Mar 24 2009

Yes, we are awake at 11 pm.

by at 12:09 pm

After that delightful parade on Saturday, we heard our doorbell ring.  Uh oh–this was not mail delivery time.  Our downstairs neighbor saw us hanging out the window of our apartment, snapping photos, and he ran up to catch us while we were home.  Next time a parade passes by, I am peeking through the blinds instead.

This elderly gentleman asked us if we did a lot of walking around our apartment at 11 pm.  Well, we said, we didn’t particularly do a lot of walking at that hour, but if he meant, are you awake at 11 pm, the answer was yes.  And if we are awake, we move around our apartment, that is true, yes.  Then he told us that he is sick and needs sleep, and even though he actually goes to sleep at 9 pm, could we please make an effort by 11 pm to stop stomping around our apartment?

We don’t wear shoes in the apartment.  We don’t have dance parties or kick-boxing sessions at night.  And our floors produce very dull thudding, hardly any creaking and without any resonance.  The people who walk around above us either are highly-trained whisper walkers, or the floors in this building are really pretty good at muffling walking sounds.  But we are nevertheless keeping awake a sick old man!  So now we are reduced to guiltily tip-toeing around our apartment post 11 pm.

This kind of apartment to-do seems particularly Swiss to me.  These type of incidents appear all too frequently on other explat blogs, see as examples recent late night walking complaints and laundry complaints.  At least our complaining neighbors, unlike theirs, have the decency to talk to us politely, face-to-face.  Then again, the Pumpernickel has been having neighbor problems of her own in Washington, DC.  So tell me, readers, are we doomed to cranky neighbors telling us our already calm lifestyle is irritating them for as long as we live in apartment buildings, anywhere in the world?  Nothing has made me feel more like I want to be a homeowner one day, not even the thought of having my own laundry machine and garden.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Yes, we are awake at 11 pm.”

  1. knfon 24 Mar 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Yes, you are doomed to cranky neighbors. Sorry.

  2. The Pumpernickelon 26 Mar 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Isn’t it interesting that no matter where you are in the world, there will always be difficult, crotchety neighbors that grouse about the smallest disturbance? Bitchiness truly is a universal language. It’s rather beautiful, when you think about it.

  3. floraon 29 Mar 2009 at 10:08 pm

    after 4 months of being sandwiched in between someone who played drum n bass to wake up (above) and someone who banged on the ceiling occasionally to shush when he wasn’t keeping *me* up with indiscriminate midnight cursing – I hit the jackpot – the beauty of occupying the second and third floors of a house is there is no one above, second floor is a late night buffer zone….plus our first floor neighbor is (I suspect) usually too passed-out inebriated to complain anyway.

    so happy apartment living exists! it just is a roulette:)

  4. Jackieon 31 Mar 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Sadness—Crotchety neighbors as an incentive towards urban/suburban sprawl. I’ll have to find me a buffer zone apartment next time around.

  5. Catherine P.on 09 Apr 2009 at 3:32 am

    My flatmate asked me if I could avoid brushing my teeth late at night because it made too much noise. I completely sympathize with you!

    I love your blog and totally understand. 🙂


  6. Tinaon 19 Apr 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I’m sorry you had to experience this! When will the swiss learn they live in apartment buildings and simply cannot control when people go to bed. At least he had the decency to come talk to you in person!

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