Oh, the neighbours. A story about apartment living.

Living in a flat feels similar to living in dorms. There’s an interesting bunch residing with us in the heart of Sea Point (the predominantly Jewish part, I might add), and it seems to be popular with older residents.

Let me tell you some stories about our neighbours, and you’ll easily understand why I sometimes refer to our flat as a dorm for old people.

Margaret and Dorothy

*not their real names:

Let me set the scene for you. Our floor consists of 1 corridor, and 4 apartments. 2 on each end, and 2 in the middle. We live in the middle. Margaret and Dorothy live on either end. Behold some snippets overheard while they communicate with each other while walking up and down the corridor. You’ll soon understand why I make dorm/old age home references.

“Marge – marge – would you like some tea, Marge?” (while walking down the corridor)

“Marge – I have your shoes” – lady, why do you have her shoes in your flat?!

“Marge, do you have a phonebook? I seem to have lost mine.” – see, who uses phone books?!

Dorothy: “Marge, can you smell that? Someone is baking.”

Marge: “Mmmm, yes, it smells like bread.”

“Dorothy: “Really? I thought it was cookies. Where do you think it’s coming from?”

Marge: *points to our flat* I think it’s her. She’s a good cook. Very domesticated. The Jewish women HAVE to be.”

I kid you not.

Clearly, Dorothy is the culprit. Truth is, we don’t even know her real name! Funnily we needed toothpicks last night (I was stuffing chicken for the first time an needed some help), and our friend in the block wasn’t home, so Greg kindly went over to Marge to ask if we could borrow some.

“The Deaf Neighbours”

These two kill me. They live directly below us and are clearly incredibly hard of hearing. How do we know? Well, you’d make an informed guess too if you could hear their TV playing through your floor. Their hearing is so poor that they obviously watch TV at an incredibly loud volume. I remember when we first moved in, late one night, I could clearly hear Celine Dion through the floor, and who can forget Who Wants to Be a Millionaire at 7:30 every evening (and we don’t have a TV to even know this).

Did I ever tell you about the night of the opening of the London Olympics? It was a Friday night, and we were having a quiet Shabbos dinner just the two of us. After eating, ready for an early night we eagerly hopped into bed. But our neighbours had other plans. They were watching the Olympic opening, clearly at top volume. There was no way we’d fall asleep, it was as if we were watching it ourselves in our own room!

So Greg went downstairs to knock on their door. He was down for about 5 minutes before coming back up. They didn’t answer. They obviously couldn’t hear him. Because I asked so kindly, he went down to try again. BANG, BANG, BANG. Goodness, could hear him banging from upstairs! Still nothing. We gave up, somehow fell asleep, and on our way to shul the next morning we hid their doormat around the corner. Because we felt we had to do something.

Though none of our friends approved of us dropping pamphlets for hearing aides in their postboxes. Oh well.

They drive us a little crazy, but we still love it here 🙂


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