I have become one of those people who doesn't really know their neighbours, but that doesn't mean I don't have a tale or two to tell. Today's stories both involve shifting reactions to my neighbours.
Story one harkens back to my ongoing (or repetitive) problem with the delivery of the scab rag on a daily basis to the front porch I share with my upstairs neighbours (see here or again here). Well, in the process of speaking about it to one of the upstairs neighbours, I discovered that he had spent a number of years of his childhood in the town next on the highway from my parents' house. He told me his name, but I promptly forgot it before being able to ask if my parents knew the family.
Back to the scab rag. After all of my antics to put an end to the deliveries, they started again, and the paper wouldn't listen to me, insisting they were delivering next door. I passed on the information about where to call to end it to the neighbours, but they have done nothing. I now feel quite justified in kicking the paper in front of their door if it ever strays near mine. The pièce de résistance? Today, there was an invoice attached to the paper, in the name of someone who was probably my neighbour years ago, but with whom I never really had any exchanges. They are, however, moving very shortly, so I doubt they will deal with it.
Story two concerns the neighbours below me. When they moved in a few months ago, I noticed three things about them: they are running some kind of computer consultation business from their apartment, they have two large-ish dogs and they are incredibly cute. Okay, that last one is probably a bit exaggerated. The business is unmistakable, as there is a big sign at their front door, and I first became aware of the dogs when they were in a place they shouldn't be: upstairs, on my back porch, marking their territory. I was annoyed almost to the point of saying something (yes, I'm very outspoken), and then I noticed that a fence had been constructed to keep the dogs from climbing the fire escape stairs in the back, and I only see them in their window when I am coming home.
The other part of this story is what I came home to today. A lovely anonymous envelope, addressed to the locataire (tenant) at my address, with a photocopied letter about the noise made by the dogs. Apparently, several of these dogs (to my knowledge there are only two dogs in the building) make so much noise that at least a dozen of our neighbours on the next street (their bedrooms back onto the back of our building) are losing sleep. Their letter suggests a doggie curfew (they could be in the yard from noon until 9 pm) and threatens a call to the police if the dogs are not quieted.
I was a little taken aback by this, as I believe that there are only two dogs in one of the six apartments in this building. Do they think we will rise up and correct our neighbour? I have to say that I have noticed the dogs, but not in such a way that I found their noise disturbing me. I hear them from time to time, but it doesn't keep me awake. The true impact of the letter on me was to set me to thinking about what I would do if the police came to my door to talk about this. I switched into defensive mode and my neighbours downstairs got included in that bubble.
Surely it isn't just because of the cuteness thing? ;-)