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. 

Every once in a while people would thank us for “making Ari a tight community”. That’s what I thought I was doing at first until I realized that Ari is already a tight community. It was me who was stuck in my own personal space. I have never had a friend who lives nearby. Never did as a kid and thought I never would. 

Khun Ton, owner of Laliart and the reigning prince of slow-life, told me that Ari is one of the first names that come up when young adults want to quit their jobs and start new passion projects here. After slowly getting to know these young adults in question, I can confirm that what he said isn’t an overstatement.

Pat and Ice quit their jobs and moved to Ari just because they were attracted to the area. They had no idea what they were going to do. Ploy and Bom founded Oh Vacoda! because they were in love with all things avocado. Firth and Dear, the marathon biker couple, started Phumjai Crepe so that they could hang out here every day. While Check and Fern work day and night in the film development shop Flashbox because they love the community they made.

These people are all young adults. They are so committed to their passions that it yields them a small business. These people know each other loosely under the network that is Ari. If they have nothing in common, at least they share the same space that allows them to always walk and see each other. So many possibilities. 

I have interviewed many people in the past, but I have never felt accepted to the gang in the same way. These people have made me feel accepted when I interviewed for Your Neighbor Ari. Perhaps, I have already made friends in the neighborhood after all.

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