Thames Water just sent us a bill, and I realized something funny. We don’t actually have to pay if we don’t want to, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
This whole thing started when the loud, anti-Semitic neighbours moved out, and a loud, stupid family moved in. (I mention anti-Semitic, because that was the primary reason they had to move out: they were cussing our Jewish neighbours.) The new family are from the old country, the same as us, but while thinking “Hungarian” I prefer to think of Szilard, Puskas or Rubic, when we look at them, we see this.
They do have a kid, who is running like a headless chicken in the apartman above (they rarely take him out for walks), and they do listen to music (the worst kind).
Our flatmate -the one with the killer palms- is quite vocal about her disapproval of noises from above. To be fair, she needs to get up very early each day, so she does not like to be kept awake until midnight by running feet and horrible music. Unfortunately, her way of showing this disapproval is horsy screaming and banging on the ceiling.
We had a lot of conflicts because of that. The guy was swearing he will call the police (which he stopped when my girlfriend asked him about his pot habits -usually they smoke a under our very window), he was swearing he was going to pick up the floorboards, and fix the whole slab by himself, and we had a couple of quite vocal discussions about living together. (Which would not have happened had our flatmate was a bit less vocal about her need for rest.)
Anyhow, one Saturday, the flatmate comes over to our room, and says: there’s water pouring from the ceiling.
Indeed, it seemed like she got one of those expensive in-built waterfalls completely free… along with a good wash of her clothes- as the water was pouring into her closet as well.
A gentle knock on the neighbour’s door, and he -high as a kite- tells us he was about to fix the floorboards with an electric drill, and seemed to have hit the water main. It was difficult to keep a straight face. The whole situation was surreal: water flowing gently on the wall, meanwhile here’s this guy who clearly thought it was a great idea to do home improvement on weed.
After some phonecalls to the water company, the situation thickened… it turned out, the people who did the renovation of the house couple of years ago, managed to pour concerete over the valve of the main water pipe. So here we are, in the middle of Saturday (important, because the whole neigborhood is mostly Jewish, and they do observe Sabbath, and stay home), and they have to shut the water off the whole street for hours until they fix the broken pipe. There was not much else to do but laugh. The normally quiet Saturday streets (usually there are no cars, no people around) suddenly filled up with trucks and noisy workmen trying to fix our little house’s water issues.
What’s the moral of this story? Don’t smoke and DIY.