It’s all Fun & Games until your Neighbor Yells at you.

Let me explain.  We live in a townhouse of sorts.  It’s a building which contains six individual units; three in the front and three in the back. house

Unfortunately for us, we are smack-dab in the middle.  This means we have neighbors with which we share walls on three sides.  THREE SIDES!!!  I sure wish they were Tucker-proof walls.  Additionally, our place has solid flooring throughout: wood and tile everywhere, no soft carpets to absorb footsteps or the sound of voices, not a lot of furniture or decor to absorb it either.  And the place has three large echoey stairwells, and big heavy doors that are not particularly quiet when they shut. Understand that this is a big recipe for disaster!!!

Well it happened Monday evening.  It was a state holiday, sort of like British Bank Holidays or American Memorial or Labor Day.  It is Ascension Day.  All holidays here are religious-based, so there are some rules that go along with that!  There are actual laws here about noise on holidays: that there shouldn’t be any!  I had no idea.  Similarly, it must be quiet all day Sunday and evenings from 9pm-7am.  Which is wonderful if you think about it.  How great to have quiet Sundays to enjoy a stroll through a nearby park without the distraction of lawnmowers.  On the other hand, how will I ever keep my home quiet on Sundays so as not to annoy my neighbors?  We are home from church by 12:30pm, so that’s quite a lot of hours at home to try to be quiet!

I first realized this noise issue within minutes of walking inside.  Seriously, this place was just so echoey, and to be in such close proximity to neighbors, I knew quickly this was going to be a serious challenge for us!  We are going to need to really learn what an inside voice is!   I know, I’m the first to blame.  So please comment and share your suggestions.

My neighbor came by this evening to inform me that we were too loud.  That musical instruments were forbidden on Holidays and Sundays, and I was playing the piano (keyboard), and that he could hear doors slamming and stomping of feet all day long!  Oh my, I was taken aback!  I feel so bad.  I don’t want to be a nuisance to anyone, but I fear this is going to be very difficult to combat.  We’re talking major changes coming our way!  I want to be accommodating, but I also don’t want to feel trapped when I’m at home!   It sure has made me feel uneasy and suddenly very American and a bit unwelcome.

It was after my neighbor left that I looked up the whole noise thing online, only to find he was totally right.  It wasn’t a neighborhood thing, it was a LAW thing!  A German thing.  Being a good neighbor, and a good ambassador requires us to learn this culture and follow it as best we can.  I may just turn into the noise-nazi (can I say that here)😳?  So, please share your thoughts and advice.  This is going to be tricky for sure!

Meanwhile, I will be consoled by…

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11 thoughts on “It’s all Fun & Games until your Neighbor Yells at you.

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  1. Is moving (downstairs?) an option? 😜 If not, you got this! Those neighbors will love you all soon enough. And school will start before too long…..

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    1. We we are in the middle from bottom to top! So at least we don’t have anyone UNDER us too!!!! Just think about how much quieter we will be if we can figure out this inside-voice business!

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  2. Oh dear! Would shoes off, plus the rugs/runners make a difference? Can Sundays be a time for driving and sightseeing post church? Napping and journaling can only carry a family so far as far as quiet activities? Don’t worry – soon enough you’ll have OTHER issues that will make us all jealous, and noise will be a forgotten issue. Sorry until then!

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  3. Hahaha, I’m sorry but I couldn’t help laugh while reading this! It gives me anxiety just staying in hotel rooms with my noisy kids. But for sure you’re going to have to research some sound dampening wall hangings or something. I suggest large American flags.

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  4. Awe, man. I DO NOT envy your situation right now! I think my family would be doomed! My boys STILL don’t know what an inside voice is, probably never will. Good luck with that one! I definitely think large thick rugs and curtains will help mute the sound. Maybe you can put some sort of stopper on the doors so they don’t slam? Especially if they are the nice heavy doors that slam no matter how soft you try to shut them.

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  5. So sorry for your experience!
    I think we really need to meet soon and take same time to explain you more.

    Your neighbor is not totally right at all.

    “Quiet time” is 10pm to 6am.

    Music and everything is allowed anytime as long at it is what it’s called here “Zimmerlautstärke”. That means not to be heard outside the room.

    But I sure know how you feel and I’m glad we don’t share walls with any neighbor any more.

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