Feb 15, 2018

Apartment living: Noisy neighbors

It's that season of runny noses here in Japan (I think the season started in November and never ended). Each member of our family is catching cold after cold. If I wasn't so sick and tired of being sick and tired, this wouldn't bother me as much as it does, but these paper thin walls are the worst. Not only are they terrible at keeping the heat in, but they also allow every noise to be heard from outside...or inside.

Every. Little. Noise.

That also means the big noises vibrate the sliding doors. The big noises reverberate through the hollow ceiling, floorboards, and plasterboard. The biggest noises being our upstairs neighbors.

From about 10:30 at night until 2:00 or so in the morning, the upstairs neighbors play. They roughhouse around slamming into walls, pulling chairs from their table making that obnoxious grinding on the floor, and slam their feet on the ground (our ceiling).

Our family specifically looked for an apartment on the first floor when we came into this place because we had two (now three) small children. We didn't want to be "those" noisy foreigners. Living in a town filled with foreigners, many of which, culturally have a noisy way of living, we didn't want to add to the image.

Don't get me wrong. I am a loud foreigner and probably always will be, but I try to be respectful when it comes to my surroundings. I don't vacuum or run the washer and dryer at night. Apartment living can be really difficult when you are continuously trying to restrain a gaggle of giggling kids from playing in their own home. It is a small stressor, but a bigger stressor for those living around us if we just go about willy-nilly, letting the kids romp around all night like they want to, or running the dryer for hours while the rest of the apartment tries to sleep listening to its rattling.

So, if every family living around has come to your door ringing your doorbell and telling you to please quiet down, you'd get the hint and try to calm your children, right? Instead, the people upstairs just start yelling and bumping around more.

Apartment living: Noisy neighbors photo

As I lay here with a stuffy nose, watching the light fixture on my ceiling sway from the booming going on upstairs, I can only think about the desire to move to a new apartment with sturdier walls. Or better yet, a house of our own where we can not only drop the stress of listening to someone live above us, but also lose the stress of living on our tiptoes, trying not to disturb anyone else. I can go back to being the noisy foreigner without any complaints from anyone but my husband.



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too

1 Comment

  • genkidesu

    on Feb 16

    When we lived in an apartment here we were somehow sandwiched between two floors who had pianos in their apartments...and I never understood why people needed to be practicing piano at the hours of day they did! Or why they had pianos in there at all!