Thursday, August 11, 2005

Stir-fry and Stomping

Not to suggest there isn't enough going on around town these days, but I thought Thursday was a good day to mention some of the excitement happening here.

Most of the week my responsible house mates have been busy keeping the government and the economy running. I, on the other hand, have been sending out more resumes and meeting having conversations with more people.

In more exciting news, it's been another week of culinary masterpieces in the Hump-house. Monday was the house's inaugural experience with shake and bake--excellent. As if that wasn't enough, our Cook also made chocolate cake. Definitely a great way to start the week. Tuesday was an interesting Italian sausage stirfry, straight from Texas--also very good. It wasn't the food that was the story on Tuesday, though. We had an experiment with a rice cooker.

Have you ever seen what happens when the rice and water go straight into a rice cooker, instead of into the pot? We have. As it turns out the bottom of a rice cooker isn't water proof. Thankfully so. If it had been water-tight, the chef probably wouldn't have noticed the missing pot, and would have probably fried the cooker. I can say that rice-cookers do make an odd sound the day after being water-logged.

Wednesday found us scrounging through the cupboards, and rummaging in the fridge looking for enough food to cook without having to make a trip to the store. Luckily we found enough odds and ends to pull together some reasonably tasty Mexican burritos.

The Neighbor Saga

There's something of a soap-opera unfolding here in our very own building. Fairly amazing since there are only two groups of tenants in our unit. Group 1: 5 young people, recently finished with graduate school, living in the upper 3 floors of a very nice building. Group 2: A Vietnamese family consisting of at least a husband-wife-daughter trio, but presumably a brother/cousin and grandparents--it's hard to tell for sure though.

To catch everyone up, this saga started within hours of arrival in DC on July 1. We had a 30 foot moving truck wedged into a parking-area for about 6 cars for a couple of hours as we unloaded it and got ourselves moved in. About 3 hours into this (5 hour) process, one of the neighbors arrives home and wants to park his car. Unfortunately our truck was in the space so we asked if he'd mind parking on the street for a couple of hours until we finished. This apparently was a major problem as he put up a fuss, but ultimately complied, since the truck wouldn't have fit anywhere if his car was also in the space.

We thought his attitude was a little irritating, but we are in DC, not Minneapolis; We can't expect people to be "nice" all the time.

Fast forward about 3 hours. It's now 9:15 pm on a Friday night. We were moving some boxes around and trying to get some furniture arranged so we'd have a place to eat dinner. All of the sudden there is this weird pounding from downstairs. Thinking the neighbors were hanging a picture or something we thought nothing of it. Except it continued. For about 10 minutes. Maybe 6 or 7 minutes in we realized what it was; the neighbors were banging on the ceiling because, apparently, we were being too loud. At 9:15 on Friday.

Lets just say that didn't sit particularly well with any of us. But again, we sort of ignored it, as we weren't doing anything to be disruptive and they do, after all, live in the
basement.

Now jump ahead to last weekend. Remember the day when I got a bottle of beer dropped on me? Well, I left it out of the telling earlier, but downstair's Mrs. came up at about 9:30 on Friday night to tell us we were being too loud. We were "jumping up and down" too much, and making a lot of noise.

All 4 of us. All 4 of us that were
sitting down. On a thick rug. And playing cards. We weren't yelling, shouting, jumping, dancing, or even playing slap jack. It took us a while to figure out what had roused enough ire in this poor woman to come upstairs and dress-down the unruly neighbors: walking across the floor to the bathroom.

That's right. Apparently it is too great a disruption for our downstairs neighbors if we walk from one side of our home to the other after their bedtime.

Anyway, I'm sure there will be more excitement coming from our interactions with our friendly new neighbors, so I wanted to let everyone in on the backstory.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Chinahand,
Some of your Chinese neighbors doubt if your version of this story is accurate. How about giving some space to the poor people below, then we can make an fair decision. One Wang Wei says she lived just down the street from you in Jilin City and her and her mother were kept up often by the noise coming from your place. At that time you blamed a guy named Crumb.