July 22, 2012


Neighbour problems again.

Some time back, actually, as I was first moving in, my downstairs neighbour was at my door, banging his little fist, because I was making too much noise.  Through his broken English, he told me that his wife goes to bed at 9pm, and my moving across my floor is keeping her awake.

I’m not a noisy person.  I know the floors are marble and tile and cement, and sound carries quite well through these materials.  But the way he was going on, you’d think I was a jackhammer to dig through these various materials.  One evening in particular, I was standing on the ladder, scraping the wallpaper remnants off my ceiling.  I should explain…

Whoever occupied this apartment before, had the whole apartment, aside from kitchen and bathrooms, wallpapered from floor to ceiling, across the ceiling, and down the other wall – all throughout the apartment!  Under the wallpaper, especially on the ceiling, the first thing I noticed was that the wallpaper was barely clinging to the ceiling.  I guess they must have been in a hurry to put it up.  Nonetheless, I could grab a piece, and pull off the whole strip.

Now, paper falling to the floor makes very little sound.  It makes very little sound in the apartment, and I can’t see that that would keep missus awake.  After the majority of the paper was taken down, and put into garbage bags, then the process started of scraping off the little bits from the ceiling that did actually stick.  For that, I was on the top of a wooden ladder, which coincidentally enough, has cloth wrapped around each of the four legs, so as to minimize the sound of the ladder on the floor.

Anyhow, after a week of mister coming upstairs and banging on my door, one night, he just walked in!  No knocking, just walked in and started yelling at me.  At this point, I was not tolerant, and didn’t want to hear his bitching.  I guess it was her bedtime.  In fact, where I was working on the ceiling, was nowhere near the ceiling of their bedroom.  So, she must have superhuman hearing.  Or else, he was just curious about what I was doing here, and made up an excuse after seeing what I was doing.

In the past few weeks, I have been trying to wash the floors in my apartment.  I really only have a couple of spare moments through the week when I can do any housework.  The first time, I was asked by the landlord if I was using water in the apartment.  Um, silly question I thought, but I did respond positively.  I was asked to not use the water.  That was about three weeks ago.

Seriously… not use water for three weeks?  A few days later, as I was still asleep in bed, the cats suddenly jumped up, waking me up, and all of them were looking into the living room and growling.  I quickly got up, dressed, and went to see what was going on.  Here, the landlord was already in the first door, but because of the second door being locked on the inside, and no key for the lock, he couldn’t get in.  He was trying to open the door, when I answered.

He doesn’t speak English, however, his daughter does.  Unfortunately, I did not receive a call telling me or even asking me, if he could come into the apartment.  As it turned out, he had a plumber with him.  The plumber took a look at the ‘kitchen’ (aka cat room) and bathrooms, didn’t really seem to be concerned, and they left!

I figured all okay from my end.  I was asked by his daughter to not use the water in the cat room.  Unfortunately, this is the floor that really needs to be cleaned at least weekly.  I agreed that I could wash the floor without using the drains.  Apparently, the water was dripping down into their apartment ceiling.

After a couple of weeks, I couldn’t handle it anymore, and since I had the day off today, decided to wash the floor.  I got a bucket of water and a sponge, and quite literally, was on my hands and knees washing the floor.

Then what to my wondering ears should be heard, but the banging on my door!  Not just knocking, but banging.  As soon as I opened the door, missus starts yelling at me.  She points into the apartment.  Blah blah blah.  She just stood there and yelled and kept pointing.  Once she took a breath, I motioned for her to come in and see what I was doing.  I pointed to the mop bucket and sponge, and then acted out what I was doing.

Then she walked out and went back downstairs, yelling all the way down the stairs.

I thought about it for a couple of minutes, and decided I wanted to see this water leak for myself.  In this kitchen, there are two drains.  As it was a kitchen previously, the drains were never plugged up.  Okay, I admit the first few times I washed the floors, I just let the water flow down the drains.  Once I was asked to stop using the water, then I plugged them up, just on the odd chance any water did spill down the drains.

I go downstairs.  Now, this is like a minute after her.  I knock at the door.  I knock again.  I knock harder.  I knock more frequently.  I tried to call the landlord.  I tried to call his daughter.  Then mister comes walking upstairs.  I asked to see this leaking.

Granted, there is some water damage, and yes, it was leaking.  The damage to the ceiling was actually quite extensive, and so I can understand that they would be upset.  However, the dripping was about one drop every 30 seconds or so.  Chinese water torture.  I snapped a couple of pictures, thanked him, and went back upstairs.

Obviously, the problem is not with the drains, since no water was actually going down the drain.  So it has to be the water supply pipes.  This is going to be a major repair.

Finally, I got a phone call back.  I explained what I was doing, and what my personal opinion was of the water situation.  I don’t know when a plumber will be around to fix this, but I can’t NOT use the water in the apartment.  How can I shower?  How can I flush the toilet?  How can I do laundry?

Hopefully they will get the situation fixed soon.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!

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1 Comment

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One response to “July 22, 2012

  1. joyce oconnell

    What to do !!

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