Refugee Camp

This past weekend, my roommate and I had had enough of the racket upstairs. Her guest was trying to take a nap and kept getting woken up by the military bowling-ball holding elephants. Instead of leaving a curt-but-polite note on their door (our original plan), we opted to head upstairs immediately to take care of the issue once and for all.

uh ... can we help you?We went up the echoey stairs to their open front door (it was hot that day), to find 3 guys on the couches watching some sports game, and 2 more guys at a table in the dining area. At least 7 laptop computers strewn on the fold-up tables, with books and papers everywhere.

"Hi, we live downstairs, and we're trying to nap, but there's a lot of noise that's waking our guest up." (She inadvertently made it sound like she and I were napping together, which wasn't the case, but I felt it also wasn't vital to correct her.)
"Oh, really?" a skinny couch-laden boy inquired.
"Yeah," I affirmed. "This building construction isn't that great, and all your sound travels right through when you're walking or running."
"Sorry," offered a guy by the laptop-decorated table. "In the past few days, we were moving luggage and things so maybe that's why."
"We aren't the kind of neighbours who complain about everything, but it's been going on for a long time -- longer than a week -- and that's why we're here." I felt I needed to clarify that we're pretty reasonable people, and that this had been going on long enough.
"Okay," the table guy accepted. I guess he knew I called him on it. "We'll try to keep it down, and we'll let the others know."

That part got me. Did you say "others"? You mean, there's more? What kind of shady operation was happening upstairs, that I should know about (or rather, get a cut of the action)??

We thanked them and headed back downstairs, whispering words of disbelief as soon as we closed our own entrance door. Great. A camp of refugees (with laptops) lives upstairs. Though, we didn't see that little lady I saw before.


Momcy said...

Should approached them with a baseball bat. That would fix them!

Hey, where are all the faces? I wanted to put a face after I commented. :) :( =P
Ben, can you install the faces, PLEASE!

Kevin Cheng said...

I love the pic you chose to put there.

Looks like they're a bunch of geeks who have LAN parties. Maybe they move around desktops and stuff and the old lady is a maid?

Ben said...

Sure, Momcy. Why don't I just hack into the Blogger system and include the emoticons for you? Just ... give ... me ... one ... sec.

Haha, I liked that pic too, KC -- found it by searching Yahoo! for "crowed room", I think.

I figured they were a bunch of those foreign students (since a nearby university rents that apartment for its students' temporary use), so it's very likely they enjoy LAN parties and jump up and down directly over top our rooms. Must be a foreign thing.

In any case, we're going to monitor their behaviour (like zoo animals) and if something don't smell right, we're talking to the leasing office (again).

Momcy said...

I don't see any FACES? Are they invisible? =P

head dump said...

I had the same problem with my old appartment. The people upstair were either over weight or they walk heavy on their heels. My roomie and I never confronted them, but we'd pick up the broom stick and knock at the ceiling from below. I don't know what good that did, but the physical efforts helped relieve our frustration. A few months later we had really noisy Hungarian neighbours next door. We weren�t confrontational about that either, we just banged our fists on the neighbouring wall at 4am when we got home. Gotta love my ex roomie, she was a cheerleader full ideas. Oh, I don't know if the banging did any good either, but it also helped us vent.

Thoughts said...

Give them a break...don't you remember being young and hanging out during school? These people are probably kids that don't know better. But it doesn't give them any excuse. You know what you should call the INS...maybe they shouldn't be here anyways...doesn't Karen's sister work for them?

Nk said...

Head Dump: Didn't you watch the Friends episode ("The One About ..." :P) where the gang were knocking on the ceiling with the broomstick? After they were victorious in their noise war, the paramedics brought down the elderly neighbour on a stretcher, dead.

Ben said...

Momcy, yes, they're invisible faces. You imagine that they're there, and then we imagine that we see them. It's a fun game, but the telepathic psychics usually spoil it because they have an unfair advantage.

HD & Thoughts, I figured approaching them with a kind word would be more effective than banging on the walls / ceilings. At least this way, they have associated the prior "faceless neighbours" with us as people and they know that we have been affected by their inconsideration. Maybe they didn't know they were being loud at all hours of the night, even waking me up at 3am one Saturday morning, but now they're quite aware. All 300 of them staying in that apartment.

I'm also afraid that taking a broomstick in my hand when I get annoyed at them. Because in the frustration / anger of the moment, I could end up poking a hole clear into their floor. Or worse yet, I could end up going upstairs and jamming that broomstick somewhere else they won't enjoy. I could do that.

I could, of course, call INS or Homeland Security and say, "Hi, one of our neighbouring apartments (Suite #____) seems to have a lot of Middle Eastern music playing and I've heard some whispers about some guy named Al Kaida and his band of tenorists or something? Thought you might like to know." And then I set up a lawn chair, grab a beer, and enjoy the show.

I could, but I won't. I'm nice like that.

Van said...

better than the international students who flooded the bathroom til it dripped in your apt.!

Thoughts said...

Hey...nothing wrong with flooding your toilet by accident and having it drip down to the is an accident...hehe

Ben said...

Actually, Van ... that came back one time, which my roomie told me about (because I was out of town). So evidently, every time the international students change, we have to re-educate them again.

Thoughts, it's not the toilet backing up (I hope I hope I hope). Rather, it's them showering with the shower curtain OUTSIDE the bathtub. In Asia, as I understand it, bathrooms have drains for that sort of thing. Here, they don't. (Well, not if you don't count my bathroom directly under theirs.)


Kevin Cheng said...

The broomstick friend's episode ... I thought the old guy lived below them and always banged his broomstick at THEM and showed up in recurring episodes. Then one day he died and for some strange reason they inherited his stuff and Chandler thought he would end up like the guy.

I had noisy neighbours once in Austin but they were coke dealers and about 6'3" black guys. Usually it wasn't much of an issue given that I am up late anyways but I talked to them enough that I could just walk over and ask nicely and if I'm up for it, I'll just hang out fo ra bit on other nights so I'm not only there to tell them to shut up (they did offer my a line once. That was awkward).

Another time, I logged into their insecure wireless and send them a LAN net send to shut up. I later realized it was probably an unsecure router from d/s. Oh well.

Ben said...

I think they were retaliating by stomping on the floor after he broomsticked his ceiling.

Wow, we don't have coke dealers upstairs, thank goodness for that! But it seems like everytime they change, we need to re-educate them on ...

- walk lightly, please, esp after hours
- don't shower in the bathroom and expect a drain there
- don't leave your trash can on your balcony
- lock your bike somewhere else

I'm going to lose it one day, and you'll see me in the 6:00 news.