“Love thy neighbour”… unless they are psychotic. This year, I have moved into what is referred to as a “digs” in the student world with 3 of my best friends. Usually, a digs is distinguishable by its wild, joyous nature and one can expect noise, parties and very late nights from such accommodation.
However, my friends and I decided to move into a small complex populated with retired citizens and, having done this knowingly, we were prepared to have less of a “wild” year than most in exchange for the safe environment we received as well as a maintained pool and garden.
This being said, we did not expect the treatment we have received. It has been made clear to us that the landlord did not inform the inhabitants of the complex that students were moving into their silent paradise. As a result of their misinformed situation, we are feeling the brunt of their frustration as they attempt to catch us out for whatever they can in order to have sound reasoning for wanting to boot us.
This is just a small taste of the complaints we have received thus far:
1. The Nudity Complaint
Though I am sure your imagination is running wild right now, this is not what you think. It can be said, nonetheless, that if there were to be any one of the 4 of our digs that would receive a complaint as ridiculous as this, it would be me. The complaint went down in so many words:
“The girl in 13 was walking to the pool naked and it is inappropriate considering the number of male residents in the complex”
You know what? Fair enough. If I were in fact naked this would be a very reasonable complaint. However, the discomfort I appear to have caused was instead a result of wearing my bikini to the pool with a towel wrapped around me such that it would seem, based on the bikini top’s strapless nature, I was not wearing anything underneath.
Let us pretend, for a moment, that I was not wearing anything underneath the towel. The fact that I was wrapped in a towel in the first place means that I was not naked and quite frankly it is a really unperceptive, unintelligent assumption to make on seeing someone strolling to a swimming pool.
2. The “bras in the garden” complaint
Again, this complaint was directed at me. I was on this occasion reprimanded for “leaving my bras scattered across the garden”. I will give it to them: someone’s lingerie strewn across your lawn is a cause for distress especially considering how much this community value their garden, which is made evident by the signposts around that state: “Picking is stealing”.
However, there were neither “bras”, nor was there a single “bra”, anywhere near their dear shrubbery. There was instead a bikini top in the bush outside my room that was blown, in a gust of wind, from my washing line.
Dearest neighbours, if you ever read this, I hope you feel really embarrassed. Surely you know the difference between nothing, a bra and a bikini? Surely you have lived in Cape Town for long enough that you know the wind is ruthless and spares no bra or bikini alike?
3. The High School Musical complaint
My digsmates and I can do nothing but apologise for this one. At 8pm on a Thursday night, while most students were out in town tearing up “Thirsty Thursday” drink specials, we were at home in our living room, in our pyjamas, singing “Breaking Free” from High School Musical at the top of our lungs. Yes, alright, we share a wall with the woman next door and this is probably not the most considerate (or mature) thing we could have been doing.
In our defence, I feel it is totally reasonable to sing in the comfort of your own living room. Additionally, I only hope that this neighbour will one day realise how much worse the situation could have been. There could have been an additional 50 people to our 4, it could have been 4 hours later and the song could have been a lot worse than “Breaking Free”.
The list really does go on in terms of complaints.
We have parked in visitor’s parking bays despite being told that parking was “first come first serve”.
We have drunkenly stumbled home at 3am, lost our keys and shouted to each other to open the door. They can have that one.
We have flushed the toilet too loudly (how we can resolve this one is still the Mystery of the Month. Suggestions are welcomed).
We have slammed the doors too regularly.
We have neglected to show a keen interest in helping watering the gardens.
We have put our drying laundry on the patio thus “ruining the feel” of the complex.
I can only hope that once these old farts realise we are not going anywhere, that we are actually rather pleasant people who spend more time watching Mean Girls and singing High School Musical than we do throwing raging parties and that they are being very unreasonable, they will start to look to us for a vicarious way of living by watching how much we are enjoying our lives and our youth. Until then, watch this space for updates on our Digs Warming – we will hopefully have filtered horse tranquiliser through the water system by then. The theme will be “Naked and loud”. Also, we are offering R50 to whoever will vomit in the rose bushes and ring doorbells late at night (not that we haven’t done that already).