Friday, January 16, 2015

the open door thing

Among my friends in Sitka, everyone leaves their home doors unlocked. I've been in towns like that before. In Flagstaff, I left my door unlocked. What's new to me though, what I haven't experienced before, is that in Sitka people not only leave their doors unlocked but they walk right in to each other's houses. Without knocking. Or, like, they knock and then just immediately open the door. It's extraordinary! What I like about it is that it feels like people think the whole town is one big house or something, and so they can sashay between houses and open each other's doors and it's all good. It's like everyone's having one long conversation, and at any moment someone could open your front door and march in and continue the conversation.

I'm not exactly sure what people do if they want to have sex or fight though. Hm. Do they lock their doors? But is that weird though? Because wouldn't people feel, well, locked out, if they went to open a neighbor's door and it was, well, locked? And then of course you get into the situation where everyone knows that someone's wife works 9-5 at the post office, and the husband is home alone, but then someone goes over to his house and the door is locked. Which, well, clearly he's not having sex with his wife. So then, what is he doing? But what if he's working on his model airplane collection? What if he wants to work in peace on a model plane without having to worry about random neighbors opening his front door and picking up the debate about gun control? A debate that, in Alaska, is hardly a debate, since the ratio of guns to citizens is 7 to 1. So, hm. Is he really working on his model airplanes? I know I have my doubts.

I see now that the whole open door thing seems like an adorable small community thing but actually it is a self-policing mechanism wherein anyone at anytime can check up on you and so you better have your shit together. I bet it works pretty well too. Certainly if Granny Gerda wants to get into "model airplane building" she's going to find some backwoods cabin in which to do so, so as not to perturb the neighbors.

No comments:

Post a Comment