THE walls in Spain are a lot thinner than they are anywhere else.
Just ask my newest neighbour downstairs; the other day she heard me fart loudly and banged her broom on her ceiling to let me know. You might argue that she was merely indicating her commendation, but then if we were to take other recent exchanges into account, this probably wasn’t the case.
I’ve lived in my new apartment in Granada’s Albaícin bario for just over a month now, and generally speaking it’s been terrific – it’s just these tetchy neighbours that are a nuisance. We’ve had complaints about ‘high heels in the night’ (after a thorough inspection of each other’s wardrobes, both I and my other male housemate can confirm that neither of us are secret cross-dressers), untimely showers, loud talking (between two people), doors being closed imprudently and – most recently – the TV being too loud. The latter instance even came via the mouths of three policemen who warned us that we would face a hefty fine if they were called again.
Now, my housemate and I are reasonable people and, despite resenting such tedious grievances and being subjected to some frankly shocking – albeit admittedly hilarious – name-calling (‘barbaric’ and ‘monstrous’ we are), we have made a conscious attempt to quieten down our allegedly deafening conduct, especially after midnight when people have the right to complain about noise. We do, after all, want to keep the peace with the neighbours, but a visit from the police for having the TV on too loud? Come on. Firstly, we didn’t realise it was causing such misery, and secondly, whatever happened to asking politely before resorting to such drastic measures? It’s not like we were having some sort of mega, raucous, booze-fuelled house party. If anything I think it may have worsened the situation, as I now hate my neighbours and actually want to piss them off.
I’ve invariably had to put up with these sort of bellyachers – usually older and utterly uncompromising – wherever I’ve lived in Spain, and on the life of baby jesús I’ll stick to my guns on this: I’m not a noisy neighbour! The walls are bloody thin! And yes, I will respect the fact that noise travels in shared residential buildings providing they do the same.
Evidently, others across Spain also suffer from this same galling issue, as one piqued pianist from Puigcerdà near Girona could doubtless testify. Her overly irritable vecino alleged that eight-hour long practice sessions had not only caused excessive noise pollution but also led to psychological damage.
Really? REALLY? I mean fine, had the perpetrator only been able to play ‘chopsticks’ then I might see eye to eye, but God only knows how this is standing up in court.
In the meantime I’ll do my best to only wear my heels during sociable hours and refrain from being generally barbaric. Until next weekend that is, when we have a mega, raucous booze-fuelled house party.