Back in halls, when my next-door neighbour liked to play loud gangster rap – he claimed it somehow aided him in writing
Politics essays – we developed the “pipe system”. On our side of the corridor, all the water pipes ran through the seven rooms on our side of the block. So after my original plan of finding a long stick that would reach his window, and sticking a sign to it that read “I will end you if you don’t shut up” somehow failed, we just banged on the pipes for communication. We also decided to learn Morse code for other contact purposes, but it never worked out (drunken plans don’t normally go very far).
If you want your neighbours to respect your right to quiet, or if
you’re the one who likes to turn the stereo and/or girly shrieking up to eleven on the volume control, then the first thing you should probably do is forge a friendship – try all necessary tactics. These include offering free food; pretending you love their music taste; over-enthusiastic flattery (“Oh my god, your hair looks so good today! Your outfit is amazing! Wow, I wish I was you” etc). This way, if you’re super-nice to them, you can make them feel guilty when asking them to turn the noise down, or vice versa – try using, “I’m so glad we’re friends, I know you won’t mind me blasting reggae until the small hours.”
Drunken neighbours are never good either; a girl from the flat above nearly broke down my door banging and shouting, insisting it was her room and someone had locked her out. Then she sat outside drunk and solemn, and had to be coaxed back to her flat in her underwear. To this day, I have no idea why she felt it necessary to take off her clothes.
We have new neighbours now, but we didn’t realize it for weeks after we had moved in (we live above a shop... the doorways aren’t obvious, okay?). Someone had been emptying our dustbins for us for ages, and I don’t know what we thought was happening – probably that we had bin-elves or something – until they knocked politely on our back door, and asked us if we would kindly sort the right recycling items into the correct bins. Gracious
and eco-friendly – what more could you ask for?
So really, the moral of the story here is to try and get off on the right foot with your neighbours. They might be loud, or needy, or not recycle properly (don’t judge)... but this way you can avoid being woken up with hoovering, not have someone relentlessly tap on your window with long sticks, and stop girls from starting a clothing strike to recover their apparently stolen room.
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