April 26, 2009

This isn't whining. It's a serious situation.

Have I told you how much I hate my new neighbors? I really hate them.

A few posts back someone misunderstood what I was saying about the influence of American culture on Brazil and the rest of the world. How it is heavily marketed, how easily the illusion of prosperity and the American dream is sold and in Brazil at least how it has cause many of the MTV generation to undervalue their own culture. But I didn’t go so far as to say American culture is the cause of the world’s problems. Even being the liberal scum that I am, I would consider that a stretch, what with aids and poverty and women’s rights and religious fanaticism clearly trumping Brazilian teenagers love for blasting Ludacris from the tiny speakers of their cellphones.

But selfishly, my personal sanity is starting to reconsider the definition of world problem now that we have new neighbors who have a singular obsession with 80’s pop. It seems these people just can’t stand to have silence around them nor are they capable of listening to any other type of music. Since this couple moved in a month ago, they haven’t spent a moment at home, and certainly not a weekend, without having their apartment rocking with Barry White, Heart, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Tyler and Anita Baker (Yeah, I’m giving you the best that I got, baby…). I almost got suicidal the other day when they cranked up Phil Collins (Oh, think twice cause it’s another day for you in paradise….) Sorry, but I’m going to make you suffer thought this with me.

The really annoying thing is that while it’s loud and I can always hear exactly what song they are playing, it is also somewhat muffled because they are on the 3rd floor and we are on the 5th. But the bass always makes its way up through the floorboards and I start to feel like the princess and the pea. Driven to distraction and constantly rattled by a low grade but chronic irritation, it's like I’m rolling round on my hundreds of mattresses all the way up here on the 5th floor while the pea thumps out familiar bass lines of Hall and Oats from down below.

The worst part is while I’m usually about to climb the walls, I sometimes catch myself humming along. (No, I can’t go for that nooohoo, no can do, no I can’t go for that…can’t go for that can’t go for that). And that’s when I really start to loose it.

So in fact the influence of American culture (and some Phil Collins) could indeed turn into a serious world issue if I go completely postal on them the next time they crank up that Linda Ronstad and James Ingram duet (I’ll spare you from that refrain). It could very well set off an international incident where I play the role of Gavrilo Princip and they turn out to be a Don Henley worshiping Franz Ferdinand.

11 comments:

Evelyn said...

That sounds absolutely horrible! :( I always wish more Brazilians listened to their own lovely MPB - it seems the radio stations pick THE WORST American songs ever made to play on the airways ... they should make a biodigestor of biohazardous sound!

Ray Adkins said...

Robyn,

You are too funny!
You should thank the almight sweet lord that it isn't Reggaeton or some carioca funk rapp or anything like we had to put up with one of our last Florida neighbors...

markuza said...

I feel your pain. You probably don't know who Silvano Salles is, being as you don't live in Salvador, and I wish I didn't. And also- it's not just the US- don't forget Bryan Adams! Could someone explain to me why he is so popular here??? If you want to have a chuckle at the expense of your neighbors- next time you hear 'Man Eater' by Hall and Oates, remember they have no idea what they are singing- you _don't_ call someone a 'Man Eater' in Portuguese!!

lovelydharma said...

Ha! Ha! Man-eater.... and yeah it sounds pretty bad in English too!

I know it could be worse, it could be reggaeton. If the afternoon of Phil Collins medleys sent me into tears of frustration, I can't imagine what Silvano Salles or funk would do to me!

Evelyn, you're right, a biodigestor for bad music would be the best invention EVER!!!!!

Stephanie said...

Oh the flashback of music! hahahahaha but I am sorry my friend!

RioGringa said...

Yeah, that is pretty awful. But at least there's a melody; our upstairs neighbors were doing construction for about 3 months banging from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. Really, really really loud banging. But 80s pop is pretty awful too.

Betty said...

Can´t you complain to them or the manager about it?
I wouldn´t stand for it for that long! It would drive me bonkers!! :)

lovelydharma said...

Hi Betty,
Gosh, yeah. We did ask the sindico who is another apt. owner in the building who acts like the elected spokesperson. He lives on the back of the building so he doesn't hear it as much. I also think in general some people just are more tolerant of noise than we are (he's got 3 pre-teen daughters who can be noisy too.)
We're going to talk to them about it person to person. We were just waiting because we didn't want to be the mean-ol-americanos. We thought maybe they were just getting settled or having some parties to show off their new digs and eventually they'd quiet down and get into a normal rhythm. But alas, it is appearing that this is going to be the new status quo, so we have to talk to them now...

Ballerina Girl said...

Just tell 'em:
Hey, wake me up, before you go go
don't keep me standing on like a yo-yo...

or you could try:

why can't I be you? your so gorgeous I'll do anything...(well, that is if they are good lookers)

How about the all-time hit

TAKE ON ME...TAKE ON ME
TAKE ME ON...TAKE ON ME
I'LL BE GONE.....

HAHAHA, I am not meaning to say that your problem is not serious, sounds awful really, but I couldn't help being a little funny too :)

Hope it works out
BG

GingerV said...

seems to me this is about living in an apartment building. our rio apartment (in a building with only 16 apts) has two babies that cry, one with a baba that talks really loud all day longgggg!!!, and there is an apartment that has a party everytime there is a soccer game ----- 11PM GOALLLLLLLL!! sometimes there is music also, I try to ignore it. I know the sindico will go have them turn it off soon. for silence you have to buy a house on a mountain top...

Lori - Blondie in Brazil said...

So sorry! I know it can be maddening! When we first moved into our apt the teenager upstairs blared US rock all the time. And he played along with it on his guitar. I took to beating the ceiling with a stick until he turned it down. Just kept beating and beating, then a couple times I turned our radio up so it would be louder than his. :)

We complained and the apt manager said that quiet hours didn't really start until 10:00 pm!!! Fortunately the kid got the idea and he is really good about it now. I barely hear it and if I do it is low. Hope you get it worked out.

I know a lot of people look at it like an apartment issue, but our friends in Brazil play their music incredibly loud for being in an apt. In other places we've lived this kind of behavior was more of an exception while here it seems to be more of the norm. I think they just like loud music here in general, you know the whole gym thing.