Saturday, March 22, 2014

Never Assume

Recently (in a post entitled Silence is Golden) I sighed a little over noisy neighbours. Disturbances in the form of loud music seem to have been increasing lately, and become both louder and more long-lasting. It’s not easy to determine exactly where it’s coming from, though. Straight above, or one of the flats in the next (wall-to-wall) entrance? Lately I have been leaning towards the flat upstairs; as silence sometimes seemed to coincide with one of its inhabitants leaving the building.

Today was another Noisy Day – loud music starting already at 9 a.m., which is unusually early. It was like waking up into a nightmare rather than out of one.

Alice 001

Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) - Alice in Wonderland
“At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her.”

It kept me on edge (not quite non-stop, but more on than off) past lunchtime. After lunch I went out. When I got back an hour or so later all was quiet – for about ten minutes. Then it started again.

I finally decided enough was enough; if it was coming from upstairs, I had to ask them if they had any idea how much the music actually penetrates through the walls to the neighbours. (I’ve been hesitant to ask before, for various reasons. For one thing, I don’t like to go visiting in my dressing-gown when not sure who will be answering the door.)

As you may already have guessed from the title, it turned out that the noise-maker today was not the neighbour upstairs.  Probably not most of the other times either. It pretty much stood clear as soon as she opened the door, that this neighbour was having the same problem as I. So instead of an argument, I ended up having a cup of tea and a chat in her kitchen, getting to know each other a little bit. And so at least something good came out of the day, even if the noise continued for several hours more. (Just now it’s quiet; although I’m not sure I dare write that, fearing a jinx!)

One of the things I learned (besides Never to Assume) was that besides a son (my former prime suspect), there is also a teen daughter in the household. How I can have been missing that fact for years is beyond me. But it does provide an alternative explanation to the clusters of young girls sometimes clattering up and down the stairs…

16 comments:

  1. i would walk the halls or stairs until i found the source and ask them to turn it down. if that did not work i would talk to whomever is in charge of the flats, next would be the police. but it is nice you met someone new. we have laws here about loud music, do you have them there?

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    1. Tenants rules usually state to keep it quiet between 10 pm and morning, Sandra. In the daytime, I'm afraid people have very different opinions about what is to be regarded as acceptable or not, which makes it hard to get at, with intermittent kind of disturbances.

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  2. How nice it turned into a new friendship. I'd say that was a win-win.

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    1. Being of a somewhat cautious nature, I hesitate to use the word friendship after one cup of tea, Wanda... But at least we're on speaking terms :)

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  3. Oh my! What WILL you do? You know, here, there are rules about noise after and before certain hours. Since you have found a new friend, why don't the two of you write a kindly note to the parents asking them if they have ever heard of headphones and requesting some quiet during certain hours. Let me know!

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    1. Well Ginny, for one thing neither of us is sure who the culprit is. It might not even all come from the same source. (+ see my answer to Sandra)

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  4. I can only imagine that must be so annoying. But great that you had a good chat with your neighbour.
    That's the negative part about living in an apartment, you have the noise.
    Have a great Sunday

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    1. Thanks Eva. The thing with neighbours is, one never knows. Even if all is quiet when one moves into a place, the situation can change as others around you move in and out. (And that can be true even if you live in a residential area with detached houses.)

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  5. Maybe you and your friendly neighbour can find out where the noise comes from, and then go together to talk to them, since you are not the only one who is affected by it.

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    1. We'll see how things develop, Meike. At the moment I'm not even feeling sure it's always the same person.

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  6. I hope you find the culprit/s soon....so much.loud noise for so many hours is rude and inconsiderate of others.
    Like the other posters suggested, maybe you and your new "friend/neighbour upstairs" can speak to the parents or even have them come over to your apartment when the noise is unbearable so that they can hear for themselves. I hope it's not the parents themselves creating all the noise. If it's the kids well then I hope when the parents admonish them that they listen.

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    1. Today has been quiet. (One never knows.) Actually Virginia, as things stand after my talk to the neighbour upstairs, I realise that I don't even know if there are kids/parents involved at all. Could just as well be young adults without kids. Or even an old rock star in their 70s ;) (not likely to be one of the most successful ones, though)

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  7. What a nightmare other peoples loud music is. (My own is never as bad somehow) Glad you made a new acquaintance, anyway.

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  8. For the last ten years we have lived in a detached house (for the first time in my life) and that absence of neighbour noise is the biggest and best benefit. I'll lend you my machine gun. That should solve it - but please make sure you've got the right target!

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  9. I cannot even begin to understand how you manage to cope. Here in NZ my nearest neighbour is not even within sight of my Cottage and the walls of my house in Scotland are so thick it would take a very loud noise even if I had adjacent neighbours.

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  10. To Scriptor and GB: Ah. So I guess it's "Pollyanna get your gun" then!!! :D

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Communication is what makes blogging fun :)

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