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Vampires upstairs

My other half has just shouted ‘basta’ from the bedroom, again. ‘Basta’ means ‘enough’ or in this case ‘cut it out’. Why did she shout this? Were you to blame?

Don’t worry, I’ll be getting to the answers to these questions in a little while. First, dear reader, you need to know something about living in Italian apartments.

Well, as I do believe I have already mentioned elsewhere in this blog, many Italians live in apartment blocks. This means that more often than not you have houses next to you, below you and above you, unless of course you are the happy owner of the penthouse ‘bungalow’.

I have lived in quite a few apartments since I came to the sunny country (not sunny today 4°c and snowing).  I’ve never had any real problems with those who lived under or next to me, but I have had one or two problems with those residing directly above me.

Dirty Carpets

Now, you have to know that Italians harbour no love of carpets. They think they are dirty and, perhaps more to the point, very expensive. Rugs, even large Persian ones seem to be OK though, for some unfathomable reason (I mean often they are almost as big as a wall to wall carpets and so must get as dirty as the wall to wall versions!!??).  So, no love of carpets means that other flooring is employed, well two types predominate here, stone or marble tiles and parquet.

Thin Ceilings

Another small cause for concern is the fact that the thickness of the ceiling above you and its distance from your overhead neighbours’ floor does not seem to be that great (fire regulations anyone?) and this means that you can hear lots of interesting sounds.  Little dogs go pitter patter across the floors above you, ladies wearing high heels go clickety-clack over your head, and men with nice solid heavy British made leather shoes go clumpety-clump as they cross from the kitchen to the kazi.

When things fall on the floor, which is fatal for crockery and causes the sudden demise of glasses, I might add, you know about it. The sounds reverberate around your ear drums.

Someone above me once dropped what sounded like a whole load of marbles on their nicely tiled floor. You can imagine what that sounded like.  Are you getting the picture? Yes. Thought so. But hang on, there is more.

Eek! Refurbishment Time

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It is a very common Italian custom to ‘restructure’ one’s new apartment before moving in. This process very often involves changing all those horrible old tiles which the previous owner thoughtfully embedded in concrete.

I have lived under the dreaded refurbishment process a couple of times.  Bear in mind that the hammering and thumping can go on for six months or more.  Not a nice thought, and if you live under this racket, I can tell you that you do not have many fond thoughts for those over your head, especially when their workmen are at it, again, at 7am on a Saturday (sometimes Sunday….aaagh!) morning. I really do think that the Italian apartment refurbishment system could be productively employed as a form of psychological torture which would be highly effective – forget water boarding.

I’m nearly at the crux of the matter, so I will not regale you with the story of the amorous couple who regularly liked to go for it at around 2am in the morning, over my blasted head.  She was probably a werewolf, seeing as she howled so much, I concluded.  Not sure if it was a full moon though.

Thin Floors Nightmare

Well, the nightmare of the thin floors is upon us again.  Our upstairs neighbours seem to love clumping to and fro well into the night across their nicely tiled floors. (Oh, I forgot to mention parquet floors, these are quieter until they get old and start creaking and squeaking.)

The Vampires

Not only is there the creaking and squeaking, but there is also this unidentifiable sound which we here all too often.  It’s a bit like someone closing the time-aged wooden lid on a coffin I suppose, and it is rather annoying.  I wonder whether our local vampires have serious stomach problems too, seeing as they appear to need to go to the loo at least twenty five times a night.

After having put up with the repeated endless footsteps over our head and the lack of success of the word ‘basta’ repeated at ever increasing volumes, the other half  asked me to go up and enquire as to whether our overhead neighbours are aware of the din which we hear below. However, I feel as though we are in a bad position (literally), because if they decide to be bloody minded, they could really make our lives hell.

Must speak to the friendly neighbour who dwells beneath us and kindly puts up with our cement mixer of a washing machine and see if he can tell me something about the undead above us.

Rumour, good things rumours, has it that one of the over dwellers likes a bit of a regular tipple – this could explain ‘clump, clump etc….flush….clump, clump, clump etc….’ (repeat times 25). We shall see and I shall post the outcome here, or you may read about something in the papers.

Last thing I want to do is create any bad blood between us. I mean you wouldn’t want to go creating bad blood with a vampire, now would you ? It could turn out to be a real pain in the neck. (Cue: groans)

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