Tuesday 10 December 2013


I found this story pretty funny and all too relatable having rented flats/houses most of my adult life, and none of them detached (in England this is how we define freestanding or non freestanding abodes). In essence, you’ll pretty much always have neighbors and boy oh boy does that bring its fair share of amusement, annoyance (!!) and interesting anecdotes.

In Italy, one man took eavesdropping to a new level. As the story goes, In the northern town of Reggio Emilia (is it me, or do the Italians have the best named cities?), a man who was all too familiar with listening to his neighbors have sex, decided to invite his friends and drinking partners at his local to come and listen to his very loud and ebullient neighbors. Apparently, when the neighbors caught wind of the fact that they had an (even bigger) audience to their lovemaking, they didn’t take it very kindly. As expected, the neighbors got into an argument, and the police were eventually called. The man is now being investigated for possible disorderly conduct. Apparently there is no ordinance when it comes to having loud sex, so those neighbors are coming out of the fracas unscathed – embarrassed, but that’s about it. Funny thing is, any one having extremely loud sex I would think subconsciously knows that they’re being loud and secretly likes the fact that they’re being heard, or seemingly doesn’t care. Hence, the fact that their neighbor was merely inviting more to hear them, I would think would delight them, giving them a moment to shine and all that. Guess I got that one wrong.

Living in the urban sprawl, I have had my fair share of loud neighbors. And while I greatly appreciate the nosy single neighbor’s exhaustion with the vociferous rabbits next door and their need to shout their love to the rooftops, it’s very hard to live a silent lifestyle, no matter what the activity. As past readers of the blog can attest, I knew more about my old neighbors than I cared to know (this worked both ways I’m sure, which makes me shudder as I’m a very private person). We knew when they’d fight, have make-up sex, and when he was out on a bender (as they say here) and she was calling round to everyone they knew to find out where the heck he was. And at times notes were passed between us, them shouting at us to keep our son from stomping on the floor (near impossible) and us telling them to keep their drunken fights down at 5a.m. We were never driven to invite our friends round to experience their arguments, but my husband heartily enjoyed following the downstairs soap opera and sharing it with our friends at dinner parties. He loves a good gossip, my husband.

The problem is, when you live on top of one another, so to speak, you have to expect that a certain amount of your business is going to be other people’s business. Of course there is a respect factor that one hopes that everyone abides by, but it’s not always the case. I mean, I’m a fiery Lebanese gal; I can make some serious noise when I want to, but I’m also half English with a large discretion gene. So this balances out my exhibitionist nature.
There are also the instances with neighbors where it gets to the point that you are doing things simply to annoy one another. It’s childish and not always recommended, but sometimes situations get the better of us. So were their times I incited the King to dance on the living room floor with an almighty ferociousness at 7a.m? But of course. This was usually when our downstairs neighbors smoked and drank so much the night before I could smell it on our clothes. I figured it was fair game. Did it solve the situation? Not so much. But it certainly made me feel better. 

So next time you’re getting busy with your partner and feeling like reenacting the scene from Ghost on your potter’s wheel, take note, you may have an audience, so you better make it impressive.

Happy Hump Day. 
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