… but why?
A rant on why I might become the old, hateful man shouting at kids on their skateboards… At 30 years of age.
This is not written in the typical style that I usually use on this website. I just have to vent a little bit, right now.
- A picture of the fjord in Flensburg.
In late 2016, my wife and I moved from Schleswig in northern Germany to the beautiful city of Flensburg, right at the border to Denmark.
The city is not large, around 100k people live here and you can reach all parts of town in a couple minutes. Yet, the infrastructure is quite nice, there are good supermarkets, shops and restaurants everywhere and reliable public transport is available.
- The Oluf-Samson-Gang, one of the very cozy little streets here.
The buildings here are very old (often way older than even the United States of America) and beautiful, there’s a lot of art in the streets, we got a direct connection to the baltic sea through the Flensburg fjord and there are a couple of nice beaches around here. We live where other people go on vacations.
- One of the beaches with Denmark on the left and Germany on the right side.
I can just walk out the door, go to the next bus stop - which is a 2 minute walk - and then take the bus to Denmark, if I want to. It just takes around 15-20 minutes to reach the border by bus and bam, I’m in a different country with a different language.
Being so close to Scandinavia and having a considerable amount of danish people living in Flensburg, the city has a very relaxed scandinavian flair and attitude going on, which I love, because I’m part danish.
When we moved here, we were lucky to snatch a nice apartment very close to the city centre with only a minute walk to the closest mall and we have a nice view over Flensburg when looking out of our windows. All that while paying an actually fair rent. Germany’s housing situation is pretty broken and even in cities like Flensburg, renting can be quite hard, due to skyrocketing prices, etc.
Living in the city centre now also comes in handy, because our daughter was born in 2017 and later on and our son followed in 2020. There are many doctors, playgrounds, kindergardens and schools around. It’s the optimal spot to be in with a little family like that.
I suffer from a couple psychcological issues, because I had a rough life, especially when I was a kid. I was abused by my father and witnessed alcohol and drug abuse at home. At this point, I don’t want to elaborate further on the causes, but I sometimes have episodes of manic depression, mood swings and more than once I thought about ending my life. This comes and goes and sometimes, it stays bearable and stable for years, mostly due to the support of my wife. I think I can consider myself happy that she’s still with me. I’m currently on some experimental medication that actually helps me cope with all that.
However, I also suffer from a relatively unresearched sound sensitivity called “misophonia”: The hatred of sound. Nobody likes it when the teacher’s chalk scratches over the blackboard, right? Right.
But this is different. People with misophonia all have specific trigger sounds, which, when heard, cause short and hefty outbursts of severe stress and aggression. We can’t do anything about it, it’s like a fight or flight situation and usually occurs when hearing even the smallest trigger sound. This can be chewing noises, kids screaming, etc.
Currently, the causes for this are unknown and debated and right now, there’s no cure. I usually have to use noise-cancelling headphones during most of my daily routine and more than often, even at night. So the moments I don’t have to use my headphones to listen to music or rain sounds to block out triggering sounds are pretty holy to me.
And as if this wasn’t enough: The cherry on top of the iced shit-cake is that I also got a lot of migraine going on. Multiple times a month, I get migraines with mid-range to severe strength, even further limiting my quality of life. I sometimes feel as if my head will explode or burst open at any second, causing me to seek relief by laying in the bathtub filled with cold water for hours on end, sometimes even for the whole day. Another situation where loud noises are to be avoided at any cost.
… that rest times are guaranteed by law. Loud noises are prohibited by law from 22:00 (10 pm) to 06:00 or 07:00 in the morning and during sundays and holidays. On those days, most stores and supermarkets are closed, etc.
If you’re not from Germany, this might come as a culture shock when you first visit this country, but trust me, it’s a good thing and it’s actually enforced almost everywhere. You can call the police if your neighbor makes loud noise like playing loud music after 10 pm, for example. This usually ends in a warning, but in more extreme or repeated cases, the device playing music may even be confiscated for the night, etc.
This is good for people like me, but also for children and adults who need to rest at night, because you obviously need to be fully refreshed for school or work days.
I’d never have the idea to annoy my neighbours in the evening and I even cringe if a movie I’m watchig has a low-volume voice track and a loud music track, causing me to increase and decrease the volume of my TV all the time. Just because I care about the people surrounding me.
My behavior is not limited to my own place. I’d also never be unnecessarily loud when I’m outside or when visiting friends and family, as well.
I’m not against having fun or get-togethers like parties, etc. Nobody will bat an eye if you put up a notice that it might get a little louder at night, due to you and friends celebrating a birthday or whatever. Absolutely valid reason and when there’s no plaintiff, there’ll be noone to judge, right?
… is why people feel the need to walk through the streets at night and shout like madmen, just to wake up the whole neighborhood, including my 2 little children, my wife and I. All while kicking trashcans, vandalizing property, etc. As parents, it can be quite hard to get some free time for ourselves and when the kids wake up at night due to shit like this, I’ll not be particularly happy. People usually come up with “BuT iT’s NoT mY fAuLt ThAt YoU hAvE cRoTcH gObLiNs!” - No, it isn’t. But you were a child at some point in time, as well. And me having children or not doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever you want. What a moronic attitude.
Our house is situated right next to a small alleyway that leads to a parking lot and almost every night, some asshole individual or group walks through there, being loud and as retarded as humanly possible. “BuT yOu cOuLd MoVe SoMeWhErE eLsE!”, they say. NO, I don’t want to. As I said above, this location is ideal for small families with kids. And I don’t want to be one of the people accepting this shit as normality.
- “Yo dawg, ur using dat meme all wrong."
Flensburg has a large university, that’s why we have many young students here who use the weekends to go clubbing, causing them to traverse the streets intoxicated, which causes their behavior to worsen, due to the alcohol lowering the thereshold where one starts to behave like one of those red-assed apes, while at the same time boosting self-esteem.
Why partying every weekend is necessary is above my understanding. Same goes for the fact that most people these days apparently absolutely need alcohol and other drugs to even have fun. Again, I don’t have an issue with parties, alcohol or even drugs. Do what you want, but most people like that don’t know when to stop, it seems. Why, fuck me. That’s a bad combination.
This causes me to be the one who chuckles when I read in the local news that someone once again fell into the deep and cold water in the harbor after another excessive party night. And at that point, I don’t even care if the accident results in a fatality. Darwin award deserved, fuckers. Know your limits!
The same counts for posers with their tuned - often shitty and cheap - cars. Noone likes you and if you drive against the next tree or wall, nobody will miss you. I don’t care if your people-endangering, selfish asshole has to be scraped off the asphalt in the end. I always imagine that some asshole like that drives on the same street where my children might one day go to school, etc.
I don’t want to see people dead. But if you’re a nuisance for society, I will not shed a single tear if you get your ass in deadly trouble. Reminds me of that poser dude in america who decided to have an illegal car race on a public street which ended in the death of a mother and her 1 year old daughter. He recently got over 20 years in prison for that, despite being still young. The way he sees his lifetime fade away when the verdict is announced is priceless. Again, deserved.
… douchebags defending such behavior, even if they don’t engage in it themselves.
Some typical phrases I usually hear or read when complaining about noise like that:
In the past, especially before I had kids, I usually endured things like that. Or I went to the people causing the issue and politely asked them to tune it down a bit, which mostly worked (but one time caused me to be verbally and physically attacked over the course of 6 months, read further down below). In extreme situations, I called the police. But that only happened two, maybe three times in my life.
However, with days packed to the brim with parenting action on top of other obligations and the issues mentioned above, I just fail to accept that there are people being as inconsiderate as described. I can’t wrap my head around it and I don’t want to.
The day I first moved into my own apartment in 2008, my best friend and I were putting up window blinds and some furniture until late in the evening. However, we weren’t loud and didn’t pass the 10 pm deadline.
A couple minutes in, the doorbell rang. I opened the door only to be met with a stinking, old man with deep wrinkles on his face who threatened me to punch me in the face and (quote) “make me fly 3 meters through the room”. My adjacent neighbor opened her door and she defended me. Nonetheless, she’ll play the bad part in another story down below.
Funny enough, over the years I lived in that apartment on my own, he was the one playing very loud music from his LP player. Always the same couple songs for hours on end. Why do you think do I know the lyrics to the song “Golden Brown” from “The Stranglers” so well up to this day? On other occassions, it sounded as if he was grinding wood in his apartment - again for hours. Yet other times - and quite regular - he tapped on the wall in a specific rhythm and only stopped when I hit the wall.
What a crazy mofo. When playing music, he never reacted to me ringing his doorbell or knocking on the door. The only things that actually helped were calling the police or opening the breaker, turning off his electricity from outside and then running away. The latter I only did once or twice. But I had to call the police on him one time, because I was laying in bed with the fucking swine flu and he tortured the neighbors with “A Summer Place” by “Percy Faith” while I laid in bed with 40°C (104°F) fever.
One time, I tried to order a taxi to get home and when I mentioned the address, they at first didn’t want to send a driver, because they tought I was him. I had to assure them that I wasn’t him and it was fine …
I mentioned her before: The neighbor from the apartment to the left of mine. She’s got a large family and some of them lived in other apartments of the complex. She often had family over, including small children. No problem for me, I love children.
But as we lived on the ground level and had a large patch of grass and greenery between the apartment complexes, she liked to keep her apartment door open at all times, so the kids could freely enter and leave her apartment.
This caused the kids to linger in front of my door all the time. They were around 5 years old and very, very loud. On one of my migraine days, they decided to hit my door with sticks and stick stuff through the mail slot in the door. They also screamed a lot, which caused me severe pain, again. My apartment was about 30 m² (roughly 323 ft²) and only had two small rooms, so I couldn’t go somewhere else.
I sticked my head out of the door and asked if she could close the door or tell the kids to be silent and before I was able to even explain why, she was pretty offended and screamed at me.
One wednesday, I had my friend over for some LAN action overnight. Just us two, relaxing, talking, playing computer games.
That night, the witch from next door and her family had a birthday get-together. They were sitting on the lawn right in front of my living room window, drinking alcohol and playing loud music till deep at night (1 am and later).
When one of them passed by my apartment door, I opened it and asked - again, very politely - if they could turn down the music a bit, because we were about to hit the pillows. I never saw the girl in front of me before, but she just rolled her eyes at me and went away. I closed the door and a mere minute later, one of the neighbor’s sons suddenly appeared in front of my door, telling me he “heard that I was about to call the police”, which I never even said or considered.
I didn’t have any time to answer, because the crazy bitch appeared and started shouting at me, attempting to kick my apartment door in and attack me. She spat all over the door and stood there for a good 20 minute period, until I finally had enough and called the police, which - after arrival - managed to somewhat deescalate the situation - for now.
One police officer stood in my dark ass living room where mine and my friend’s computer screens were the only light source. He proceeded to look me in the eyes, saw I had widened pupils (again: it was dark, duh) and asked if I took any drugs. What the fuck, man. I just called you to help me with my crazy neighbor and you ask me about drugs? I handed him my antidepressants, told him that’s the only shit I took. He examined it, mentioned that it said “sample” on the bottle (at the time it was the last bottle available at the doctor’s office, so I got that bottle, which I told him). He shrugged it off and left.
This night sparked a wild ride of abuse by said neighbors.
From next day on, they started to steal my bike(s) out of my locked basement room, they went to the basement below my apartment and cut the cable for my DSL connection multiple times over the course of some months. Sometimes, they even waited for me to come and repair it again. They also turned off my electricity multiple times, since the breaker boxes were on the landings of the common staircase. This also happened when I wasn’t at home for multiple days, causing my food in the fridge to go bad. They also shouted at me and threatened me on the streets and one or two times, they attempted to gain access to my apartment.
Only sueing them caused them to stop and finally apologize. Weirdly enough, we got along pretty well after that.
Well, after moving out of there (because I met my wife and the apartment was way too small for us), we lived in another apartment for 2 years or so with no mentionable things happening, except the regular drunk ass people returning home at night and hitting the button of our doorbell, instead of the fucking light switch at the front of the apartment complex.
But recently, with the coronavirus pandemic going on in the world, shit started to happen again. And needless to say, I stopped being polite for the most part.
Up until a year ago, some green-haired asshole did a regular walk through the alleyway next to our house at night, blasting techno or trance from his bluetooth speaker at 1 am every night, waking me up each and every time.
When I heard him outside one evening, I decided to confront him. I went downstairs and told him that I’m living here and that he wakes me up very often. He shrugged and said it’s not his problem, so I told him that next time he does it, I’m gonna throw a bucket of water out of my window. He thought it was funny and when I said I can kick his ass instead, he finally stopped laughing and - good enough - it never happened again. At least at night. I hear him passing through at daytime occassionally, which doesn’t bother me, even though I think that if you blast your shitty music in public, you’re an asshole.
One night, around 11 pm, my wife and I were unable to hear our own TV with our windows closed, due to loud music blasting from outside. I looked out of the window and in the distance, I saw some bitch dancing on a fucking car and around her some testosterone-filled men. I decided to get outside and approach them and when they saw me, they even said: “Oh shit, police!” (LMAO). I asked them politely to turn the music down and they did. Later that evening, I could see them dancing on tables in the house next to the car. Weird shit.
A couple months ago, new neighbors moved into the house next door and had a housewarming party. Absolutely fine, nothing against that. But once again, it was 1 am or so and my kids had to go to the daycare the next day, so I went downstairs and asked if they could turn it down a little. Again, they understood and retreated inside.
A couple months later, they had another party and I don’t know what it is, but 1 am seems to be the time where people like that seem to start chimping out for good. I sat here, 24+ hours into migraine, sleep deprivation and chill, trying to somehow fall asleep when two of them were taking a long smoking break outside and one of them decided to ring the bell of a bike that was standing there. Again. And again… And again. Showing off what an absolute hemorrhoid he is. After 30 minutes and a dozen bell rings, I decided it was best to open the window and shout: “If you ring that bell one more time, I will come downstairs and stick it up your asshole!”
They immediately went inside afterwards. I finally fell asleep, only to be disturbed again by the same asshole. One hour later, same thing. He rang the bell to provoke me. I had enough, got dressed, went downstairs, but they left the scene already.
A couple weeks ago, I woke up - again at fucking 1 am - to extremely loud music that seemed to emanate from right next to my bed. I thought, my eardrums were about to rupture. My wife next to me woke up as well and fearing that our children might soon join us, I looked out of the window just to see around 12-16 people standing in 2 groups parallel to one another, apparently playing some kind of drinking game. Next to them a huge, cylindric bluetooth speaker with the power of a 5000 W bass machine.
My first thought was “So many people an none of them even has had the thought that this is a freaking residential area?” …
Again, I went downstairs, positioned myself next to the speaker and waved at them to turn the music down, which they did. I told them: “You woke me up. You woke up my wife. You’re about to wake up my children. If that happens, I will immediately call the police.”
Some of them thots giggled. Apparently, my reaction was funny. One of the dudes apologized, another woman said they should leave and look for another place.
Damn, what in the ever living fuck is up with you people?
- That’s exactly the type of people I found there. And when I demanded silence, they gave me exactly this look.
Did I rip a massive fart or something? NO, I WANT TO SLEEP!
Again, I think my reactions are reasonable, especially after being bothered so many times. I never expected to have total peace when I moved here, because we live in a central part of the city, as mentioned.
But the most annoying thing is yet to be told!
From my window, I can see the “Deutsches Haus” (German House), a building with cultural significance that used to host concerts, cinema evenings and parties and so on. Inside. It was never an issue for us, never.
I guess it must be due to the pandemic, but they built a concert area right next to it and ever since, multiple times a week (4, sometimes 5 times), always starting at around 8 pm, the worst cover bands ever perform there, butchering one song after another. And it’s loud. Very loud.
When my wife and I finally find some time for us, we usually sit down and watch some stuff on YouTube or Netflix. But right now, that’s impossible. Even with the fucking windows closed, we can’t hear our shows.
Also, we had a pretty hot summer this year and we live right under the roof, so closing the windows is not really an option. Imagine sitting in 30° C heat or more. Inside. No air conditioning. With “Feliz Navidad” blasting through your windows. In the fucking SUMMER. Feliz Navidad? Are you serious? Or did the heat burn away your last 3 brain cells, making you confound summer time and fucking christmas time?
Apparently, this is completely legal, because of the cultural significance of such concerts. It’s gnawing on my nerves. And just to say, my wife agrees with everything I say here.
I may or may not be the old man shouting at a cloud. But it doesn’t matter. Look me in the eyes and tell me that this is normal. I don’t think so.
END OF LINE.