The Crazy Man and the Worst.Service.Ever.
This weekend has been very interesting and it's not even over yet.
Last night we hung out with Eve, drank Sangria (very good) and hung out on her balcony listening to music. Nothing too exciting, but one of those kinds of evenings that just relaxing and fun in a low-key way (our favourite kind of night actually). We said goodnight around 11:30 and headed back down to our flat so I could fight with my blog banner (and eventually give up and let me friend lend a hand).
12:04am: phone rings
"Hi Melinda? Um, I was just wonder if .. um.. can you hear that?"
"That crazy man from next door
To give a bit of history before I continue:
This "crazy man" is her next door neighbour, who actually is the reason that she and I started talking in the first place. He has been in the building for about 4 years and apparently has asthma and a severe dislike of anybody making any noise at all. Like talking on the phone.
She had her best friend were having a cigarette on her balcony about a month ago and he got so angry with them for smoking where it could seep through his closed window that he sprayed them with air freshener. In the face. While yelling that they were drug addicts - which he changed to nicotene addicts when they yelled back that they were just cigarettes.
He now pounds on the wall everytime she makes a sound in her flat after 11pm. Last night after we left, a friend called and she was in the middle of a conversation when he started pounding on the walls.
He's a very intimidating looking man who has called both the police and the landlord in hopes of getting her arrested / evicted.
Doesn't stop his threats. Or wall banging.
I promised we'd be up in second, filled Jeremy in (he'd already figured out what was happening) and grabbed a bottle of wine that we'd been saving for a picnic day. This turned out to be a very good plan because things were pretty intense.
As we got to the landing on the floor below hers, we could hear loud banging noises. It wasn't her music - it was obviously somebody banging on something. I couldn't hear her music at all. We got into the area where their doors were, and without giving any warning, Jeremy pounded on HIS door.
"What the FUCK!! Shut UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!! FUCK OFF!!"
Jeremy (with a firm, calm tone): "Um sir, I live downstairs and I would like it a lot if you could please stop pounding on whatever it is that you're pounding on."
"TELL THAT STUPID CRAZY BITCH TO SHUT UP THEN!" Two more pounding noises. Then silence.
At that point, I was in Eve's flat, both of us standing in the doorway wide-eyed as Jeremy ushered us in, opened the wine, and poured the three of us a glass. She was shaking and clearly freaked out. So was I. I was honestly worried "crazy man" was going to open the door and hit Jeremy with a frying pan or something. Or pull out a gun. I've never heard a person yell like that before...
We spent an hour in her flat, calming her down, and joking about anything we could think of. She turned the music on to the level she'd had it b4 and asked if we could hear it outside. I said I could just hear it outside her door (it really wasn't loud). We suggested calling the landlord in the morning to discuss what had happened and to let them know that we were witnesses to what had happened.
"BANG BANG BANG"
He pounded again. Just those three times. It was like he wanted her to know that he was still going to try his best to intimidate her.
We made her promise to call whenever this stuff happens and either we'd come up, or she could stay in our flat as long as she needs to. With this we finally headed back downstairs.
She called me today from work to let me know that he HAD called the landlord's office and apparently shouted at one of the female employees for a half hour about the evil girl next door making excessive noise. I guess she didn't like being yelled at and passed the phone to the property manager (official owner / landlord) who told him that since she had not other complaints about her that he could either suck it up, move out, or call the cops (as he repeatedly threatened to do). She found all of this out when she called them to report her side of what had happened and they assured her that she would not be in any trouble for this, and to please call if he did this again. They are also going to check his flat to ensure that he hasn't damaged the walls (yes he really was banging that loudly - we heard it).
So for now, there's peace. Hopefully this guy moves away.
Tonight we met up with a Canadian couple we exchanged phone numbers with at the social last week - from London, Ontario actually. They're planning on moving back to Toronto when they go home, but both attended Western and are now teachers here.
M, the girl teacher, emailed me the invite this afternoon and then called to follow up and make sure we were going to come out to this fancy pizza place in Soho near Covent Garden Market. This place specialized in pizzas with a very strange mix of toppings, all of which sound weird until you try them. Food was delicious.
Service was TERRIBLE.
We sat waiting to make our drink orders for 45 minutes. Finally M got up and asked what was going on and was told that since it was so busy, they'd forgotten about us. Nice.
Waited 20 minutes for th
The reservation was for 8:45pm and we were eating our dinners at 10:15pm. Again, the same poor girl who had waited for her drink ALSO had to wait extra time for her food! She told us to go ahead and eat but we all felt bad eating in front of her.
The pizzas were incredible. In fact ALL of the food from appetizer to dessert was fantastic. Very different type of food but very tasty.
We had a great time despite the slow and often nonexistent service, which strangely didn't appear to be the fault of our waitress, who was running around like crazy and kept apologizing for the delay. While we were there a group of people started singing Happy Birthday loudly to an embarassed looking lady, who was presented with a nice looking dessert afterwards. M decided that since they were giving such bad service that we should pretend it was one of our birthdays so w
After our table had placed the dessert requests, M pulls the waitress over and whispers to her, while we all sat laughing at the guy who'd been chosen to be the birthday boy.
15 minutes after that, a waiter walks over and starts putting the desserts on the table, finally placing a brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in front of the "birthday boy".
Birthday boy: um... thanks (having not ordered a dessert)
The waiter suddenly gets this light-bulb-turned-on-in-my-head look on his fac
10 minutes passes and finally our waitress comes over with the surprise. She starts singing Happy Birthday and we all cheerfully join in. At least he got a free dessert - which he shared with those of us who hadn't ordered one.
After harassing the waitstaff for our bill we finally got out of the restaurant around 11:15pm.
I don't usually mind staying in a place that long, but we'd planned on going to this Canadian bar called the Maple Leaf (that actually serves poutine!!!) and it was getting so late that Jeremy and I had to leave or we'd miss the train back home. The Underground system stops running just after midnight, so unless you know where to catch a night bus heading towards home, you're stuck walking or paying ridiculous amounts of money for a cab.
We seriously need to get a bus map.
It's probably just as well because I start teaching Monday (finally!) and need to get a couple of earlier nights so I can try and work myself in the schedule of waking up early in the morning. 6am will come way too soon - it always does.
One last thing - Today was our official one month anniversary of living in London! It's hard to believe that we've already been here for that long. I remember the emotional wreck that I was a month ago and am happy that things are finally settling down. It's probably no coincidence that this is happening as we start to make friends and get more used to being Londoners.
If I think too much about my lake or our families or my friends, I still get sad and homesick, but I guess that this will probably always be with me. As I've said before, it's nice that I have so much to miss.
On a different note, I'd like to thank my friend Rob for helping out with the blog banner. I would never have made it though all of the tweaking and editing html codes without his help - not while still keeping sane anyway.
Thanks so much Rob!!