Weird Neighbor Chat

I was on the run all day today--my car did some crazy thing yesterday morning and because of course the mechanic couldn't find anything wrong he kept it overnight, so I didn't get it back until tonight, after a doctor's appointment (Would you believe my super-low BP is a doctor's dream? Heredity!) and the last half of choir practice. I had an assignment to assemble and submit by 11 p.m. and I hadn't eaten dinner yet. (It was 9:00.)

When the music started blaring downstairs and shaking my living room wall, I wasn't going to put up with it. I thought it was the teenage daughter of the people downstairs and to the left of me (yeah, our walls are that thin), so I went down a level. . . and aren't my loud (directly-) downstairs neighbors standing in the doorway of their apartment, having a chat in the hallway with the people across from them? So they're all "sorry" and I'm all "nice guilty conscience but it's not you this time."

"This the apartment with the loud stereo?" I asked, pointing at the door next to theirs. As if I couldn't tell from the noise. They said yes. I knocked on the door and yelled, "I'm trying to study upstairs!" Then I left.

A few seconds after I'd shut the door behind myself there came a knock. "Who's there?"
"Did you knock on my door?" I was surprised it was the mom (?) from the noisy apartment.
"Are you the one with the loud stereo?"
"Yeah, I'm sorry about that."
I opened the door. Said I'm sorry the walls are that thin but it was bothering me. She said the only reason she turned it up like that was because my (directly-) downstairs neighbors were standing in the hall going on and on loudly. Bingo on the guilty conscience observation.

I said, yeah, I know what you mean (only I get to hear it inside). She said, "I can't stand this place anymore. I'm trying to break my lease." I felt bad for her but it was a relief to find I wasn't the only one who was fed up. I hope she can get out of her lease. It's not a good place to live when everybody's taking drastic measures to mitigate everybody else.


Nina said…
Reminds me a whole lot of where I lived in NC. The walls were so thin that I could hear the neighbor's phone ring. You've got to get out of there!
Kate P said…
The phone is the LEAST of what I hear. I finally came clean tonight to my semi-significant-other as to why I haven't said, "Come over and I'll make you dinner," using this story and some vague allusions to cooking stenches.

As for getting out of here, let's just say St. Patrick is the patron saint of my move. ;)
Mr. Bingley said…
Man, I remember one apartment I had in Matawan where the folks below me survived on what seemed to be a diet of fried fish and pot, at least that was what I constantly smelled.

WordGirl said…
[fried fish and pot] heh
Kate P said…
Fried fish and pot sounds like a typical Friday night at the first college I went to! I think some of my other neighbors are frying fish and smoking pot to COVER UP the smell of Indian spices that must be urine-derived or something. And who cooks that stuff at 7 a.m.? Some mornings I am choking down my breakfast in the kitchen. It's 30 degrees outside and I had to open the kitchen window when I got home.

When I went to sign the lease for my new place, as I was leaving I was standing pretty close to the leasing office person. She abruptly said, "I smell Indian food! The guy upstairs must be cooking his lunch." Um, no, that would be my coat. My cute, faux shearling coat. I have a ton of air freshener in the living room closet and I can't get the smell out of my coats still.

And yet when I complained about it, management told me, they "can't tell other people how to live." Uh, if it has a severe impact on the other people living in close proximity who pay the same if not more rent, then yeah, you can. Gimme a break. Slumlords. I'm counting down the days.
Mr. Bingley said…
Hey, I saw "Bend It Like Beckham" so I know it takes all day to cook a good alloo-gobi!! (however the hell one spells that; no menu in reach, alas!)

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