Saturday, March 28, 2009

Death by Partying Neighbors

When we first moved into this neighborhood, we were so pleased with the number of families, the relative peace and tranquility... Ha. It was all quiet for the first four months, but after Christmas, our neighbors got the party bug! Since mid-January, there have been LOTS of late night parties, and to call them "loud" would be an understatement. Friday night, what was clearly a college kid party (an anomaly thus far) commenced up the road. I think I attended quieter frat parties than that one, but whatever. College kids party. I don't know how or why they ended up in this neighborhood (the university is the next town over, and no college kids live here), but they have the right to enjoy themselves. Except at 1:30 in the morning, a large, drunk, mostly undressed guy left the party, stormed down the road until he was on the sidewalk just opposite our house and started screaming in a deep voice, "F*** YOU! YOU WERE MY F***ING BEST MATE! F*** OFF! JUST GET THE F*** AWAY FROM ME! GO THE F*** HOME! YOU F***!" Etc. You get the idea. This intellectual debate continued for over 90 minutes, with various friends of his trying to calm him down (unsuccessfully). I spent most of the time watching out the window to see if he would lose it and start smashing our car (parked just out front) to vent his frustration. It was not a fun night.
Then last night, different neighbors (this time on the road behind our house) had a big loud party. At around 10:30, someone decided it just wasn't loud enough, so they kicked up the volume another 20 notches. It was so loud that the windows were shaking in our extension...where baby Stephanie sleeps. She woke up screaming and terrified. As most of our other neighbors were home, I thought surely we cannot be the only ones who find this more than a tad annoying. I hoped one of them would call the partiers or the police or whomever to induce just a bit more sanity to the volume, but nothing. There has been no interference for any other party, and Markus said it was the same in South Africa. No one calls. No one complains. But they sure seem to seek their revenge when it's their turn to party. At 11:30, I called the police and (given the lack of enthusiasm for foreigners here) politely inquired as to whether there was a local noise ordinance. I was informed that it was just a matter of assessment based on time of day, day of the week, etc. If I wanted to make a complaint, I could request a unit be sent out to my house, where the officers would speak with me about my complaint and try to make an assessment on scene. Now I know why no one calls. The last thing I need is to be told in the middle of the night that I'm too uptight about noise on a Saturday. Forget it.
So, it was quite the sleepless weekend around here, which is extra handy since we "fell back" with Daylight Savings overnight. Ellie was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5:30am (her internal 6:30 alarm clock)!
We live in a beautiful house in a great location, but I tell ya, the neighborhood is losing its charm.


Anonymous said...

It doesn't help that houses are so close together either, does it? Sorry for your difficult weekend...personally, I would have said "Yes, please, do send a unit. There is a man screaming obscenities next to my house, (probably trying to hear himself over the incredibly loud music) and my little girls are frightened."

the dipe squad said...

I didn't call about the noise ordinance until Saturday, when we are in Party Round 2. Honestly, I don't think calling the police is that smart given the system here. The cops come to your house first, which shows whomever is causing the problem exactly who tattled on them. In the case of the scary drunk guy, I definitely wouldn't have wanted him to pay any attention to us, our house, our bikes or our cars. Obviously he wouldn't have done anything with the cops there, but he could come back another time. NO THANK YOU. Yet another part of the local way that doesn't seem quite right to me as an outsider.