Thursday, May 03, 2007

Venting about vents (and other things)

After yesterday's post about greening up condo-living and a mention of how higher density living leaves a smaller footprint, I feel the need to admit that Trillian and I fully intend to buy a single-family dwelling when we head back to the States. Now our goal will be to make our space as environmentally friendly as possible and have done research to this end. But we just can't stand living this close to so many other people and in a large building like this for too much longer. Neither of us is a city girl. Not that we want to live in the middle of nowhere, but both of us get antsy with so many people packed in around us.

So, for the sake of venting, here are a few of the complaints that didn't make my Wednesday post (mostly because they're no specifically green issues):
  • Living right up against neighbors. We only had one set for a while, but they appear to be university kids whose parents are footing the bill. Nothing wrong with that per se, but it's a clash of priorities and lifestyles. They're really nice about turning their music down at 1 am, but I don't think they realize how lucky they are that Scooter is such a heavy sleeper (he shares a wall with them; we only ask them to turn down music when we can hear it in our room, which is as far as possible from them).
  • There are also the people upstairs who have been doing some sort of drilling project for months-on-end (almost constantly for the first 9 months we were here and intermittently now). We finally got them to recognize that there are condo rules about when work can be done, so at least it's over by 8 pm and none on Sundays. Of course, now we wonder what exactly they're up to, a curiosity that has only been piqued by the almost (but not quite) rhythmic creaking that will go on at various times during the night.
  • Then we gained a second neighbor. Our balconies are connected and they use theirs to smoke. This is how we found out that our balcony door's seal is leaky, badly so. So we've had to tape garbage bags over that door and can't open up our bedroom window (one of three tiny ones in the entire apartment) unless we want all of our stuff to smell like smoke. And tonight we discovered that smoke from somewhere else was drifting into Scooter's room. So that window's closed for now too. Which brings me to...
  • Heating and cooling. We don't determine when we switch from one to the other. This is a modern building, designed to be climate-controlled entirely from the inside. Over the past month, when we've had sunny days, our apartment heats up to 80+ degrees (over 26.5 Celsius), even when we keep the drapes shut. And so we have three small windows and one balcony door to create ventilation for the entire apartment--except that it's not enough and we can't open two of those now anyway because of the smoking next door.
  • A fire alarm that goes off regularly for no reason, or at least not for a fire yet. Apparently anytime the water pressure drops a little in the system, that's enough to set it off. One time, it was set off by a drop in pressure in another building in the complex. It's not a good mix with Scooter's noise sensitivities. The last time was at 3 something in the morning, and so we bundled up and headed out into the rainy night with a sobbing child.
  • And the no stairs, no green bin, no appliance choice stuff really does bug me too.
- - - - -
In other news, I'm done with both papers and one exam. There's still a lot on my plate and we're dealing with some big changes on the job front for Trillian, so things haven't exactly settled down. But I do enjoy checking things off of my list. Posting will remain inconsistent (in quantity and quality), but two weeks and we'll be getting back to normal.


Laural said...

Our family just moved to a house (townhouse) from a condo. I agree with all those complaints. It's so frustrating - more so with children. Our neighbours sometimes complain about the suburban noise (trucks going to the grocery store, cars with loud stereos) and we look at them like they are crazy. Seriously, we moved here from a condo overlooking the DVP!!! This is not noise.

Mad Hatter said...

We have a big single family dwelling in a small town. The university students next door keep us up at night and we can smell the smoke from their front porch in our bedroom.

You might need to buy and acreage to escape it all.

Sandra said...

Oh I remember all this from when we lived in a condo ... but having seen your place ... the location couldn't be more perfect and the building is really lovely. Yet all that noise .. no fun!