Living in Madrid has many upsides: great public transportation, mild winters, lots of parks, and all sorts of restaurants to try. But there are some downsides as well, and one of those seems rather obvious.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand about apartment life here, it’s the noise. I’ve lived in apartments in the U.S. and never encountered the noise problems I’ve had here. I don’t know if the walls are thinner or what, but noise is present almost all the time. What types of noise?
Neighbors walking in high heels
My upstairs neighbor likes to walk around in high heels, which means I get the privilege of hearing clunk, clunk, clunk at periodic intervals throughout the day.
Neighbors’ epic sound systems
The neighbors besides us have a really great sound system. While I’m happy for them, I wonder if they always watch Lord of the Rings, because there are always seems to be some epic music and fight scenes going on.
Children crying, screaming, running
Enough said. Children aren’t really great at respecting quiet-time rules, but some parents do a better job than others. (Ahem.)
Random heated conversations
Every so often, I will hear random snippets of conversations that seem to be turning into heated discussions or even flat-out shouting matches. Often, I’m not sure what they’re saying, but I can tell they’re ticked.
Man oh man, people here love their dogs. I don’t blame them; I too love dogs. But sometimes it seems cruel to keep them cooped up in a tiny city apartment for so long! They get restless. The neighbors below me have a very yappy mutt.
Living in Madrid means it’s generally when Real Madrid scores. I’ve found out our next-door neighbor is a Madridista. Our upstairs neighbor, however, is a fan of the Atlético de Madrid. How do I know? By listening for shouts of “Goooooooollllllll” when there’s a Real Madrid or Atleti game.
Neighbors who pump 90s music for their Saturday-afternoon cleaning session
There’s just nothing like old-school Britney music for cleaning, am I right? I don’t always share my neighbors’ taste in music, though. Haven’t they heard of head phones?
Screams and shouts from the park below my building
This is not so bad, as the children are in the park only until about 9, when it’s time for dinner here in Spain. Still, it’s not something I ever encountered in the U.S.
The mailman ringing every apartment’s bell until someone opens
I am quite jumpy, so my apartment’s bell (which is loud!) sometimes startles me. The mailman rings each tenant’s bell in quick succession until someone hits the button to open the front door for him so he can put our mail into our individual mail boxes.
Whenever your neighbors are in obras
This is the worst. Drilling, hammering, sawing … you name it. Oh, you don’t like to start at 8 a.m. on a Saturday? Your neighbor does.