Sorry, this is a quite a conceptual post this week. I’ll try to be more interesting next time.
I was lying in bed the other night and I realised that I lived in a block of flats. That’s not a new thing and something I was already aware of – I’ve lived in several flats since I moved to London. What I realised though was that the flat above me and the flat below me have the same room layout. And the ones the other side of them do too. That means that there’s several bedrooms directly above and below mine. If my neighbours have their beds in the same positions as me, there are several people all sleeping in a parallel orientation, separated only by a couple of metres and a solid concrete floor. In mathematical terms, we’re at the same x and y coordinates, but differing in the z-axis.
Additionally, I have neighbours on either side of me. And although one is two kitchens away, the nearest is only the other side of a concrete wall. Possibly even closer than the two metres recommended for social distancing.
But what’s happening in their parallel flats? Do they have the same internal room layouts? What decorations do they have? What do they get up to in their flats? What are their lives like?
I live in London so of course I don’t actually know any of my neighbours. I think the new couple downstairs have young children, possibly including a new baby. And the people upstairs may also have a young baby. But who knows? I’ve never met any of them other than in passing.
The other day I received this letter (and I’m assuming all my neighbours did too):
I don’t normally hear my neighbours, although I do often have music playing or the TV on. I’ve never noticed a noisy neighbour. Does that mean that I’m the problem? I feel like my volumes are kept at a “moderate level”, plus I’m normally in bed between 10pm and 7am. And is it saying that they’ve had *complaints* from a number of flats, or that they’ve had *noise disturbances* from a number of flats?
Either way, it has made me wonder what my neighbours can hear of me. I can sometimes hear their activities but can never make out anything distinctively. So can my neighbours hear me? Maybe sometimes, but probably nothing significant. But Alexa, she hears everything.