We do not get along with our downstairs neighbors. We generally tend to avoid them at all possible costs. This isn't too much of a problem considering that whole language barrier thing.
Compared to other people, I suppose we have it pretty good in the neighbors department- they don't have wild parties that lead to drunken strangers in our doorway, then don't have a 200 pound dog with a personality disorder, and they have not tried to steal from us. Plus our downstairs neighbor is the one who always shovels our street and sidewalk. Salt is expensive in Germany (around 4,89€ for a bucket that costs us $2.50 on base) so our agreement is that we buy the salt on base at American prices, and the husband downstairs does the shoveling. This is very important in a country where the two seasons are rain and snow. So it could be worse, really. We know that.
However, the are LOUD. It seems like their normal volume of talking is screaming at the top of their lungs. This goes on all.day.long. Have I mentioned that they have two children? And they let their children run around like hellions? Oh I haven't. Well yes. (Let me backtrack for a bit here- we live in a three story apartment building where each floor is its own apartment. To make it easier to rent to Americans, our landlord combined the top two floors into one apartment. Because of this, essentially the staircase and everything north of it is ours.) We have a utility closet on the landing between the first and second floors which is where our washer and dryer are. Because German kitchens are small, we keep our sodas and water bottles on top of the dryer and with the window open, they get cold enough. Yes well the kids are so loud that one time when they were playing downstairs, a full 1.5 litre (yes I realized how I spelled it, I've been overseas for too long) bottle of Volvic fell off the dryer! The dryer wasn't even on. I wish I could say this incident was out of the ordinary for us, but it's not. It's just a regular Tuesday over here. In the summer, we can't really hang out in our living room half the time because the kids are playing outside and our window faces into the yard. Let's just say that when their oldest son gets his first kiss, I'll know as soon as his Nana does. Every single time something happened, we would just turn to each other and say "we have got to move." Finally, we made the determination that come October-December, we are moving.
The family went on vacation to Portugal. For three weeks. That was heaven. Bliss. Quiet. Until 40 minutes ago. I was in our bedroom (which is on the third floor, mind you) and I heard what I though was someone breaking into our apartment. I instinctively ran downstairs barefoot and with the closest thing that I had near me to defend myself with. My iPhone. I'm sure there's an app for that.
It turned out to not be a burglar after all, but rather, the family downstairs coming back from vacation. At 12:55am. I'm not sure what exactly they were doing to open the door that I could hear it two flights up and on the other side of the building. Again folks, this is normal for them. Now 1:36am and I can't sleep because they're unpacking.
We have got to move.