The problem with everyone knowing where we live

As many of you know, Khoa and I live on a 5 square mile island with around 600 inhabitants. To make matters even cozier, most of our island is mountainous, so the houses are clustered together on the coasts where any flat land is available. As a result of our close proximity to our neighbors and the fact that we are the only two foreigners on the island, everyone knows where we live.

This is a great thing most of the time. People come to our door often to give us extra vegetables from their garden or fish they caught. When Khoa and I stayed on the island during New Year’s, the principal of the elementary school saw the light on at our house, figured we were home, and invited us over for a big New Year’s feast.

However, there are some downsides to the entire island knowing our whereabouts.

Here’s a recent gmail chat conversation I had with Khoa when he was at home (…and I was at work. I’m not perfect guys…yes, I sometimes chat with my husband while I’m at work).


Khoa: omg they’re back

the little girls are back

what should i do?


just ignore them

did you lock the door?

Khoa: no i didnt

they are playing with the doorbell




This was the second time today that two little first year elementary school girls came to our front door wanting Khoa to come out and play. He had already gone out once and roamed the neighborhood poking at things with sticks and being silly with them.

Khoa and I often hear little knocks on our front door and repeated ringings of our door bell from the neighborhood kids looking for play time with the weird foreigners. It makes me so happy that even when the kids aren’t forced to play with us, they still want to. But it’s hard when we’re tired and just want to relax (or we’ve already played with them once before).

I guess the “problem” with everyone knowing where we live isn’t really a problem. Khoa and I love living here and always having someone to roam the neighborhood with 🙂


3 thoughts on “The problem with everyone knowing where we live

  1. Catherine August 24, 2012 / 3:09 pm

    Wow, this is really interesting. I live in a small suburb outside of Tokyo with very few Western foreigners, so I thought I always stuck out. But I can’t imagine my neighbors actually (gasp) talking to me.

  2. Art Zimmermann August 25, 2012 / 4:44 am

    K, put down the Xbox controller and go outside and play with those kids!! This would never happen in the states so enjoy it you weird foreigners. 🙂

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