Monday, October 24, 2011

The Noise Upstairs

The joys of apartment life. No mortgage. If something major breaks, the landlord fixes it. No HOA fees. And sometimes you get sweet amenities. One of which should be noise cancelling headphones.

The floors are made of tile in our current apartment. I'm not sure what our upstairs neighbors are doing that makes so much noise, but as I lay awake each night listening to the sounds they create that drill holes into my cerebral cortex, I imagine different scenarios. One is that they are assembling some sort of exercise machine that has lots of bars and requires lots of hammering, and then, not satisfied with their design at midnight, they choose to disassemble the aparatus until the wee hours. Reconstruction commences at approximately 5:30 a.m. Never too early to get started on a healthier you!

Actually, I don't know our upstairs neighbors, but I've seen them a few times. And we smile cordially as I walk by with my two girls and they walk by with their two young boys who obviously drink caffeine all day. And I wish I knew how to say, "Hi. It's nice to meet you. I live below you. Could you try not to play mahjong quite so loudly at 11:30 p.m.? Have a nice day." I've got the "hi" part down. And that's pretty much the extent of my Chinese.

So lately I spend my hours of imposed insomnia devising plans for how to stop the noise without words. One involves buying felt pads that go under chairs and stools, putting them in a bag and asking one of my students to write a note issuing a school-wide decree that everyone must use these pads to preserve the floors. It could happen.

I've also thought of buying them a mahjong table, the kind that has lots of padding and felt so you don't here the tiles shuffle and bang.

Wall-to-wall carpeting comes to mind.

But the truth is, I am really thankful for our apartment, and thankful that each day it is feeling more and more like home to me. And for that feeling I'm willing to put up with some noise. (I also bought ear plugs).

1 comment:

Melissa said...

When we lived in an apartment our upstairs neighbors were also a delight. We used to joke that they were body-bowling. :)