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Medium-Density Urban Dwelling Issues

weather: cloudy
outside: 8.3°C
mood: ...
I'm still not entirely sure if this Medium-Density Urban Dwelling Thing is right for me, long term. This makes it the first time I have ever shared walls with strangers. But at least for the time being, it will be okay.

I can always tell when I'm finally settled into a new place from the way I feel about the bathroom. I can either like it, hate it or be indifferent beforehand, but once it's "mine" and "home", I have complete flat affect about it. Like the muscle you never knew you had until you do a session of Yoga in earnest.

The area we're in is very lovely. It's convenient and close to everything. There is no end of places to eat. Lots of sushi places near us. Excellent gelato is close by. Everything is just about within a block or two in any direction from home. It's unfortunate that there's a huge EvilBucks almost right outside my door. But that's okay, we just don't go in there. There is shopping available, but it tends to run on the expensive side, not a lot of choice in styles and generally do-able, but just a little off from my taste.

Of course, being in an apartment means sharing walls with neighbours. It's not a very big building; there are less than 20 one- and two-bedroom units in total. All our neighbours are very friendly. Neighbours in nearby buildings are also very cordial and pleasant. It's not uncommon to be good-morning'ed by a stranger on the street on our way to the car each morning.

The neighbours in the adjoining apartment are new as well. They moved in about a month after we did. They're about middle-aged, either just recently retired or about to retire and looking like near first time grandparents if they had grandchildren. We haven't conversed at length, but we saw them and said hi while they were carrying a gajillion boxes up the stairs over several weekends.

Their door is so close to ours that I almost can't tell which dead bolt is being opened, theirs or ours. I had to listen very carefully to learn to distinguish the two, but it's still virtually impossible to tell from one of the rooms further away.

Our two birds are still a little uneasy with the new surroundings, but for the most part, they seem okay. They're chirping, singing, talking and sometimes, they bark and scream like they used to. =)

The birds are in the living room area, which shares a wall with that couple's apartment. I'm not sure what room is on the other side of the wall. When our two birds get going, they can get really loud.

We can hear them faintly from the street below. And they're also faintly audible from the hallway outside the apartment door.

I'm worried that they're loud and annoying to the couple next door though. The building does say "No Pets", but we okayed the two birds with the Building Manager. I specifically asked him if it was because of noise that pets weren't allowed and he said, no. His primary concern was fleas.

Now. Birds chirp.

I would think that it's common knowledge (*LOL*) but, then again, I am a bird owner so I would know this. I don't know if other people realize this. And the fact that I don't think the Building Manager lives in the building means he isn't the one that has to deal with the noise.

I'm worried about receiving a complaint about the two little screaming chick-a-dees. The userinfoHusband Guy feels the same. I wouldn't know what to do. I've kinda hinted to the Mother-in-Law that if it can't be resolved, then we should think about moving out. To be fair, we did get the okay for the two birds and we were here first. But on the other hand, I feel bad for them to have to put up with us in what could otherwise be a perfect place for them.

I'm almost wanting to stick a note on their door to broach the subject, but I'm also not wanting to make a mountain out of a molehill. There is a possibility that it just isn't that bad or they don't really mind it.

We are putting covers on the cages at night, roughly following the time restriction guidelines for the laundry room usage because that's based on noise. It helps a lot, but doesn't completely eliminate it. If the birds hear us, they sometimes start chatting and screaming. Human conversation protocol is "each person takes turns talking"; bird conversation protocol is "everybody all talk at once". It's really no wonder they haven't taken over the world yet despite their outnumbering humans by a wide margin. They can't hear each other to organize it worth a damn. =D But they are a lot louder than necessary.

As a first step, we could maybe offer to buy the neighbours earplugs... on the off chance that earplugs will work for them. They do eliminate the noise quite well, but even the softest ones hurt me though, so I don't know that it's an ideal solution.

I don't think we have a lease and we don't have any kind of time limit. But the agreement is, if we move out within 12 months we don't get our damage deposit back. So, if we can't resolve the noise thing with the neighbours, then I was going to ask the Building Manager if they can make an exception for us and give us our damage deposit back before the 12 months is up. I would think that's reasonable. I think it's fair for them to waive the penalty if I'm willing to go through the hassle of moving again so that they can have some peace and quiet.

But hopefully... *knock on wood*... it won't come to that.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2007 09:50 am (UTC)
It's always better to be the one that brings the subject up. Right now your neighbours probably hear it, but are not irritated. Once all kinds of other things start to add up, the birds may be pushing them over the tolerance limit.
Why don't you invite them for a cup of coffee now both families have settled in, just to get to know eachother? If you know the people, you're more willing to tolerate noise.

We lived in an apartment before. You just know that living in an apartment building means that you're exposed to noises from the neighbours, you have to tolerate that.
The same goes for that we moved to a new house, and it was one of the first ones ready. It's a large project and almost a year later they're still building on this site. We knew we would live on a building site for some amount of time, so we try not to get irritated by it (though the deadline was March 2007, so we're starting to complain now...).

Our new neighbours asked us a few months ago if the crying of their little girl in the middle of the night bothered us. The neighbours explained she had 3 illnesses on top of eachother and the girl is only 2, so yeah, it's understandable.
We told them that we do hear it, but that in a street, build for young families that is to be expected, that you can hear children cry. So they were happy we understood. But there's not much we can do about it anyway, so we decided not to get annoyed by it.
Apr. 12th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
It's always better to be the one that brings the subject up.

I would completely agree with you on that on a professional level. On a personal level, I'm not as sure.

I think, for now, we're going to just be as amiable as possible when we see them in the hallway so that they can feel comfortable enough to talk to us if there is a problem.
Apr. 12th, 2007 12:09 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary to create a situation that's not even there. IF the neighbors complain to you (or to the building) about the birds, then it will be time for you to do something. Until that, though, assume there's no problem. They may not hear the birds because of their TV, or they may have a fan going for "white noise" when they sleep anyway (like I do) or they may be a little hard of hearing and not notice, or they may actually like it...

Living in an apartment building means there's going to be a certain amount of noise. That's how it goes. Five hours of R and B so loud you can hear the lyrics isn't acceptable. Birds may be. Everyone has a different level of tolerance. If there's a problem, I'm sure they'll find a way of letting you know.

Glad you're settling in...
Apr. 12th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with you. For now, we're going to just be as amiable as possible when we see them in the hallway so that they can feel comfortable enough to talk to us if there is a problem.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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