So the saga continues. I can now say I have met the grump from downstairs. On Monday, I had a day out with Tamiko and her kids and we were out for the best part of the day and arrive back at around 3 and decide to hang out at mine for coffee and a chat. The kids (all four of them) were in one of the bedrooms playing Go Fish or something. Tamiko and I were in the living room when there is suddenly loud aggressive banging on the floor from the apartment below. What the heck? Why is he banging? Nobody is doing anything that could warrant such behaviour. We go down stairs. Tamiko explains through the intercom that we are from upstairs and could he stop banging on the ceiling. He gets abusive immediately and yells at us for making so much noise. Tamiko tells him that nobody was doing anything that could be conceived as noisy. He disagrees and tells us “undokai yarenai de.” Unbelievable! Nobody had been moving. The banter continues through the intercom when he suggests that we all go down and speak to the kanrinin.(building manager) We wait while he gets dressed. We learn from this he works nights. When he eventually emerges from his abode, I realise that I have seen this man before and he continues his tirade at me face to face. Anyway, I did the whole sho ga nai this is a family mansion and my kids will try to walk like ninjas from now on and anyway we are out of the house for 11-12 hours a day and then you go to work. I told him that my kids don’t run around in the apartment so any noise he can hear is just regular everyday movements. SHO GA NAI. Anyway, the guy has a go at me telling me my kids need discipline. The cheeky bastard. He goes on to say that he knows who my kids are and he has seen them jumping around and messing about in and around the building. So he is imagining that my kids do the same inside the apartment? I tell him that this is futile and begin to walk away. He tells me that my behaviour is “warui” (bad) because I am walking away while he is talking (and I did this the other day when I left him yelling to no-one from inside his apartment.) What was I supposed to do? He couldn’t even be arsed to come to speak to me at the door. So I tell him his behaviour is “hidoi”. Banging like a lunatic for no reason. We have a slanging match and I tell him we all have the same problem and he says he doesn’t care what I can hear. He only cares about what HE can hear. I tell him if that’s the case then I don’t care about any noise he can hear. We go round and round in circles and I leave telling him I understand perfectly. The funniest bit was when he tells us he doesn’t have any kind of mental disease. Why would you say that unless you DID have some kind of problem.
Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I can understand if there was a noise problem. My kids ARE noisy. All kids are noisy, but he isn’t complaining about any screeching or shouting – this kind of noise drives ME up the wall, but he can’t hear anything like this. He can only hear an imaginary Sports Day taking place above his head. He automatically thinks that if he hears footsteps that it must be the children being rowdy and not either me or my husband stomping around. My husband has no ninja like qualities at all! But I guess it’s easier to complain about the kids than to be a reasonable adult and complain to another adult about their behaviour or stomping.
We go to the park and Tamiko and me have a chat with the kanrinin. He knows all about the guy on the 10th floor. He sighs… He listens and advises me to ring the JKK Housing people. They also know all about this guy, too, because the previous tenants complained about him. The kanrinin advises me to keep the chain on the door. WHY? Does he think the guy is dangerous? And the news today about the old guy in Setagaya who killed his neigbour over a feud about the trash! Jeez, thank god the guy downstairs hasn’t done any banging since out spat. This is because I make the kids walk about like ninjas. Quite literally. Every time they make a move to go and fetch something from their bedroom or get up to go to the loo, I yell “Ninja Feet!!!” (That’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat. I really love your ninja feet!) Whilst the kids think it is fun to act like ninjas, I know we can not live like this and it is completely unreasonable of the guy down stairs to expect people to make no sound at all as they go about their daily lives.
Tadashi spoke to the housing people and they told us to call if he bangs aggressively on the ceiling again. Then they will send someone round to check the noise levels. Bring it on. Let’s do it. If the noise is acceptable then it is HIS problem. If the noise is unacceptable then they will advise us to get carpets (NO!) If he continues to bang then it is his problem. I seriously think he has sleeping problems which is not OUR problem. Why can’t he just get sleeping pills or ear plugs or headphones or something if he is such a light sleeper. We are out at work and hoikuen all day when he is sleeping and are back home in the evenings when he is getting up. We are not having midnight raves.
My other normal neighbours are very supportive. They know he is a looney. A pig-headed looney at that. It was great that Tamiko was here when he started banging because I have a witness to his behaviour and the fact that my kids are not running round wild when he bangs on the ceiling. I had a beer in the park outside our building tonight with Tomoka chan’s mum (the neighbour that looked after the kids the day we moved). She is such a sweet heart. We agree that I should ignore this man’s behaviour and not retaliate. Just keep a log of his banging and report it to JKK Housing every time he bangs. This is the fourth evening in a row that he hasn’t banged. We are carrying on as normal even if we are treading on egg shells. Yesterday, I made contact with, and met, the woman who used to live here in this apartment on the 11th floor. She had similar stories, but for a while she was home during the day with a crawling baby – he would complain the noise of a baby crawling would wake him up. Sigh! She and her husband would retaliate; every time he banged, they would bang right back. He also used to come up to the apartment and complain face to face. He hasn’t done that yet, but that is maybe why the kanrinin advised me to use the chain.
Anyway, it’s Saturday and Tadashi has taken both kids out – even though he did try to dissuade Alexa from going with them!!!! Makes me so angry. (Don’t you want to stay here with mummy?) I am going to risk getting the hoover out and see if the guy downstairs is true to his word and won’t bang if he only hears the noise of a hoover or chairs and furniture being moved about. A child-free day of cleaning and test preparation for work await me. Go Me! Woop woop. Livin la vida loca!