contacts took place in school. I found many new friends there, but most of them had to repeat a class or left the school because of bad grades.
Puberty: Social contacts thanks to internet
Just in time to my puberty we got an internet flatrate. Icq, social communities, boards.. Finally I could get in contact with people without the need of living next to them. Distance was only a number because it didn’t matter whether someone lived 30km oder 300km away. I spent a lot of time in my room after school. My town had a train stop, but the train only arrived every 1-2 hours and only until 8pm, so there was no chance to go out with friends in the evening and be home on the same day. When I got a little bit older (>13) I slept a lot at my friends‘ houses over the weekends.
My time as a student
It was predictable that all my friends can land anywhere in Germany for their studies. The next university was at least 100km away. For my studies I moved 250km to Stuttgart (4-5 hours by train). I lived in a dorm with 17 other people. A few college students, trainees and many unemployed persons. The dorm was kind of a private shelter for people like me who needed a place to sleep and had less money and no social contacts in Stuttgart. Although there was a high criminality in my dorm, the life there was exciting, too. I met a lot of different people and it was better than being all alone. But to be honest: I still had a lot of homesickness.
Now I live together with my boyfriend still in the area around Stuttgart. My homesickness got a little bit better (my boyfriend’s parents and sister live 50km away from here), but I still miss my family a lot. Because of the worse job possibilities I don’t see a chance to return to my home.
How would a perfect community for me look like?
If I could choose a perfect location and a perfect community I would choose living in a small town, close to big city. I need a good infrastructure. My family and my friends would live nearby, maybe in an area of 1 to 50km next to me. Even the friends of my brothers should live there because they are all part of my big community. But I don’t want to live with my family and friends in the same little town or street. Anonymity is more attractive to me than knowing everybody (I don’t want to greet everybody in the supermarket, don’t want the cashier to judge over my puchases and don’t want to know my doctors or pharmacists). When I go to work I like the silence of not talking to anybody although I am not grumpy in the morning. I just need to warm up a little bit until I can be productive. I want a live without criminality. I like the nature. A lake or river nearby makes me very happy. A nice view over the city would be nice. My perfect community would be pretty close to my life at the moment, the difference would be the shorter distances between me and my family & friends.
What would your perfect community look like?