February 13th, 2008

It’s a pity that today has to end on such a sour note. I mean, a day in which this cold Ma passed on to me is taking hold, and when lzh presses the buzzer and I let her in the main door downstairs, I hear the old Canadian guy who lives downstairs hurling abuse at her and lzh giving back at least as good as she got.

Yeah, the bloody stupid bicycle wars are back on. Our bikes were always parked under the stairs out of the way with everybody else’s. Then one day my bike was found broken, then a new notice appeared on the door telling people to put their bikes outside. Nobody obeyed. Then mine and lzh’s bikes were put outside, but no other bike was so much as touched. lzh put her bike back inside, but I left mine out. I mean, it was free and a piece of junk. Mine disappeared, having been met by the stupidest bicycle thief in the world.

Then everything was fine until this evening when, on her way home, lzh bumped into the old Canadian who rumour told us may have been the one who broke my bike and pushed both bikes outside. He tried to close the door on lzh- real gentlemanly- and told her to stay outside. She asked why. He said she can’t bring her bike inside. She asked why. He said he tripped over it and hurt himself once.


The bike is put safely out of the way under the stairs and he trips over it and hurt himself? And so he develops this grudge against the bike and its owner? What?

Note: The other bikes were never touched. Only lzh’s (and mine before it got stolen) were ever touched. This even though all the bikes were tucked as safely under the stairs as was humanly possible.

I mean: How drunk do you have to be to fall over a bike that is tucked under stairs that are significantly lower than your head?

And how pathetic do you have to be to start a fight over it with a woman half your age and half your size? As I lifted up the intercom, I heard this fight and thought, oh shit, I’m gonna have to grab my shoes and keys and sprint downstairs to defend my wife from a guy who’s considerably larger than me. I ain’t much of a fighter. Fortunately things did not come to blows.

Oh, and start that fight months after the fact?

But what frustrates me most is that it’s all so utterly ridiculous. Had he tripped over my or lzh’s bikes and told us, we would’ve been more than happy to apologise and promise to be more careful about how we store our bikes. Is that not how disputes between civilised people are resolved?

So I guess the only thing to do is find some appropriate channel to resolve this. I mean, I’m not going to stoop to his level. We called up the accomodation management to complain about this guy’s behaviour and check on what the rules are and ask why only one person is expected to put her bike outside. lzh took quite some time to explain the situation, and eventually she was told that there is no rule banning bikes from being stored inside- so long as they don’t block the corridors, of course. We were told to contact the International Affairs Office, or whatever it’s called, but they aren’t back at work until the day after tomorrow. Typical. Anyway, that’s my job for the day after tomorrow.

Gah, such a stupid, pathetic, little issue. Of course, little issues like this have a habit of developing into even stupider, big issues. I would like to avoid that, if at all possible.

Oh, and how much should I read into lzh telling me she thought he was drunk when he started picking on her? Or into him refusing to come out and discuss things with her after he’d locked himself inside (and if we have to argue about safety and blocking corridors, shitferbrains can learn to close his security door). Or into the fact that foreign teachers’ bikes are left alone (apart from mine), while a tiny (but tough- dumbarse miscalculated big time) Chinese woman’s bike is thrown outside? Or that shitferbrains considers waiting until lzh is safely home before sneaking down and throwing her bike on top of the others, bending her basket and twisting her handlebars in the process?

Let’s get this straight: old Canadian nutjob looks to be about 60 and a hundred and something kilogrammes. Surely he can find a more mature way to deal with those  little frustrations that form a large part of life in an apartment building?

And really, picking a fight with someone half your age and literally half your size, and then sneaking out and throwing her bicycle around. Need I say more?

Alright, I’ve done more than enough ranting lately, and I’d rather not. Just want to get this off my chest, that’s all. Of course, if anybody has any constructive suggestions about how to deal with this guy, speak up.

2 Responses to “gah”

  1. John Says:

    Reminds me of this old South African we encountered at the one, only and last time I ever went to the Shamrock. He behaved like he owned one particular table and was rude and obnoxious to us and the staff.

    Your man sounds like a rather pathetic, petty-minded specimen, and yet another foreign male who continues the great tradition of making the rest of us look bad. I doubt whether there’s much you can do with such an intransigent neighbour without risking some prolonged pointless squabble – as you said. He appears to be determined to be a grumpy old bastard.

    As far as possible, avoid him.

  2. wangbo Says:

    I think your assessment is correct. Probably one thing I should’ve added is that he stayed here right through the summer, and at the beginning lzh and I tried to at least acknowledge his existence when we passed on the stairwell, but we were rewarded with a glare. So I guess he just took a disliking to us for whatever reason, and the bike was an excuse to bring that out in the open that night. Hah, just realised: That was the first time he’d spoken to either of us.