Saturday, June 5, 2010

JNSQ FF - Fuck the (neighbor) Man.

Ahhhh... siiiighh... living in Paris... a DREAM...come true... until you meet your fucking neighbors. The city is loved for its beautiful scenery, happening nightlife and food that could make you drop mort with a single bite. You know what it's not known for?

effing SPACE.

Most of us live in cramped apartments and on top of it... Parisian buildings are crammed like sardines into a teeeeny tiny city compared to similar European hot spots. The result? We live so close to our neighbors that sometimes it can feel like we live WITH them... sorry Martha, but that's not always a good thing. (Especially given the bubbly warmth of Parisians in general.)

I've had some crazy specimens in the states as well. There was that one neighbor in college who invited my roomie & I to dinner... and served us venison stew. Or as I would've named it, "Shitty Blood Soup with Unidentified Brown Chunks that make you GAG". Or the crazy neighbor lady who sits on her deck all day in her bathrobe, muttering to her dog and chain  smoking cigarettes into your bedroom window. Or the assholes who decided to have a party EVVVERRRRRRYYYYY SINGLE NIGHT. That was just BRILLIANT. (Yes guys, it was me who came down at 4am in a satin robe and fuzzy slippers to tell you to shut the f*ck up... then very carefully moved a turd with a paper plate so it was strategically placed in front of your porch.)

But in France, they kinda take the cake. My upstairs neighbor, god bless him, has got to be a relative of Bigfoot. I've never actually met him, but he stomps SO LOUDLY I imagine him being this HUGE man. Ginormous. Hulkesque. He Sasquatch's nephew, I've decided. And the yelling! What are they having a potato sack race on a rug of yelping baby kittens?? [THOMP THOMP THOMP.] [Random tumbling noise.] [Chaotic Pandemonium.] [Hysterical Shrieking.]

I want to run up the stairs and shower him with obscenities or smear my own poop on his front door when he finally goes to sleep at like FIVE AM - but for the time being, I'm settling for glares at the light fixtures above and cursing the colossal bastard for eating way too many Twinkies. Probably eclairs in his case. Fucking sugar-addicted-cat-despiser is going to put me in a straight jacket.

Last weekend was the "Neighbor's Party"... right. You're supposed to get together with your neighbors and try to socialize. Key word: try. If anyone actually did this, they are either:

a) A social outcast, completely devoid of any reason to live.
b) Totally oblivious that they are probably said annoying neighbor that the entire building HATES with the heat of a million white-hot suns.
c) A pet-assassin-sympathizer who doesn't deserve any of my chocolate chip cookies anyway.

Hence this week's JNSQ FF:  What's your worst neighbor story? Time to vent. Let the anger spill out of you like water from of Niagra falls.

please be nice little girls & boys and check their blogs, you won't be disappointed!

"The old 'kitchen neighbors'..." - Forest Collins
My most annoying neighbor has to be the old “kitchen neighbors”. Our kitchen window looked over a courtyard and very close & directly across from ours was the neighbors’ kitchen window. Oh, sure initially it was all fun with the bonjours and ca va’s as we stood in our respective kitchens making coffee or doing dishes. They invited us over for an aperitif. We invited them for a house party. We could never actually remember their names - or if we did which one was which so we always called them the 'kitchen neighbors.' Neither of our windows had curtains and it seemed like putting one up would be such a rude gesture, so that we never did.

In short they were somewhat strange, but friendly people who quickly became annoying because I could never go to the kitchen in peace. Things got uncomfortable because he started getting really flirty with the both of us (I lived with a girl roomie at the time.) This quickly nixed us from his wife’s list of favorite kitchen neighbors. This was all very disconcerting when really I just wanted to heat up my kettle for a cup of Earl Grey. I devised ways to avoid the kitchen window and the discomfort that had arisen due to our little kitchen window love square. I would duck when I passed the window, open cabinet doors that sort of blocked the view, pretend to be on the phone. My roomie and I compared notes on the best times to go in and our most successful evasion tactics! (Good God, Forest! Grow up and buy some damn curtains! Yeah…I know)

Until one day when we saw the wife in their kitchen with…another man! And a few days later they put their own curtains up!

"The fighting couple next door..." - Karin B.
We live one floor above a Franco-Portuguese bar and restaurant. With the smoking ban that went into effect in 2007, the crowds that used to smoke indoors now spill out into the sidewalks and small plaza below our windows, sometimes into the wee hours when we are trying to sleep. It's not so bad in the wintertime, when our windows are closed and smokers only stay out as long as it takes to finish a cigarette, but in the summer with our windows open to catch the night breeze, it is another story. It's karaoke night on Friday and Saturday nights, and there are often live bands that play, too. Sunday nights seem to be the worst with not only loud music, but with the drunken riff-raff that gathers outside (this is in the more rough-around-the-edges 19th, you know). Sometimes it is entertaining when a fight breaks out or someone who has had too much to drink gets rowdy. This is especially entertaining when it is the women. I've seen a couple of rocking cat fights! I'm not looking forward to the World Cup games this year, when I know there are going to be late nights with lots of hollering football-watchers. Ah, this summer, too, shall pass.

This is not all, though. I was just reminded last night, in fact (funny that this topic should come up today), that we have the Fighting Couple next door -- a different apartment building from ours, but their apartment walls are just next to our bedroom. It seems about once every two months they have a huge blow-out and there are lots of shouts of "putain" this and "salope" that which we can obviously hear. There is often a lot of banging of objects and weeping from the female. Last night, their shouts drew attention from people walking in the streets, and some other neighbors who were hanging their heads out the windows to try to listen like I was (lol -- it was quite a ruckus). A couple of months before, at about 2 am, one of the people threw dozens of files and documents out of the window, and off they blew in the chill wind. It looked like bank statements and so on. That fight was a doozy, too.

It's very sad to hear them fighting, and sometimes concerning. We keep an ear out to be sure that there is no domestic violence going on -- if it seemed too serious, we'd call authorities to check in on things. As it is, it just sounds like a couple that ought not stay together.

"F-U strong letter..." - Doni Belau
We have neighbors here in NY that several years ago began building a wall in our lower driveway. They thought they'd erect a gate and felt that the right hand column (we do share a driveway) would be best fitted right smack dab in the middle of our lower driveway preventing us from parking near our house or even entering this drive. Luckily friends alerted us, we called a lawyer and he sent the standard US threat letter - F-U strong letter to follow. My hubby, who needless to say does not like this neighbor due to this and many incidents, enjoyed his coffee each morning on our deck as he watched the poor workers who had erected the column now take it down stone by stone.

"Flashing RATS!..." - Ashleigh T.
My neighbor issues actually involve the fish and pet store across the street. I live on the first floor so we have a looovely view of the little fishies. My main beef is that the owner is an a$$ who seems to think that it is a good marketing technique to put a huge flat-screen tv in his window and endlessly run the same powerpoint presentation with flashing kaleidoscope transitions in between lovely pictures of RATS! That's right, you look out my window you get flashing RATS! That'll reel'em in.

"A Ruckus had been going on all night!..." - Sion Dayson
I can actually illustrate this one with a video!

Like Karin, I love the 19th, but it definitely has its interesting elements. We lived on a street with a sketchy African bar on the corner. I say sketchy because there were daily brawls, catfights, and no discernable hours. They were open past normal closing hours all the time and the police never did anything about it.

When in the right mood (and with the possibility of closing the window), it was amusing, but sometimes, you just want to sleep. This video is pretty tame – tail end of something suspicious – but just keep in mind this is 7:30 AM on a typical Sunday morning and a ruckus has been going on all night!

"Multiple personalities stole one of my packages..." - Lindsey T.
I'm pretty sure my crazy neighbor with multiple personalities stole one of my packages. She talks to herself in the stairwell and has grunted at me when I say hello. Then there's also the neighbor who used to get scared in the stairwell because she thought she saw ghosts. Oh the fun.

1 comment:

  1. "What are they having a potato sack race on a rug of yelping baby kittens??"

    LOL! What a great description! Actually it reminds me I forgot about our upstairs residents, too. I think they let a hamster out in an exercise wheel and then the housecat chases it, usually between midnight and 3 am. They also must have a set of miniature pet bowling pins and balls and the hamster and cat must play. That's what the noises sound like, anyway. I often wonder what is really going on up there...

    Yeah, I guess our apartment kind of sucks, hehehe.

    It's good to know that others have interesting, strange, noisy and odd neighbors, too. Part of life in the big city, huh.

    Thanks for more Friday fun, Shannon.


Related Posts with Thumbnails