There are so many things about our neighborhood here in India that are different from what we are used to. The houses are (much) closer together. Staff live behind the houses and are not exactly always quiet. I often wake up in the middle of the night to the tune of someone blowing his nose. (Nope, not kidding.) Firecrackers frequently go off in the middle of the night. Cars honk their horns. Dogs bark all. the. flippin. time. Every house has a gate. Guards stand at nearly every gate. Electricity comes and goes. And many (of the luckier) houses have generators.
According to our neighbor, our generator is extremely loud when the “garage” door is open. According to the company who maintains our generator, we must leave the “garage” door open so that the generator does not overheat (and then break). You might remember a couple sentences ago when I said that electricity comes and goes. It goes out pretty much at least once a day. The generator kicks in and we hardly miss a beat.
Well, Mr. Hatfield next door is not happy about the noise pollution we are creating.
A. Reread paragraph number 1 – dogs bark, cars honk, firecrakers crack, noses blow, and blah blah blah. It is already v.e.r.y. noisy here.
B. I never realized you could hear our generator until Mr. Hatfield pointed that out to me. And yes, it is louder with the door open than closed but that is how it continues to work. And it is really a steady hum – after about 5 minutes it really just becomes white noise. It has never bothered us. I did not wake up yesterday with a sinister plot to noise him out of the neighborhood.
C. Mr. Hatfield plays his tv v.e.r.y. l.o.u.d.l.y. every. night. I go to bed around 10ish. Guess what time he decides to start watching tv. yep- that would be 10:01ish.
Yes, I did feel it was my McCoyly neighborly duty to point that out to him. Because he delays my bedtime by at least 45 minutes every night.
Neighbor: Oh, I didn’t know.
Me: No, you wouldn’t – you couldn’t hear me complaining because your tv is loud enough for the astronauts to hear. Besides, I haven’t said anything because it’s a noisy neighborhood anyway and our houses are not even 10 feet from each other. You have to expect to hear some noises when our houses are this close.
Neighbor: Well we will change that, we just didn’t know – but you have to understand that no one has lived in your house for two years and it’s been very quiet until now.
Me: (completely dumbfounded and starring at him with my best WTH look) and are you suggesting that we not use electricity?
Neighbor: to himself – as a matter of fact that is not what I am suggesting – I am actually suggesting you all move out so the house can be empty and quiet again – But what I am willing to say out loud is: Yes, when we want to sit outside, you should not have the generator on – it’s too noisy
Me: Hmmmmmmmmmmmm – yeah – what????????
So Mr. Hatfield and his wife decide to sit outside in the driveway because yesterday was quite a lovely day. They have a beautiful terrace in the front of their house (away from the “garage”) but they did not want to sit there. He decides we should turn off our generator because it is too loud. Actually, to be fair, he decided we should shut the door. But when the guard explained that was not possible, he decided the only other solution was to turn off the generator (aka our electricity). Well, also to be fair, he did go on to offer another solution – we could simply replace our current generator with a quieter one. Yes, that was very kind of him to offer solutions not just complaints.
He came over to ask the guard to ring my doorbell. This is new to me too. The guard must have sensed that this was not going to be pleasant and told him I was asleep. Excuse me? Okay then. Now I am not even deciding who comes in my gate and who doesn’t. I don’t fault the guard on this one – he was right on. It was not pleasant.
Mr. Hatfield then proceeds to yell at the top of his lungs (what was that about noise pollution Mr. Hatfield?) for about 10 minutes. Hubby was not home – my gate is wide open – there are about 5 men standing in front of the gate – someone is screaming in Hindi – and I don’t know what the heck is going on. I called hubby, he called the security company, they called his office, they called him back, he called me back. Holy indirect communication batman. It is insane. And yes, I could have simply walked outside and asked “what is going on” but really it did not feel safe and I had my three kids at home. So I put my head in the sand and peeked out the curtain.
He wants me to turn off the generator because he and his bride want to sit outside. Again, me turning off the generator means turning off the electricity in the whole house. That means no blog writing – see how this affects you. Ahhhhh. Now you get it. 😉 This is further complicated by the fact that his power had actually already come back on. So now he thinks I am just being obnoxious. Possibly. But not this time. Just because his power is on does not mean squat for our power. It doesn’t work like that here – we have lost power in half the house before.
Long story short. Mr. Hatfield informs me that 75% of the time he and his wife are not even home. So it is a simple request really. I should be able to anticipate when he and his wife will actually be home and then take it a step further to know when they will want to go outside. If I am really concerned about his well being, I will just ensure that the electricity is always working and we never have to use the generator. But if I choose to only use my powers for evil, then the least I can do is be ready to sacrifice our electrical needs for his quiet time outside – because apparently our generator is more annoying then the dogs barking and horns honking and him yelling at the top of his lungs with his tv blaring in the background.
He also informed me that the Indian Government has greatly improved its noise pollution regulations and if I do not comply by getting a new generator, he will have to take further action. Let the games begin. I am sure I am not done with this issue and that I will bore you to tears with an update in the very near future.
Is it May yet? 😎