Some days I miss living in Prague. Our flat had four official residents and in the two years that I was there, about a million guests. Having someone to talk to on a daily basis is nice, but I’ve always been a bit of a loner and all those people around took some getting used to. Not to mention getting used to the noise. In addition to the five trams directly outside, I’d hear Garth giggling upstairs while watching “Gossip Girl,” Jess and her boy (and his dog), cooking pasta after a night out, Andrea blending smoothies before work at 6am, and then there were the jackhammers under my bed for hours every morning. From the day we moved in until the day we moved out, they were doing some sort of work in our building. And judging from the “you aren’t getting your security deposit back because you used too much energy (and you’re foreigners, so we’re going to screw you),” we paid for some of those renovations.
But as much as I like the people I lived with, and I do miss the convenience of always having someone right there to grab dinner or a beer with, I LOVE living alone. LOVE IT. So imagine my joy when I moved into my new flat and discovered that not only do I live alone, but there is no one on either side of me, and no one below me! And I’m on the top floor! Oh, the glory! No more jackhammers, drunk roommates making noise, houseguests playing drum-and-base music at 9am…. it was amazing. I figured I had paid my dues and was now being rewarded. For the first three months here, I lived in glorious silence in my Fortress of Solitude. The only mess was my own, I only heard the music I wanted to hear, and I loved every second of it.
Sadly, it was too good to last. All good things must end.
About six weeks ago I started noticing workmen coming in and out of the flat next to me. Then I started hearing people coming in and out viewing the apartment. One family had a crying baby with them and I was really hoping they weren’t all planning on living in that 39-square-meter flat. And then about a month ago, people were huffing and puffing up and down the stairs with IKEA bags and boxes. I prepared myself for the horror of hearing techno music, couple fights and God knows what else.
Much to my delight though, the walls here are apparently more soundproof than I thought they would be. Really I haven’t heard too much from next door. Which makes me quite happy. So far there have only been a few inconveniences. Last Saturday night I was woken at about 4:30 in the morning by cigarette smoke. I was sleeping with the window open and they were having an all-night smoke party on the balcony next door. Now, I have been known to smoke in my life (usually the first sign it’s time for me to stop drinking is when I start smoking), and in Prague there were quite a few smokers who lived in our flat. And when they kept it to their room and smoked out the window, it was no problem. But I hate, hate, hate, waking up to the smell of smoke. So I was quite displeased that my sleep was interrupted, and once that smell was in, it was hard to fall asleep again. Strike one.
Just a little bit ago, Neighbor was apparently hanging pictures or something because there was quite a round of hammering. Can’t really fault her for that, but it’s just an unpleasant reminder that someone is there now. Grumble.
I know it’s completely unreasonable for me to want all the flats around me to remain empty forever, but I feel like the world owes me at least a year of peace and quiet after the shenanigans of the Jecna Penthouse (top floor, not men’s magazine) Hostel Apartment for Lost Boys.
Can I just build one of these in Germany?
|Fortress of Solitude – Superman, by Daniel Cole|