Friday, August 13, 2010

Shhhhh, We Are Trying To Sleep

Yesterday I got a note from the Property Management Company who we rent our apartment from.  Since it was a note that went to all the residents in the building, I assumed it was announcing that they would soon be cleaning the garage floor or outside windows.  I was surprised to discover that the note was a reminder that we need to courteous to our neighbors and keep noise levels down late at night and early in the morning.  The reason that I found this strange is that our block is fairly small.  There are only four floors with four flats on each floor.  During the 2 years  we have lived here, I have formally met 2 other people in the building, and know about 6 of the other tenants by sight.  In many ways it is as though we live in a ghost town; not only do I rarely see anyone but I seldom hear them.  Occasionally, during the summer months, those that live on the waterside will have friends over for drinks but once the sun goes down the party soon ends.  So you can imagine why I was surprised to have gotten the note.  I also couldn't help but wonder if whoever the noise culprit is was notified directly of the complaint.  I can't imagine that the complaint was directed at us, after all, I just got back from almost three weeks in Perth.  But, still, I began to wonder if the coffee machine, that makes the most horrendous vibrating sound when turned on, is waking the neighbors up, or if the TV that has been my company in Mark's absence been too loud.  I am sure that the reality is that someone had a raging party while I was out of town, and I wasn't around to witness it.   Of course this doesn't really take away my feeling of guilt, and I have become frustrated with what I believe is an unprofessional way of dealing with a situation.  However, I have to remind myself that what I am calling unprofessional is actually a moment of cultural difference.  I have a feeling that it is un-Australian to directly point the finger;  instead, problems are dealt with in a more general sense.  So for now, I need to put my guilt aside--I am not a noise maker--and remember that I am living an Australian life.

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