Monday, April 02, 2007

As I write this there has been almost 9-hours of unpredictable plumbing havoc augmented with random shrieks and thumps emitting from one floor above our Shenzhen bathroom. It began like something from the Amityville Horror catalogue; maybe something akin to The Three Stooges Meet the Amityville Horror's Chinese Beverly Hillbillies.

Yes, of course, we have neighbors in this barely 3-year-old Chinese Dream Village ("BoHo Italian Villa Super Villa-Villa -- Home of the Fake Italian Einstein Monolith Bust!") , which, I am increasingly discovering was built on broken promises, lies and at the speed of a weasel with attention deficit disorder on meth. I think what holds it together is not the tons of 6-month old surplus solidified congee (Chinese rice porridge) substituted by the builder for financial self gain in lieu of cement, but only the blind faith of sucker tenants and owners like ourselves.

Directly above us on the 21st floor is a family of three. A man, a wife and their pitifully disturbed approximately 4-year-old boychild. Suffice to say if William Faulkner had created a Chinese version of the Snopes clan, this disturbed trio would've been a prime inspiration.

It is, as far as I can tell, not the disturbed boychild's fault that his parents seem to have no visible means of support and the same cultural, social and educational skills as say, a rabid wolverine or of that Canadian pig farmer currently on trial for killing 26 women. It's not the boy's fault they can afford to own space in one of Shenzhen's newest apartment complexes, as shoddily built as it is, yet not afford toys or the time to find playmates or outdoor distractions and exercise beyond encouraging him to ceaselessly shove chairs and small tables around the place for hours at a time beginning at 6am and ending whenever he decides to meltdown and begin wailing without stop, usually between 9pm -midnight.

It is not his fault either that his familys' toilet and shower began leaking and seeping Satan's foul smelling effluents non-stop two days ago through the floorboards down into our bathroom. But to hear the parents scream at him and us and the apartment managers and developers, to hear their point-blank denials and bizarre excuses one might think he'd planned the entire debacle since he was in the womb.

The fact is the parents decided to build on the cheap in a place where cost-cutting was already rampant. "Why would we need water-proofing?" the father shouted at one point as C, me, C's visiting mother, and three apartment management types confronted them through the chained space of their door. "It is too expensive and needless and our boy's birth already cost more than we had at the time. It is his fault and your fate!" (Roughly translated by C)

The plumbers were admitted to the barricaded and locked hellhouse only after the family was threatened with eviction. Desperate politically inspired pleas drawn from China President Hu Jintao's ceaseless mantra for a "harmonious society" (Hu doesn't have neighbors from hell in mind, fershure, only the mounting civil disturbances sprung from the rapidly widening divide between the haves and have-nots) had no effect. Nor did the sight of me melodramitcally standing behind C and slowly thumping the dull edge of a large cleaver into my palm like some badly cast foreign thug extra in a Chinese gangster flick as she stridently shouted back at them.

Now the plumbers are taking their sweet time, the boychild is still wailing and Satan's snot keeps raining down. I guess it's our fate.
ROFL... your misery is hysterical. Seriously, may the landlord not only waterproof the apartment by force, but in fact bronze the entire family and place them at the complex gates as a warning to all.
Dave's idea is great. This is a big city problem. I have had the devil child from hell living next to me for what seems like 20 years now. The thing is not only as Borat would say a "retard" but a retard that is left alone. God only knows what kind of hell hole torture chamber the poor child is living in next door, but I do get to enjoy her wailings 24/7

Good luck my friend
And now you know why I say that the gene pool needs chlorination. The only difference between SZ and LA is the language that they yell in.

Take care my friend
Wow....just, Wow. I guess I can thank you for helping me see the value in building regulations (that, as a contractor, I deal with daily)and noise ordinances (which, thankfully, I don't have to deal with very often). And thanks to those who thought to set up health protect us from the effluent of those upstairs...

Now, I've got to ask, is this aforementioned cleaver the same one which, in trying to open a can of tomato paste, caused self-inflicted injury? Are you hoping to spread it around now?
As my mom used to say, "If you end up in the police notes tell them you're Charlie Weir"....

Buy an umbrella and a jumbo drum of Lysol...
"It is his fault and your fate!"

I just shot nose fluid all over my computer screen.
I had the same thing happen in NYC but it was shit up into the basement because of too small sewer pipes, the city isn't going to replace them i just fitted a back valve so it all goes into next doors basement. Shit happens!
Hope all is well.
The guy who slings chips in Brooklyn.
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