Thursday, 21 February 2008

Noisy Nuissance

I know I haven't written in a while. I don't know if it's that my life has been full of all sorts of stuff, or if I've just not had the inspiration to find something decent to write about.
(My drafts folder is full of unfinished posts which, most probably, will never see the publish button.)

But today I need to rant!
I'm in the office right now, and thanks to my lovely landlord, well to be more correct - his wife, I am absolutely wrecked and cannot wake up.

Some of you know this, but for those of you who don't, my recently married landlord and his missus, argue a wee bit.
Now this in itself is not a problem.

The problem is, that every time she decides to scream at him, she screams for Flanders! And well, with me living in the flat just above, it can turn into a bloody nightmare.
I can't really explain how loud it is, I hear it through the walls, the floor and the stairwell. I can hear every word (lucky for me, my dutch is not soo good as to allow me to understand every word when delivered at high pitch and high speed - but I get the general idea, and the reasons for her bitching don't vary much!).

Now, I know that when you live in a flat (especially in a Brussels town house), you will inevitably hear what's going on around you. And most of the time, I don't mind it that much - it offers a feeling of security that you don't get in a house. I've had my fair share of noisy dealers - err sorry, neighbours, but this time it's getting really uncomfortable.
You see, when you hear people argue and scream at one another, it gets your stress levels up, it tends to leave you in a state of heightened annoyance and it will influence your mood for the rest of the day.

I have made my feelings known to my landlord. 3 times so far in the last 2 months. They always apologise profusely and I'd imagine they don't realise how loud they are being. However, clearly, in the middle of an argument, restraint is not usually a quality many people possess.

Anyway, last night, someone other than me had finally had enough. The arguing started around 10.30.
I've become quite a master at drowning them out and not paying attention to the incessant screaming and sobbing. It only really started to bother me when I wanted to go to bed. I made the most of a time-out to fall asleep, but was rudely awakened not more than 10 minutes later by an insult which I swear was coming from my living room. I listened for a while, trying desperately not to let my state of doziness be replaced by anger. It continued. After a while, I heard some tapping. I can't really tell where it came from. A couple of minutes later, it came again. It was clearly not loud enough to permeate the noise levels from downstairs.

A short respite followed, giving me enough time to fall asleep.
Once again to be woken abruptly by a slamming door (at least I thank that's what it was) and more screaming.
I was, understandably, getting pissed off by this time, so I grabbed my phone and sent a short, to the point sms.
Stop. Please.
It was about 12.30 by this time. I am assuming his phone was not in the vicinity because the noise continued.
More tapping, by some other poor soul trying to get some sleep, each time becoming more insistent.

And then, the doorbell. SALVATION.
Someone - not me, had finally called the police.
They didn't stay long, and believe it or not, the arguing continued after they left - although at normal noise levels.
It was about 2.30 by the time I escaped into a quiet dreamland.

As much as this whole thing annoys me and really is starting to make my flat feel even more unwelcoming, It's very sad to see that a couple who, a couple of months ago, were obviously hopeful enough to get married, have now become two beings, unable to listen and whose only form of communication is screaming at each other.

I'm hoping that one day, the penny will drop and she will finally realise that the more you yell, the less they listen.

OK, rant over.
Should get back to work.