Neigbour: Hood.

I always know when the end of the month is at hand, because my credit card screams out for mercy and the streets clog up with pick-up trucks and vans laden with furniture. In the neighbourhood where I live, the drivers of removal vehicles seem to have an unerring talent for parking in such a way as to render entire streets impassable. Where the roads are too wide to block off using the van alone, they compensate by packing out the larger items of furniture in the open lane. It was amid thoughts of bull-bars and hand-held rocket launchers that I noticed noises filtering through the lounge wall on Friday evening.

The flat next door has been standing empty for the past few months and I had rather grown used to the silence. It could be that the owners were asking too high a rental fee, but I have my suspicions that it was my wife’s compulsive soup-making habits that conspired to keep it tenant-free. Whatever the reason, we have finally acquired new neighbours – hence the noises. At first glance, these new kids in the block appear normal, but one of them looks like an axe-murderer to me. He’s a bit too average and nondescript for my liking. He’s exactly the sort that people will describe as, “quiet and reserved”. I tried greeting him on Saturday morning and all I received in return to my friendly grunt of, “Mmrng”, was a stony-faced stare of thinly-disguised hostility. Admittedly, I was carrying a bag of odiferous, filth-encrusted nappies down to the bin and yes, I suppose pants would have been a good idea, but that’s no reason to be rude.

I’ve got my eye on you, chum. If I see any suspiciously heavy-looking refuse bags leaving the premises, I plan to over-react spectacularly.

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20 thoughts on “Neigbour: Hood.

  1. lol!
    You know down here where I reside, I am completed surrounded by neighbours. Although they are nice neighbours, they are all in a senior age group (being the 40-60 mark). Now me being 21 makes it a little hard to start conversation, I always make an effort to say hello but I can’t help there’s a huge feeling of uneasiness.

    I can relate to that kid, sometimes a hello can leave you flustered and lost for words as it happens to me alot. When a neighbour says hi to me, I sometimes stand there dumbfounded trying to say hello but the only thing that comes out is ‘Mmrng’ (as you so politely put it). Then I’m left paranoid and self conscious for the rest of the day wondering if that neighbour thinks I’m using drugs.

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  2. rez: I think my new neighbour is too clean-cut to be a drugoid, but you never know. Anyway, the last thing I want to do is come across as ‘nice’, or ‘approachable’, because then I’ll have them borrowing my Jacques Loussier CDs and using the vacuum cleaner for bizarre sex games. And that just won’t do.

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  3. New neighbours… I trust your wife was over there with a pot of soup to welcome them to the neighbourhood. Although judging by your posts on the subject, they may take exception to it. I have ok neighbours, although the elderly couple prolly wish I had never moved in. The man makes the sign of the cross every time he see me.

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  4. A pot of soup! ROTFLHMHATDADWSFMC*. Man, I wish I’d thought of that. There is still time, though…
    *Rolling on the floor laughing, hitting my head against the desk and drawing worried stares from my colleagues. I really must remember NOT to check my mail during office hours.

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  5. Can I borrow your new neighbour to sort out mine? They’ve taken to coming in way after midnight, catching a couple of Z’s, then getting up to bang doors and run baths around 5 before buggering off again – leaving the rest of us in half-asleep fear that the alarm is about to go off, so we never really get back to sleep.

    Perhaps your neighbour could eyeball mine and make it all right again???? 🙂

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  6. Michelle: I sympathise. Bad neighbours are the pits. When I first left home, my upstairs neighbour was a lady of negotiable affection. She had a parquet floor and only wore stilettos while working, so my nights were punctuated by the ‘click, click, click’ of her comings and goings (to coin a phrase). You would think with the brisk trade she was doing, she’d have been able to afford a carpet.

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  7. Forget freaky neighbours – one of my roommates is of the quiet, suspiciously inconspicious type you described. She lives IN my house. She uses MY shower and MY toilet. I know she uses razors a lot, because she leaves them scattered all over the house (why would one need a razor in the kitchen?). That alone tells me I have to sleep with one eye open. But I always forget, so if all of a sudden I stop updating my blog one out of a million reasons could be that my roommate got to me. Just saying.

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  8. Since, in my spare time, I am a Conspiracy Theorist, I can confirm that, indeed, he is probably up to something.

    Good idea to keep your eye on that one.

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  9. Lisa: Yup, I think you’re right to worry. On the other hand, maybe your housemate is RAZORGIRL – at night she prowls the streets protecting the innocent and and fighting evil-doers with her trusty blade collection.

    ZG: I knew it! That’s confirmation from a bona fide world-reknowned detective. Who’s paranoid now, huh? Huh?

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  10. Whe I meet my neighbours in the hall, I make sure I come across as loud and hostile so they don’t mistake me for a nice, quiet serial killer. I would rather not have suspicious police snooping in my apartment. I have my reasons.

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  11. Anytime my neighbors stop arguing, I get suspicious. They’ve threatened each other (rather hatefully, loudly, and at all hours) with death numerous times in the past. Oh, I mean with being the cause of the other’s death, not their own. Silence from that house is unsettling. I will say that I’ve contemplated quietly slinking over and placing various weapons on their porch just to test things. In light of one of your comments – perhaps I’ll just saunter over sans pants… that should take care of things rather nicely.

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  12. Paul: There’s the rub. I can’t stand the uncertainty.

    Random: I’ll bet you do. Nice strategy. Works for me, too.

    Lucy McGoldNugget: “…not their own” – that’s just too funny. Gave me a coughing fit. Damned bronchitis! Incidentally, don’t you just hate people who never follow through on their promises?

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  13. that’s cute. at least ur neighbours arent smoking weed! yes, weed! the smell comes down the passage, and me living in a small studio, i’m soon feeling all fuzzy and …. no, no, no, it’s not good. they must go.

    neighbour, just u wait and see what i have planned for u and ur grass smoking, bakkie driving mates.

    eish.

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  14. Hmm I am definitely getting old. I used to have neighbours from Hell when I lived in Obs – students who partied all hours and LOUDLY. I called the cops on them frequently and then smiled sweetly at them the next morning. Not sure if they suspected me or not. Not caring really. My kid was 6 months old at the time and we both needed sleep dammit. Now I live in the quiet suburbia of Durbanville. NO neighbour problems – aah sweet suburban bliss. Love your blog btw, just discovered it today. Nice to read about Cape Town from someone with as warped a sense of humour as mine.

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  15. Reminds me of the neighbor from hell that I used to have. She would bang on the ceiling all hours of the day, scream at us through the balcony window and throw her poopy baby diaper trash bags over the balcony leaving them there for days. I finally went postal on her one day and stomped and screamed and pounded and man was I hot. Called the cops and placed a citizens arrest on her ass. We called her Psycho Bitch. She retaliated by vandalizing our car with raw eggs and baby shit rubbed all over the car, then tied the diaper to the door handle. After she moved out, we read in the newspaper that she tried to kill herself and her two kids by driving off of a cliff. You just never know who your neighbors are.

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  16. Christel: Happy to oblige 🙂

    Tertia: Likewise. I am a denizen of the Southern Suburbs. Kenilworth, to be more specific.

    Bee: Durbanville is another country compared to where we are. The commute would be a killer for me, though.

    Anduin: Well, unlikely as it may be that your ex-neighbour would move in here, I’m starting to feel a tiny bit concerned. The new guy doesn’t look like he’s had a sex-change, but it’s hard to tell sometimes.

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  17. eKapa: Oops, didn’t mean to miss you out. I look forward to hearing what you have planned. On the bright side, at least they don’t have a dung-burning stove.

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