There is something worse than naked neighbours

The last thing on earth I wanted to see on Tuesday morning was an angry Hildeberta with a pen and paper in her hands. Groan. Was the dreaded cleaning rota finally going to materialise? I ventured a little closer with a cheery “Good morning!”, and peered at what she was writing. “Lieber Nachbar…” Phew, it seemed I was off the hook.

Me: What’s happening? 

Hildeberta: DID YOU HEAR ME LAST NIGHT? 

Me: (backing slowly away) Ummmm… 

It emerged that, in a fit of rage, she’d stomped upstairs in her pajamas to deal with our insanely noisy neighbours. I had actually heard our front door opening at around 1am but as I was nice and warm in my bed, I just thought, “Sod it. Let the bloody burglars come to me. I’m not moving.” I nodded off again a few minutes later.

Meanwhile, Hildeberta had been banging away on the neighbours’ door, determined to have it out with them. She said she could hear them talking in rather coarse German, tiptoeing around for a bit, and then all was quiet. So she came back downstairs and went to bed again. Having got no satisfaction (duh nuh nuh) the night before, she was now writing a note to them in VERY SHOUTY LETTERS.

The truth is, this has been going on for months now but, as Germans are oh so polite, we didn’t do anything about it. I had previously offered to be the short, silent, crazy-eyed sidekick to Hildeberta’s dignified lead – think Joe Pesci and Robert de Niro in Casino – but my flatmates had turned me down.

You see, there are laws against this sort of thing in Germany. Between 10pm and 6am, you’re not supposed to do anything that could disturb your neighbours in any way. This includes, but is not limited to, hoovering, turning on your washing machine, blaring your TV, and revving your car engine. I have even heard of the police being called on a crying baby. And while Berlin is generally rather lax with this sort of stuff, our neighbours are a pretty extreme case.

I put forward several theories as to what could be going on up there, but as my macabre imagination freaked out Hildeberta and Hildegard, I’ve toned it down to what is probably the most likely one. So here it is – Gebhard’s Guide to Driving your Neighbours Crazy:

1. Look at your watch and realise that it’s around midnight.

2. Put on your hobnail boots.

3. Proceed to line dance for 30 – 40 minutes.

4. When you’re good and warmed up, move every piece of furniture in your flat to a new position.

5. Jump off every piece of furniture while still wearing your hobnail boots.

6. Repeat.

Luckily for Gebhard, Hildeberta and Hildegard are extremely well-mannered individuals with the patience of saints. I, on the other hand, am not. This has led to me jumping up and down, banging on the ceiling with a sweeping brush in my hand while roaring obscenities at night, and “treating” Gebhard to my version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” at the top of my voice first thing in the morning. However, it seems that none of this has had any effect whatsoever.

Hildeberta dropped the note up on Tuesday morning. As I sit here writing this, 2 Unlimited are blaring from on high, and Gebhard is having what sounds like multiple seizures (in hobnail boots) directly above my head. (Although, if I were forced to listen to 2 Unlimited at that volume, I’d probably have a seizure too.)

So it seems he’s not just an inconsiderate moron, he’s an inconsiderate moron with embarrassingly poor taste in music. It’s now around 9.30. At 10.01, I’m going up there. Now, where’s my pen…

 

 

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95 thoughts on “There is something worse than naked neighbours”

  1. When I lived in Wellington in the mid eighties (that’s 1980s :-)), I was flatting above 2 “working girls” who would start entertaining at about 10:30. Fortunately it wouldn’t last very long. Except 1 night when a fishing boat was in, and their clients kept getting the wrong door, much to the delight of the other 5-6 in the taxi at the top of the steps. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 at 7:00 a.m. was my revenge

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We reported our neighbours to our landlady who created a report and submitted it to the building manager and their landlord. They have been quiet ever since. This is after we asked them to be quiet 4 times over a few months. I even went down once @ 1:30am when I was super ill and in a feverish rage and I am the epitome of passive aggressive. I think Switzerland has similar rules, but we gave them until 11:00 at night to shut up (they talk super loudly and it always sounds like they are arguing…earplugs were no use). We kept a log of the noise times. You should try the same, as it took an official warning to get any results.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohh that’s bad!!
    The worse problem I ever had with my neighbours is that the old lady downstairs just can’t seem to do anything of her life except to smoke.

    Ohh, and the other day someone got pissed because the buttons to ring the bell weren’t working, so he/she decided to broke the rest and punch the entire thing, leaving a hole. Crazy people hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that guy must have serious anger issues! I almost had a heart attack last night – everything had been peaceful and then STOMP – I almost fell out of my bed 😉 My flatmate is still woken up every night despite her earplugs! They must be shaking the ceiling over her side of the apartment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard of people calling the police for a crying baby as well. At 2 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Which makes me wonder how you’re supposed to keep a baby quiet for the WHOLE of Sunday?

    Luckily we’ve only had good neighbours so far in Germany, and I bit of noise doesn’t disturb us anyway. The neighbour who used to live above us would have sex with his girlfriend between 10:30 and 11 am every single Sunday right above our living room though, and I could hear EVERYTHING! She didn’t live there so I guess Sunday was the only way they could do it? But the same exact time every single week? Talk about orderly Germans! 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m basing this on a small and unscientific survey, so I could well be wrong, but it seems to me that the more polite people are, the more likely they are to blow up in irrational ways once they’ve been pushed past their limits. Watch it, neighbor!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Despite the Venezuelan propensity for loud music in the street, late night parties, and huge families, I am happy to say that I have very respectful and quiet apartment neighbors!

    Thank you for making me appreciate something new about my life in Venezuela!

    -Amanda at Congrats on your two year blogging anniversary! I’ve only just passed the one year mark and I can only hope to continue for two years.

    -Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And people think I’m crazy for living on the top floor of a walk-up apartment building. Sure, I have to climb 4 flights of stairs but no Gebhards pounding on my ceiling.

    Well, that and it was the cheapest apartment in the building. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Our electricity is cheaper after 7pm ,we therefore start the washer and dishwasher at exactly 7.05

    Fortunatly our neighbours live further down the lane and I doubt she could hear our washer over the barking of her two crazy doberman dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Neighbors are loud and make weird sounds. My upstairs neighbors drop what appears to be a metallic ball each night repeatedly between 2 and 3 am. And this exact thing used to happen to me – albeit at a different time – when I lived in Pakistan. But my upstairs neighbors also throw stuff at each other during heated fights and then treat me (read scar me for life) with the sounds of make up sex.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Something worse than naked neighbours? How about the time in Sydney we and the rest of the 100 or so people living in the same house woke up to a street brawl and went to our balconies to see what was going on but quickly turned our eyes to the opposite house and its only window with lights and a blow job going on… 🙂

    We didn’t knock on their door nor write them angry letters though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. We have laws like that here in Canada as well – but from 11 pm to 6 am. Generally in an apt building the police are only called as a last resort when the neighbor won’t quiet down after being spoken to. I had one like that above me a few months ago – moved out now. i spoke to them twice – huge banging at 2-3am – and they blamed it on their Dad , said he came home drunk. I got frustrated and screamed at them to shut up one night and they were quiet for a week, They are gone now, thank heavens.

    Good luck Berlinda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, if you’ve already spoken to someone and they still persist in being noisy, I think you’re within your rights to raise hell! Some people are just so rude – though it’s hard to imagine a rude Canadian 😉

      Like

  12. Oh, your post reminded me of my apartment dwelling days! Really, I never want to live in an apartment again. Unfortunately I was sometimes the person people complained about because I had hardwood floors in my little studio and when I came home late at night … well, even my soft-soled shoes didn’t quite help. Especially when I had company 😉
    So is Hildeberta’s note a warning that she will call the noise police if they persist? It sounds like he is being purposely obnoxious. Perhaps you should slip him a a DVD with the Casino scene on it. He won’t need to understand English.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I was in the States, the couple upstairs was very noisy. I did not know the protocol, so I complained to the apartment office but was told that I should first tell the couple first. It took me a few days to gather my strength, then noticed that the couple was not really noisy – the building had not soundproofing whatsoever. I heard them when they walked, sneezed, laughed, chatted, etc. I decided not to approach them since the noise was not really their problem.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Haha, oh my goodness yes to all of this.
    Fortunately, we live on the top floor in Frankfurt so we rarely experience any noise from above, but that doesn’t stop our neighbour complaining if one of us even gets up to pee in the night and stumbles around a little – seriously, that happened.

    I can totally respect the rules here, but I think some neighbours take it to an extreme!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god! I can’t even imagine someone complaining about someone getting up to pee! Maybe they’d like you to hold it til the morning – or pee out of your top floor window 😉

      Like

  14. I repeat – it is VERY challenging for Germans to adjust to life in India. Cus there is no volume switch anywhere for anything! There are noise laws but… like anything here… there are ways of circumventing everything. And trust me – shutting the house up tight, noise cancellation headsets and doing a lot of lalala doesn’t help. All you can do is join the party and try to add your cacophony to everyone else’s competition noise!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, most of the time, I’m either not in bed that early, or not here, but it’s really driving my flatmate mad! For her to storm up there in her pjs is so completely out of character! He’s driven her over the edge 😉 Thanks for commenting! Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And lots of other movies 😉 Luckily I didn’t have to go Joe on the neighbour’s ass yesterday – maybe Hildeberta’s note had some effect after all 😉

      Like

  15. I wish the 10.00 pm – 6.00 ‘quiet time’ could be seriously enforced in Zambia. You can make as much noise as you want and annoy your neighbors, but there are no consequences for your inconsideration. Austria is another story. We were having a great (aka LOUD) party at a rented hall when a stranger (aka Austrian) walked in. He said it was 10.05 pm and we had to tone it down. One party goer had had a bit of fizzy juice and told the man to go away. The man went away and apparently called the police who came and gave us a warning. The party mood was deflated because a) we rarely meet as Zambians and so wanted to enjoy each other in arrears; b) a party to a Zambian means loud music and even louder conversations.

    I have heard friends say they have had their parties reported to police by neighbors. I think having a quiet time is good for neighbors, though not so much for the party goer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s true! I think if you let the neighbours know in advance and it’s at the weekend, they’ll tolerate it, but random mid-week parties – NEIN! 🙂 Must find a Zambian party some time 🙂

      Like

    1. Ha, at least I think it’s 10 to 6! I’m never up at 6 so that’s way too early for me – but midnight would be fine for me at night-time as I’m rarely in bed before then! I didn’t even know Latvia had that rule 😉

      Like

      1. Yes, since forever! The police is known to have been called because of this, but in my experience (including the times I’ve been very noisy), this is usually dealt with peacefully and just between the neighbours.

        Perhaps that tasteless fuck in the flat above just doesn’t know that the floors aren’t properly soundproofed. So stabbing the fuck with a pen should probably wait!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We have rules as everywhere i think from 11pm to 6am.
        Do we follow them that’s the biggest question.When my daughter’s neighbor above her has a party, chandelier swinging.Thanks to God that’s happens very rarely.And if you will reported to police they will laugh in your face ( i mean police).May be in big cities like Riga it’s a little different they have to react (probably you have to count in which area is well) but no in small villages where everybody knows everybody.
        Just you have to wait when comes..your turn for a party..!!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. 1) Naked neighbors are perfectly acceptable, even desired, if they look like an Abercrombie model. 2) I was hoping you meant loud sex (I mean, at least SOMEONE is getting laid). 3) 10pm-6am? Quiet hours? That means all the fun hours have to be silent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m normally out then anyway, that’s why it doesn’t bother me that much usually! 😉 Huh, maybe Gebhard and Chatty Kathy are at it – I did see her coming in just before all the noise started… interesting 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lucky them! Though you could really start pounding on the ceiling with a broom handle if you wanted to get to them! Also, I find bad renditions of Whitney Houston work wonders.

        Liked by 1 person

                1. I sing everything to them 🙂 This morning, it was a bit of Hotel California, Johnny Cash and Chris de Burgh – the Berlin radio station I listen to is a bit random 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

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