We live in a high-density apartment building and we have 3 neighbors on our floor.
My favorite neighbor is a Chinese family with three generations living under one roof: grandparents, parents and grandchildren. Our son used to play with their granddaughter and the grandmother was very kind as she would frequently invite us over to her apartment. She even suggested a few Chinese recipes for breakfast because she felt that our kids are too skinny.
A Married Couple
We don’t know the other two neighbors because one is a married couple (I think) and another is a single man. Since they work regular office hours, we hardly see them although we hear their doors opening and closing…
Grumpy Old Men
Recently, I was on the way home from work when an elderly Chinese man joined me in the lift.
He asked me if I knew of any noisy kids rollerblading at home.
I said no and listened to him grumble about a kid who had been “rollerblading” all afternoon and interrupting his afternoon nap.
I just smiled.
At our floor, he stepped out!
Uh-oh. I prayed hard that he was not looking for OUR apartment because our kids do not have roller-blades.
He snooped around the other three apartments and put his ear close to the door. Then, he said that it could be another floor.
I kept smiling as I reached for my keys to open my door. The old man came over.
When I opened the door, both my kids screamed excitedly: the toddler ran over while the other could not be seen anywhere.
The old man peered in and glanced at our 3 year old daughter. She looked back at him with her pretty eyes but alas, he did not fall under her spell LOL
Satisfied, the old man turned and walked away when suddenly, the boy rode up to the front door in his scooter.
The old man came back!!!
“It’s you!!!” He glared at the boy. The boy stared at him.
Then, he went on to harangue him about the noise and yadda yadda yadda.
When he paused for breath, the ayi said: “The little boy doesn’t understand Chinese .” Hahaha!
You can bet the old Chinese man was mad. Speechless, he snorted and left in a huff.
Closing the door behind him, I scolded the boy to STOP riding the scooter. We hate the noise too and can imagine what it sounds like to the neighbors below…
A few weeks later, Hubby told me NOT to let the boy ride the scooter anymore.
Wanna know why?
One morning, he found a pile of rubbish in front of our doorstep!
The old man must have emptied last night’s rubbish from all 4 apartment units. I wonder if he’s on steroids? That rubbish bin is very heavy!!!
I was aghast because I can imagine bits and pieces of chicken and pork bones, vegetables and whatever else fermenting and rotting there.
We put the scooter on the upper deck of the double decker bed as it’s the only place he couldn’t reach.
When I told the ayi about it, she laughed because she said that the old man had given her a warning a FEW TIMES.
Aaargh…why didn’t she tell me that? She said that I looked busy.
And there you go – a heartwarming story from our friendly neighborhood 😀