We live in a very noisy place. Obviously, we didn’t think this when we moved in. Our street seemed a quiet backwater. It’s not. It’s a short cut for every car in Belgium. We are on a corner near a junction. Junctions are exciting places in Belgium. They take their right-of-way rules very seriously. As Mr. Waffle puts it, “being Belgian means you never have to look left”. This, inevitably, leads to a huge number of tips and near misses and our junction, which features a blind corner, is a great place to have them. And then there is the lorry which comes and delivers oil to the building across the road at 6 in the morning. Loudly. And our bins are collected on Wednesday morning and (cruel) Saturday morning.
During the Summer, somewhere near us, there is a disco venue for the young people. When they emerge drunken, dehydrated and deafened, they need a place to meet. They select the doorstep of our building. It’s on a corner and it’s distinctive. We are looking forward to hearing the following dialogue on Friday and Saturday nights from May onwards (all conducted at top volume, obviously, because they’ve just emerged from a loud, loud club):
Where’s the car again?
I dunno, did anyone see Vero?
I think I’ll just lie here on the road.
Wow, look at the stars.
Will we see if we can walk on top of the cars?
Did I mention that we live in an old building and so, apparently, it’s not possible to fit double glazing. All the better to hear the excitement outside…
Meanwhile our neighbours also contribute their mite. The annoying German lady listens to the telly in her bedroom (directly above ours) at top volume. We are sick of German detective shows. The other night, there was a big bang, as though the telly had been chucked on the floor) and the noise stopped. Maybe she is sick of German detective shows too. The Belgians on the ground floor play electric guitar from 10.00 pm on. I feel that it may be either spouse but Mr. Waffle feels it must be him because only a man would still be trying to master Dire Straits numbers 20 years after they were originally released. A compelling argument, I concede. And this morning at 9.30, the woman downstairs began using her drill. I suppose, to be fair, trapped between Dire Straits and screaming baby, she felt she had to make some kind of protest.
Also, for one week only, our street is being dug up to put in new lighting. Excellent, a pneumatic drill.
Is it any wonder our baby doesn’t sleep at night?
on 11 April 2004 at 03:27
Tu peux tenter de faire comprendre ? tes voisins qu’ils ne vivent pas seuls dans l’immeuble et que le tapage “diurne” est aussi prohib? que le “nocturne.
Nous avons une vieille m?m? sourde comme un pot au-dessus de chez nous et ce fut la guerre pendant plusieurs mois avec elle.
Maintenant, ?? va mieux et nous avons conclu un accord avec elle: quand sa t?l? va trop fort, nous lui t?l?phonons et laissons sonner quelques secondes pour qu’elle baisse le son.
Le syst?me fonctionne assez bien !
Bon courage !
on 12 April 2004 at 02:18
So where was Vero??As for the noise…ouch. I don’t envy you. Being out in the country direction has it’s disadvantages (such as lacklustre public transport), but I always appreciate the total silence at night. Bliss. But I really shouldn’t be rubbing it in….sorry.
on 12 April 2004 at 11:06
Vesper, don’t know about very interesting…you are kind.
Thierry, merci pour le conseil, may take courage in my hands and tackle neighbours downstairs, but German lady is just too scary. Impressed with your v. practical arrangement with your elderly neighbour.
Locotes, she was obviously straggling out of the nightclub waking up the people round the corner. Guess what though – Princess slept from midnight to 7 this morning. Am delighted.