One weekend afternoon about a month after I moved aboard a canal boat in London, there was a rap-rap-rap on the wood and metal paneling of my front door. I had left it partly open to let in the breeze, and a woman was peeking in like a tentative cat.
“Excuse me, do you live around here?” she asked. We were docked at Little Venice, a busy hub for tourists just a short walk north of Hyde Park. I said yes. She seemed confused, and pointing toward nearby Paddington, she asked again, “You mean, you live around here?” I noticed two more faces peeking around the door.