Dear Neighbors


Letters from the blogger, little trains of thought on mental health, economy, politics – and desserts.

When we had just 40 followers, I jokingly said that calling ‘Your Neighbor Ari’ my job is a fancy way to say “I’m unemployed”. Two and a half months later, more and more people seem to see value in what I do and that made us (Joe and I) work like dogs. I am now so far away from being idle. 

I was told that moving is one of the most stressful things you can do.

I’ve been in my new place for just over a week. I can confirm from recent experience that moving is a nightmare. Emptying every drawer and cabinet, deciding what to throw away and what to keep, organizing stuff in boxes. It all seems like a mountain to climb.

It’s been two months since Joe and I started this Your neighbor ari magazine! I still don’t feel any less excited and nervous when each story is released. Two months prior to this, I didn’t quite feel like I belonged in Ari, at least not as much as the ‘Ari natives’.

I recently learned to ask ‘How’s the business doing lately?’ in almost every place that I buy stuff. I guess I started doing this as a result of the economic crisis. I ask these questions to the grocers, the dumpling lady, and the noodle stall people. Not only that but all the way up to local business, the upscale restaurant owners I came across in the neighborhood.

I wanted to make producing “Your Neighbor Ari” my real job, which sounds almost as good as saying “I don’t have a job”. Being unemployed in the midst of the pandemic under this government’s administration is like being in a deep well of despair. But it also means that I have a lot of time to do the simple and wonderful thing known as “taking a walk”.

Dear Neighbors,

I had prepared a more colorful message for you to say how grateful I am for your support in our first week. But today, as the COVID situation continues to worsen, I cannot think about anything else but our own safety.