Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Love thy Neighbour

I have had worse neighbours for sure.  Midnight basketball games comes to mind.  But the last four nights have been tasking.
It all started on Wednesday night.  As I’ve outlined before, our bedroom window is about three feet from our neighbours’ kitchen and they seem to live in the kitchen.  Wednesday night, as we snuggled into bed and prepared for a few minutes of reading before the book clocks you in the head as you nod off and loose dexterity, we heard raised voices coming from next door.  This is normal.  But it kept going.  And then there was that high-pitched crying voice that we women try so desperately not to achieve but can’t help.  And it went on, and on, and on.  We started getting uncomfortable.  We don’t need to know this much about the dysfunction of next door.  The tid-bits we get through the wall are enough.    
Then on Thursday night we were woken at 1am by a new batch of screaming coming from next door.  This one wasn’t as drawn out, but explosive enough to wake us from a dead sleep.  As we drifted back off to sleep (or as I drifted, Pete most likely was asleep before he finished turning over) a cat started whining.  And whining.  At first I thought it was the black fluff ball from upstairs.  She tends to whine like this when she doesn’t have the confidence to jump to the window or down from the roof.  Then another feline voice chimed in.  OK, maybe it was a Romeo & Juliet type situation.  You know where this is going, right?  The screeching started and kept going.  I think I finally passed out when they reached a pitched that pierced my eardrum.
Friday night started off well but the colourful neighbours at the back decided it was their turn to get in on the fun.  This family frequently chase us from our back deck with their colourful and crude language and impromptu football games that use our back fence as a goal.  On this night, they decided to continue their run of living their life out of doors by starting up a raging screaming match at 3:30am. This one we could not follow, we never understand a word coming out of their mouths, and tonight was no different.  We are pretty sure it’s English, but it’s one of those London accents that is only intelligible after about 6 pints and a dodgy burger.  Eventually, it moved inside or at least to the other end of the council estate. 
Saturday brought a new annoyance.  This involved an unexpected houseguest.  Next door’s.  We endured the usual bedtime howls between kids and mom.  Emerging from underneath these howls was a new monotone.  It kept going and going and going, at a fairly loud decibel.  At first it was background noise, but it slowly became like the incessant buzzing of a fly.  It kept going even when the hosts tried to intervene and move the conversation elsewhere.  We slowly realized that it was a verbal slideshow of the guest’s recent trip to Australia…
“…to the east was, according to the guide, the last remaining rainforest..”
“…apparently there are all these introduced species, according to the guide, camels roam the interior…”
“…that morning, I was there with my video and mobile to catch the sunrise on the rocks…”
“…and then that afternoon we went…”   “…according to the guide…”
“…and then that evening we…”
“…the following morning we…”   “…according to the guide…”
“…on the plane we…”
This went on, non-stop, for 30 minutes.  I mean he didn't even stop for a sip of water and my mouth was getting dry just listening to him.  At that point Pete got out of bed and slammed our window shut in desperation (and a little passive-aggressiveness).  We could still hear the drone from next door but at least it was muffled a few decibels lower.  However, the window closed on a stuffy night did not make for easy sleeping. 

This morning we woke to find our front door had been open all night (with the keys hanging in the exterior lock). 
We weren’t murdered in our sleep so however annoying we find the neighbours, at least they’re safe. 

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