Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crazy Dutch People

You know how when you have a job you leave the house every day and go to your place of business and give no thought whatsoever to what is going on at your house, aside from maybe some panic-inducing moments of "did I leave the stove on?" (I would never leave the stove on being unaccustomed to using it in the first place)

Well I don't leave my house every day. Which means that I have ample time to observe the idiots that stick around here each and every day.

Some might say I have voyeuristic tendencies. I would just like to go on record as saying, I'm Dutch and this is what we do. And let's just be clear here, its not about the people inside the homes, its about the furniture and the possessions. I'm not making this up. Have you ever heard of the book The UnDutchables? Its about all the crazy stuff that Dutch people do and are afflicted by. On page 41 in the section A Dutch Home: ...It is customary to leave the front-room curtains open day and night so everyone can look in and admire the possessions.

Yeah I have that book. Its really funny and explains a lot about myself.

ANYWAY. I'm here all day and even though I'm not exactly sitting at the window with a telescope or a set of binoculars, writing down everything I see, some things are worth mentioning.

The Gardeners. I live in an apartment building, about 6 years old with a very well run strata. One of the things that we noticed when we were looking at buying a unit here was that the strata fees seemed to differentiate quite a bit depending on the unit. Square footage was one reason, garden space was another. If you have garden space (we don't) you pay a lot more money to the strata. Apparently you can't do your own gardening. Its November now and definitely there are a lot of leaves blowing around and I guess this is the perfect time for planting bulbs for the Spring. But do the gardeners really need to be here every day? Trimming trees, blowing leaves, edging stuff? Every day? Sure, they do a fine job, everything looks very nice, but they make noise, they are in the way and every day seems like overkill. Maybe I'm just jealous that they seem to be gainfully employed with no shortage of work.

The Dog Walkers. Let's face it, I want a dog. We had houseguests last week (was it seriously only last week?) and they brought their puppy and I delighted in taking her outside for walks a few times a day. Some people (me) are just made to have dogs. Some people are made for cats. Yet these people still insist on getting dogs. There's one guy, a huge jacked up gorilla (thanks Snooki), who has a tiny little min-pin that he dresses up. Oh yeah, sometimes its a little argyle sweater, sometimes a vest, sometimes sparkly things. So wrong. Then there are the folks that don't feel like they need to pick up after their dogs. Sure, just leave it right there on the path with no lights. I'm sure no one will step in that when they walk here tonight. Just now in the courtyard a couple was "walking" their little dog (read carrying the dog to the middle to pee before they went back inside) who jumped out of their arms, sans leash, and narrowly avoided being hit by a car (who was speeding naturally).

The Up-And-Down-Stairs Neighbours. I'll admit that in our last apartment we were spoiled with our neighbours. They were a really nice couple with a daughter, who always stopped and said hey whenever we ran into them, held elevators, even looked out for our place when we would leave it. We did the same for them. They were awesome. We never heard anything from the apartments below or above us. We assumed it was because the apartments were so silent. Turns out it was because we had quiet neighbours. Now we don't. The woman below us enjoys sitting out on her balcony, smoking (which isn't allowed) while she's on the phone. She's so loud when she does this it sounds like she's in our living room. When she's not catching up with her friends via phone she invites 30 of them over to laugh and talk and scream on Sunday mornings. And when she prepares for visitors she cranks the base so that our apartment vibrates and cleans. I think the Upstairs neighbours have a large dog. Or a herd of buffalos. Maybe a gymnastics school. Something that causes them to make all manner of loud, banging noises on their floor. Sometimes there is running back and forth, that literally makes our apartment shake. I have no idea what they are doing. But it's loud. Oh and it takes them hours to vacuum. In the middle of the night.

I want to go back to an office!

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