Friday, February 06, 2009

Fat Lazy Korean Mom

I'm pretty sure that I'm usually the rude neighbor. I can't think of a time when I have been the quiet one and I'm certain that I am quick to react when a neighbor, regardless of my past behavior, acts in a way that I percieve as rude.

My last year and a half of college I decided it was time to live solo, so I moved into a house that was divided into four apartments. It was decent place. I was upstairs, had a back deck and huge windows throughout the place. It was great except for my big fat neighbor who called herself "Trish the Dish." She was far from a "dish". I remember her voice. It was deep, man-ish and southern. It sounded like she was always talking into a hallowed out pumpkin or some other gourd-like squash.

She claimed she to have graduated years before, although you wouldn't know it if you spoke to her (which was one of my least favorite things to do). I remember going to great lenths to avoid suffering through a conversation with her about the next Widespread Panic show. Nearly every night, she would be up to something and it usually involved lots of people in her apartment doing various illegal activties BLARING Panic. When I entered college I was a pretty heavy sleeper, but as time progressed I became less and less so. Therefore, this behavior really pissed me off. She would be doing this at like 4am on Tuesday night. I mean, shit, come on. Of course, in Korea, fat American women from the south do exist, but luckily, I don't have to live below them. I do, however, live below a fat Korean woman.

As far as neighbors go, most of them here seem to be pretty polite. I've manged to continue my loud behavior this whole time with zero complaints. Well, for the past six months, 고 and I have had to deal with this fat Korean woman with a three year old son living above us. At first, they didn't really seem to make too much noise, but the last three months have been brutal. Both 고 and I start work very early in the morning, so we try to be in bed by 10:30 or 11:00pm every night and even then we're only getting 6-7 hours. This wouldn't be that bad really, except for the piss poor mother above us decides that 11:00pm is an appropriate time for her child to start playing. And by playing, I mean run back and forth throughout the entire apartment. We have the same layout, so I can hear everything and can visualize him running from the bedroom to the kitchen, back to the bedroom and then to the living room before returning to the bedroom where he does what guess to be a huge belly flop on to his little floor mattress.

When it first started happening, we sucked it up and gave her the benefit of the doubt. Her husband lives in Canada, she has no job and stays in her pajama's all day, so maybe she was having a few problems or her son was adjusting poorly to something. But as time went on, it became clear that she was a lazy mother who didn't enforce any rules. Luckily, she speaks English, so I went up there after a particularly noisy evening. I knocked on the door and she immediatley knew who I was and why I was there. The tried to apologize while smiling, but I cut her off and told her what needs to happen: no running around after 10pm. She panicked a bit and then played victim. She told me she couldn't control him and called him over to the door where we were talking.

"Can you tell him to be quiet?" she asked.

Are you kidding me? You want me to tell your three year old son who doesn't speak English to shut up. Sure, I could have told him in Korean, but why the hell is it my responsibilty?

I left feeling like I was just taken by a salesman. Nothing was accomplished and she managed to make me feel somewhat responsible for the noise that I assumed would continue. It did. It got worse and worse and one night at midnight they were stomping around. I stormed up there with the ire of Zeus (but probably more like Hera) and told her that this is not going to happen anymore. She tried all sorts of manuevers, but I was blocking them left and right. She was defeated and stayed quiet for a month.

But it slowly started again about two weeks ago. One night, it sounded like she was letting her son bounce a ball in the bedroom, which is of course, over our bedroom. I was too pissed to go up there and yell again, so I decided there was only one option. I had to take action.

I went into our kitchen, flipped over our table and started unscrewing one of the legs. 고 was telling me to stop, but there was no other option. This selfish woman did not care about anyone and was only going to understand direct action.

After collecting myself a bit, I told 고 what I was about to do and she okayed it. She thought it might be a little extreme, but we needed to sleep. Maybe we weren't thinking straight because of the deprevation, but it made sense at the time. As you might imagine, it takes a lot of courage and strength (both physical and mental) to use the table leg in such a forceful way. I kissed 고 and closed the bedroom door so she wouldn't hear anything.

Moments later I was ready. I took the table leg in hand and swung it hard. Nothing happened. They were still moving around. I did it again and again. They continued shuffling about. Finally, summoning all my strength, I banged the ceiling as hard as I could.

Silence. It worked. They got the message. I returned to bed and never spoke of that day again...until the next night and the next one and the next one. Apparently, Fat Lazy Korean Mom decided to use the banging as a timer, telling her when playtime is over for her son. It was okay. When we went to bed, we gave a couple bangs and then she would shut up.

Well, yesterday, we put the table leg away because they moved out. Now, we're waiting to see who moves in next and what piece of furiture I have to bang with. And to tell the truth, the table leg is about all we got.


Harriet said...

What a great story! Thanks for the pictures for the help with a visual and also to see a peek of your apartment. Glad she is gone.

Kristin had a family over her in Texarkansas that made quite a bit of noise also. Not sure she ever tried the table leg trick!

Rmeis said...

This is a great post! Man i hated Trish the Dish.

Roboseyo said...

awesome story. thanks for the write-up.