Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Horrible Neighbors

We've now been in our aparment for over two weeks, and we aren't happy. There are lots of tenacious roaches. The complex employs three maintenance personnel to handle over 180 apartments, so they aren't always quick to respond to maintenance requests. Several residents see no problem with leaving trash lying around the grounds. This is all bad.

Far and away, however, our upstairs neighbors remain the worst aspect of our new living quarters. This is a family that prides itself on walking, running, and jumping, all on their heels. We get to listen to stomping from before 7:00 a.m. to after 10:00 p.m..

I went upstairs one night last week at 11:55 and requested that they keep the noise down. The drunken husband answered the door, denied any noise was emmanating from their apartment, and aggressively warned me not to come up there again with similar complaints. At one point his wife had to grab him to keep him from stepping outside and getting in my face and, it isn't hard to imagine, administering a sound beating (this guy is built like a tank).

This isn't the only reason I don't like this family, although it's definitely a large part of it. During the event mentioned above, I saw their 3 yr. old son running around between his daddy's legs -- at 5 minutes to midnight! I've seen their 14 yr. old bullying a girl (around 7, I would estimate) and her toddler brother. Nothing violent, just refusing to get off the swing they had been using. I've seen this same boy fling a bag of garbage at the nearby dumpster, miss it widely, and make no effort to find and/or properly dispose of the trash he had just flung. There are often beer cans and other trash lying in the shrubs directly in front of our apartment, and I have very little doubt that these were dropped from the balconey above.

If there is a bright spot in this family, it would be the wife. She has been cordial and polite every time either I or Julie have spoken with her. She apologized on behalf of her husband for the other night and for the noise that comes from their apartment. Also, as much as I dislike the husband, I've seen him walking around with their toddler and he seems very gentle with him.

Regardless, we're fed up with these people. The next time we have a similar problem we will simply call the police. I simply don't have the brawn to successfully defend myself against the husband should he decide to follow up on his earlier aggression if I go up there again.

We bought a tape recorder to try to catch the noise that comes from upstairs so that our complaints won't boil down to our word against theirs. Of course, we're stuck with the built-in microphone since the jack doesn't work, so we end up recording lots of ambient noise. It's better than nothing, though, and it's certainly more than what the neighbors are likely to produce.

All this to say, it's amazing how one situation can ruin an entire experience. We can't wait until we move.


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