My International Neighbourhood (Diary of a Six Month Old Expat)

By Piyushi Dhir

You’ve heard about my international travels. Now I’ll tell you about my equally global neighbourhood.

We moved from San Pedro to Abidjan recently, since Papa is now going to be working here. I was happy because that brought me closer to my Dr Carlos. We stayed temporarily in an apartment in the most happening part of town, while Mum got our house ready. Just last week we moved in to Le Paletuviers (I had to ask Mum to spell it for me coz it’s so very complicated!)

On the very first day, I got into my pram and went down to explore the vicinity. There was a birthday party going on in the greens for two year old Spanish Maya. I gave her a box of cookies, a cute smile and then got around to observing the other kids around. And I was fascinated!

My International Neighbourhood

The neighbourhood is extremely diverse, what my Mum calls a mini melting pot. Apart from the Spanish chick I mentioned above, there are two Indian girls, almost exactly my age. Then there are these Mauritian kids! Two of them, brother and sister, have a Mauritian Mum of South-East Asian descent. Their Dad is the tallest man I’ve ever seen! There are two more Mauritian kids, borther and sister. Their Mum is of Indian descent and so they look very much Indian! Interestingly, their Dad is French.

Then, right in front of my house, is a pair of African twins with Canadian citizenship. Imagine, their Mum flew down all the way to Canada to have them, and so they got such a valuable citizenship. Now I wish my Mum had done something like that! There’s another tiny little girl, a couple of months younger than me, who is Portuguese! She has a cuddly blond brother, somewhat older than us.

I know only these kids so far, but I’m sure there are many more to be friends with. Every evening, I get my Nanny to push me around in the pram while I acquaint myself with my multi-cultural neighbours. It’s a delight to hear them shriek, giggle and play. I can’t wait to get on my little two feet, so that I can run after them too.

My Tortoise Neighbour

My Tortoise Neighbour

And while I’m on the subject of neighbours, I must not forget to mention my four-legged friends in the compound. Every day, on my walk, I wave at Tortu, the tortoise, who ambles past me munching green grass. I don’t know how old he is, but he looks like a sage old man who has seen much in life. Then there are Mumma Rabbit and Daddy Rabbit, with their two little ones who prance around me enthusiastically. We also have three little chickens who always walk around in a row!

All together, it is quite a neighbourhood. Diverse, friendly and beautiful. Would you like to see it? Come, join me in Abidjan!


About the Author

Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.