Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Coz no man is an island...

So a couple of months ago, I moved house. Actually, I moved from my nice big spacious house in the suburbs to a flat / apartment much closer to the city. It was a huge adjustment for me at the time because I suddenly found that I had to get used to living in a confined space surrounded by people all over again.
For instance, there's a couple with a kid that lives above in flat 3C. And this kid loves his marbles. Y'know how I know? Because I hear him every single day with those freaking marbles... it sounds vaguely like there's a ghost playing in my kitchen.

Then there's the guy in 1D whose gargling at 5 in the morning is my personal alarm clock. Nothing like the sound of water and phlegm at the crack of dawn. No alarm clock on earth has the same effect.

The family in 1C have four kids all under the age of 6. Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings are fun times, especially because I'm almost positive that the people living 2 miles down the road can hear them. There's usually a ruckus of some kind and it almost always involves some sort of bicycle or three. The cacophony of screeching children and plastic wheels grating against the paving, on the one morning I get to sleep in, is like music to my ears...

Then there's the couple in 1A whose little tiffs rival World War 2. What is it with women and throwing a man's clothes outside. She only makes life harder for herself because when they make up, she's the one that has to wash, iron and pack those clothes away again.

The four guys living next door are the best. Initially, I had my reservations about them and briefly worried about living next to four strange men. But my fears were quickly laid to rest and thankfully, they're amongst the most respectful guys I've ever known. And for some reason, they love sending food over. And I'm not talking about little snacks or savouries. Once they sent over an entire roast chicken. And there were Turkish kebabs too. Then it was fruit salad and cream and last week it was a Pyrex dish filled to the brim with chicken Biryani. Any man who feeds me gets my nod of approval.

Now, 6 months later, I wonder if I could ever go back to living in silence. In the weirdest way, the noise has become somewhat less annoying and strangely comforting. It's good to know your neighbour's are alive and that life is going on around you. In any case, I figure that it's at least a hundred times better than the neighbours I had to put up with in London... remember that story... I reckon anything is better than this:

20 comments:

  1. Fascinating that your neighbours keep sending you food. If this were a fairy-tale, they would be servants of a wicked witch, fattening you up for her dinner table. In reality, it must be their protective instinct.

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  2. Talk about noisy neighbours! There's this guy downstairs with a mowhawk and a great taste in punk 'music', and every time his ex has once again managed to get him depresed, which is a couple of times a month and usually in the dead of night, this guy puts on his 'music,' causing my floor to tremble as though it were my other neighbour's ladies' toy. You get the idea. Then, there's this couple next door who want everyone to know they're having sex between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Can you imagine? First they fight all evening, then they have sex and we all get to join them spiritually. I mean, once or twice is funny, but when you have to wake up early... And then, finally, there's the bunch of students living in the block across from ours, but whose garden borders mine - well, I don't have to draw that picture for you. A lot of beer and noise. More beer, more noise. So I'm still thinking about moving to Mallorca, someplace where I don't have any f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g neighbours!! Sorry, Azra, I know I need to calm down now. But there's a solution to this little problem of ours. I've bought myself the biggest loudspeakers I could afford and I put on the worst CD I could find, looped it, and went shopping for a couple of hours. When I came back, everybody was suspiciously quiet. Go figure...

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  3. You have boys feeding you? Perhaps you could throw the whole roast chicken at the noisy kids with bikes!

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  4. guys feeding you with completed meals. where may i sign up?
    would have thought that in this day and age most apartments would be soundproofed. or have some sort of noise/sound regulations.

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  5. GB
    It's the weirdest thing because they don't converse with me other than the normal social pleasantries. So yeah, must be a protective instinct.

    RCB
    Hahaha... that 3to5am couple are the worst. People need to work. It can become very frustrating and annoying when one neighbour doesn't respect another's (quiet) space.

    Juliette
    That roast chicken was so delicious! It was a nice surprise. I reckon I should dig out all my old shoes to throw at those noisy kids.

    Fathima
    Soundproof? In SA? We don't even know what it means to have insulation and central heating as a norm and standard. Here's hoping one day we get there :)

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  6. We are all social creatures and there is something comforting in a primal sort of way with people near, even if they are annoying.

    I have had loud sex people though a wall from me before too, strangely, in the UK...in Edinburgh, as I recall. They made every morning's waking up experience memorable. (I nick named the girl, Mona, and the guy, Dick.

    Your flat sounds like fun. Every day a slightly different adventure due to the variables of human randomness.

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  7. Haha, I love chaotic neighbors. You and I would make great neighbors! My roommates once voted me as "Most Likely to Feed Everyone."

    I've been meaning to post a video of what my flat usually sounds like - the couple downstairs screaming at each other on a regular basis while their toddler son screams at them to be quiet, the baby across the way wailing non-stop morning and night, the little dog kept out on the patio below us yelping his little lungs out most of the day, the big dog left up on the terrace barking in unison with little dog, the man from the screaming couple below screaming at the boy across the way to turn the damn music down or he'll beat him up. It's classic. It's Spanish. If I close my eyes, I can perfectly pretend I'm Mimi from "RENT" living in the Spanish Harlem in NY while singing, "...when the Spanish babies cryyyyy-ah-ayyyyy!"

    I think I've just written part of my next blog post.

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  8. hahahaha
    you've evoked it beautifully :) Loved the ride :)

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  9. I believe one or more of those men has eyes for you sweetie.

    I understand the desire to have that noise/activity surrounding you. It almost gives you a sense of belonging to something bigger without having to actively be involved. It is comforting to know that you're not actually alone in the big world at night!

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  10. You should see the place where I live. D:

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  11. Wait, kids still play with marbles? That's so adorable and old fashioned.

    You know, until it becomes loud and annoying!

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  12. So I'm guessing you live in 2 C. I'm coming to visit

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  13. How nice of your neighbours to send you food! That's so sweet. Loud neighbour sex is the WORST.

    The guy above us - I think he plays with marbles...Or something.

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  14. That 3-5am couple are the worst for sure. But why are you laughing? It's not funny! I mean, I don't mind having to listen to a woman moaning (well, actually I do, for she sounds like a dog in heat), but I do mind having to switch on the light because it sounds like that guy is moaning in my bedroom. Always relieved to find he's not there.... So what I did was send them a friendly letter saying, 'put a sock in it.' It's been quiet for a while now.

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  15. LL
    It has become fun because of the variety :) and lol @ dick and mona

    Michi
    That would be a great read! Yeah do it... I love reading about how other people live.

    Saaleha
    Thanx Lady ;)

    Angie
    Someone else said that same thing... that maybe one of them has a crush. I wouldn't know because we hardly talk except for exchanging pleasantries. And spot on about feeling like you belong to something greater :)

    My 2 Pesos
    I'd like to! I'd love to visit Mexico someday soon!

    Megan
    Yeah they do, I was just as suprised lol

    SS
    Come, I've got tea and cake. Cake courtesy of the neighbours :)

    Diedre
    It is kinda sweet huh. Good neighbourly manners. The other day I found a marble outside my window. I showed it to my sister and said "He Mocks Us" lol

    RCB
    It is funny when its happening to someone else :D

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  16. Haha.
    SS is a legend.
    All that grand visual imagery, and he focussed on your apartment number :) Sounds like my kind of social misfit.

    Liked the post. But then that's never a surprise anymore, is it? :)

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  17. Kaloo - lol SS follows the complete Stalker guide. I'm already a pro ;)

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  18. I'm so delayed coz I didn't sign up for comments.

    There's a stalker guide ? Where can I get one ?

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  19. I'm so delayed coz I didn't sign up for comments.

    There's a stalker guide ? Where can I get one ?

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  20. SS - I'll compile a list ok...

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