Being human



We’re living in a very small flat. The building is also very old, around ~100 years I guess. We were slowly looking for a new place, since we’ve learned about the baby. We wanted him to grow with a garden in our reach, if possible.

Apparently, there was not much concern about sound isolation 100 years ago. Anything louder than a silent speaking can be heard from other side of the wall. This was mostly OK, since neither we nor the neighbors weren’t especially loud.

Until we have a new one moving in.

It still wouldn’t be a problem for us, since they don’t disturb us at 01:00 or something, they’re mostly quiet after 22:00 or 23:00. The problem is: Our baby is having sleep issues. We learned that babies have “growth attack” periods, which can really disturb their mood/sleep pattern etc. Random wake-ups every ~2 hours are a bit disturbing for us, but definitely a lot more for the baby. So we started to be more careful around the environment he is sleeping. He is mostly asleep for the night around 19:00.

Then the noise started, mostly sounds of laughter and/or games/movies. We didn’t do much at first, since we’re foreigners in this country and didn’t know what to do initially. After first few occurances, we’ve tried to knock the wall, which worked for a while. After some time that also didn’t cut, they started to ignore us. I’ve decided to pay a visit and ask for some understanding. Yeah, legally it’s mostly OK to be a bit louder until 22:00 around here (the key part is “a bit”). But the thin walls work 2-ways, if we can hear them, I am sure they can hear a baby crying before the knock on the wall, right?

After the visit, I thought I should’ve extended this logic a bit more: If they can hear the baby and still chose to ignore, what is there to speak? The guy didn’t even opened the door, just a slight gap. He was very disturbed to see me. I’ve tried to explain the situation and kindly ask if he can be a bit more cautious after at least 20:00-21:00. He didn’t even let me finish my sentences:

“I don’t care. I can also hear you. That’s too early. Not my problem. Bye!”

And slammed the door.

Maybe I should be angry, but I felt sadness predominantly. I feel this way for anyone who lacks empathy. There should be something in our DNA, carried since our species was not even named “homo sapiens” yet. Some people lacks this to some extent, which is just, damn sad.

Honestly, I can’t put myself into this guy’s shoes. I would definitely think like him: A new flat, new neighbors with a baby. And now the assholes want to silence me. Hell, I am not even that loud! I would still say “ok, I will try to be a bit more careful”, even though I actually won’t care too much afterwards. I would still act with a trace of decency.

I mean, we’ll move anyway, we decided to move as soon as possible before this. I’ll also move some furniture to make the noise from his flat less disturbing. But I still raised the issue to the landlord. I will do whatever I can to at least disturb him.

I am also not the friendliest guy in the world. And I realize it might be OK to be a jerk in the society, as long as you’re fine with the consequences.

(Late update: We have moved from that flat, but I guess I managed to make that guy leave before us. A nicely worded mail to his landlord and insurance works wonders..)


  1. Cover image credit Francisco Osorio ↩︎



629 Words

2021-04-03 21:24 +0200