Le Voisin

Morning after the party, I come downstairs, make a hot chocolate, and survey mr. mess grinning at me from every corner of the apartment. Slowly, my flatmate appears, complaining of a headache, and that he doesn’t want to clean… two minutes later, a girl of whom I had faint recollection of seeing last night appears out of nowhere. Apparently she got “tired”, found my other (currently absent) flatmate’s bed, fell asleep unaware of the latter 3/4 of the party that went down the rest of the night. I wonder to myself: are there any other hidden corners of the house where people fell asleep, not realizing that they have comfortably curled up on a hard stone floor that hasn’t been washed since 1975?

The three of us are in the kitchen, me washing dishes by the window, the other two at the table. All of a sudden, we hear someone banging on the door. My flatmate and I look at each other with eyes wide open, and mutter the same word: Le Voisin. Regardless of the fact that my flatmate doesn’t speak french, that is the first word that popped in his head at the sound of fists threatening to break down the door. The girl looked at us curiously: why would you know it’s your neighbor, and why is he banging on the door?

He knocks, bangs, holds the ringer for 30 seconds multiple times, then after about 10 minutes of us pretending to be not home, his upper body appears a meter from me in the window in the kitchen (we live a story above ground floor), mouthing the doors: OVRIR LA PORTE, pointing towards our door.. HOLY SHIT. I nearly break the dishes, and move away from the window to behind the table. We’re scared shitless, why would we open the door? Maybe he has a club with him or a knife, or something.. This is when my female flatmate comes downstairs, looks at us with fright; who is banging, and why? We start telling her it’s the crazy neighbor, when he appears again in the window. This I know not because I see him, but by watching the girl’s face, as she was the only one left in plain view of the window. Covering her mouth, her eyes frozen with fright, she wispers: I’m scared, he’s stark mad! I don’t wanna open the door! So we collectively decide to go out there together..

Of course we know the subject is going to be about the “exorbitantly loud” party we had last night. To be frank, I believe this retiree has nothing better to do than lay in bed at night, waiting till the clock strikes 11:30pm, then strains his ears to see if he hears anything from the corridor common to all of us living in the french-style apartment house.

In fact, the we kept the music to a talkable level, keeping people in the room farthest away from the corridor, and when they came to complain, we turned off the music and left the house so that we leave the neighbors alone.

And as the cherry on top, we received a letter today seemingly from the landlord, but we discover by clearly different handwriting that it is in fact not the landlord, but the neighbor who has forged the landlord’s signature.

And this isn’t the first time this neighbor has done total “conaries”, complaining about bikes in the building to us that aren’t actually ours, coming to say that we parked infront of his garage (it wasn’t us again)… I think we shall take all the VELO toulouse bikes from the rack in front of the apartment and park them in front of his door. Or better yet, park my flatmate’s car in the entrance way. No bike, no problem, eh? Or shall we ask my coloc who works at airbus to borrow a helicopter or a small airplane to park in front of his garage.

Next party we’ll ask people to come up on a ladder from the window. Yeah right.

Fete du Vins et le demenagement du lit

November 18 (well actually it is past midnight, so the 19th), people are going craaaazy outside, like Mayfest in Syracuse, or Mardi Gras. It is the festival of wines. All the hard work has paid off with the grape harvest and wine making. The newest wines are opened tonight.
Of course I had no idea this was happening, so conveniently scheduled to move a bed over from a friend’s apartment to mine. Thus, we got the car over to her apartment, lugged the mattress down the stairs, into the car, shoved the mattress in, which actually didn’t fit so i jumped in, compressing the mattress so it would fit. Then she closed the hatchback with me in the back. Eventually got my way up to the front of the compact Opel. Alors, vas-y! My apartment is a 15 min walk from my friends… so driving over shouldn’t take so long…
…It took 40 minutes. Reason: Combination of police barricades (at some point there was a corner with at least 20 cops hanging out in uniform), drunken crowds, cars parked in the middle of the road, too many one way streets, and lack of parking spots. Maybe it would have taken less time if we just carried it on our shoulders through the streets…
3 hours later, finally in bed, writing this post. AAh by the way – had the best hot wine ever, mix of water, wine, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Yummmm. Also made an excellent soup, containing only 2 fresh ingredients: onions and bell peppers. The rest came out of cans and boxes. So far 35 euros on food this week. Can it last til Sunday? Will see.