Darcie Maranich

Darcie Maranich


When our neighbors listed their house for sale a few months ago my husband and I were admittedly a bit saddened. Not that we knew them well. We did, however, appreciate the constant presence of a Sheriff’s patrol car parked quite visibly in their driveway. I mean, in spite of the alarm company’s sign in our yard, both my husband and I feel that you never can have too much insurance. The presence (and constant threat of) law enforcement was certainly a neighborly perk.

Fortunately for them (not so much so for us), the sheriff neighbor’s house sold in record time. More fortunate for us is that the sale went quite far in boosting sagging home values in our neighborhood. And then, of course, there came the anticipation and excitement of guessing as to who the new neighbors might be. Would they have kids the same ages as ours? Would they make for fun additions to the annual block party? Better yet, would they have an imposing presence to help guard against crime on our quiet little street?

The new neighbors moved in yesterday. I can’t speak as to their block party fun factor, but I do venture to say that they most likely don’t present a terribly intimidating demeanor.

They’re Cambodian monks.

It sounds like a joke, I know. My husband was staring out the window—watching the new neighbors unloading their belongings—when he announced that they appeared to be monks. Disbelieving, I turned to inspect the situation with my own two eyes. Sure enough, our new neighbors were clad in ankle-length orange gowns, their heads shaved totally bare. Our neighborly nosiness reveals that there are approximately five of them. Apparently they live quite simply; they unloaded a mere truckload of furniture.

I know, I know: it’s not neighborly to spy. But curiosity gets the better of me sometimes and when five grown men in flowing orange dresses move in next door, I can’t help but wonder about them, at least a little.

Immediately I texted my neighbor: Cambodian monks are moving in to the sheriff’s house and I’m not even joking.

She replied with: I have to go out for a look.

Apparently I’m not the only one curiosity got the better of. Later in the conversation she texted: at least they’ll be quiet neighbors.

“But for the chanting,” I replied. “And the chimes.”

In all honesty I know very little about Cambodian monks. The references to chanting and chimes are based solely on stereotypical monk behavior. I will say, though, that I wouldn’t be opposed to either, necessarily. Sure, we might have had to sacrifice a police presence, but at least we get something in return. Soothing bedtime sounds, most notably. I might try sleeping with the windows open tonight, just to see.

(1) comment

John Flanagan

You know what happens next? Now that the first Cambodian Monks have moved into your neighbor, it will be followed by others. Soon word will get around that your area is "Cambodian Monk friendly" and your future block parties will be very interesting. In Brooklyn, NY, neighborhoods formerly Italian became predominantly Russian, while Asians took over some Latino neighborhoods, and Latinos pushed the Irish out of their little areas. Westminster, California was once mixed Italian, Irish, German, and Latino.....then the boat people came from Vietnam, and started settling there. Now, when you drive through Westminster, you see stores with signs in Vietnamese and most other ethnic groups have disappeared.
Then, a few decades later, the next generation of Americans, of all races and groups, intermarry, the older crowd dies off, and the new yuppies move back into the now dilapidated neighborhoods, fix up the homes.....and the cycle continues. It will be interesting to see your own neighborhood in 40 years.....

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