A Short Letter to My Noisy Neighbours

A house in Wellington, New Zealand.

Dear Gay Guy Who Lives Upstairs,

It’s with much regret that I must inform you that you are not an owl. I’m sure this will come as some surprise to you. After all, you seem to spend the majority of your time hooting loudly. Still, from what I have seen, you don’t possess wings or feathers, so I assume you could try to spend a little less time shrieking.

It saddens me that the only way I can describe you is as “gay.” I don’t wish to make this about your sexuality. In fact, I don’t even really know if you’re gay. I’m just guessing. Maybe it’s the fact I’ve listened to you singing Disney songs at the top of your feminine lungs every day for the last 6 months. Or possibly because I can hear your high-heels stomping across my ceiling.

I wish I could say you were the only one I need to speak to, but there’s also Heterosexual Guy Whose Bedroom Is Above Mine. Tell him I take great pleasure in waking up at 2am on weeknights to hear him having sex with his girlfriend. His meticulous pounding rocks my ceiling so hard that often I’m positive another large earthquake has hit New Zealand. But alas, I think an earthquake may last a little longer and possibly do a better job at pleasing his girlfriend. She’s obviously faking it.

Still, he’s not nearly as bad that girl living with you, Girl Who Talks Loudly. Tell her she doesn’t need to shout. I can hear her, and I don’t even live in the same house!

I eagerly await her waking me up every Saturday morning as she walks by my bedroom window with her friends. Really, who doesn’t want to get woken at 4am every weekend? I should feel grateful.

Tell her that although I acted politely, I really didn’t enjoy the time when she came home in a drunken stupor cracking her head open on the stairs outside. I appreciate it was an emergency, a genuine reason to wake me. But I wasn’t too fond of standing in the rain waiting for her ambulance for 45 minutes.

But I’m glad it happened, because it proved to you all that somebody lives below you. A friendly neighbour you can count on when you’re too drunk to ring the emergency services.

I guess you soon forgot about my existence because every night since then you’ve decided nobody would be bothered by your blaring of music late into the night.

If I said it wasn’t all about the noise, I’d be lying. Thank you for your ever present need to rearrange furniture at midnight. It must really move the dust around. Maybe you should wait a few hours until you vacuum? Oh, you already do! Sorry for the suggestion.

I wish you all luck in your endeavour to become professional basketball players. Jumping around, bouncing any object in sight on your floor. It doesn’t anger me at all. I don’t fall asleep some nights fantasising about punching you all in the face. That would be crazy!

I’m also impressed by your determination to workout each day. I can appreciate how hard it must be for you to jump up and down as much as you do. Especially on those tough hardwood floors. It must really hurt your knees.

Although I have loved living beneath you, I’m sorry to say I’ll be moving out soon. Maybe you can have a house party until 3 in the morning to celebrate?

Best wishes and warm regards,

Your friendly neighbour.

 House photo by


  1. Karen says

    I feel your pain Daniel. I too hate noise. I especially hate other people’s noise. I of course do not not begrudge anyone the freedom of expression within their own living space… but when your noise is spilling over into my living space then you are effecting my freedom of expression. I like to express myself in a quiet peaceful environment. I cannot express enough how much I hate noise. I have rancid childhood memories of nightly wanting to put a pillow over my mother’s face to dull the hideous, high pitched ’40 red band a day’ snore that that bellowed through the walls and reverberated through my spine hitting every nerve. Some might say that is unreasonable but then some obviously don’t hate noise like I hate noise. If noise were toothache then I’d be an over sized molar. And so.. funnily enough we too are moving home in the next few days, and to complete the trio of coincidence… I too have a unnecessarily noisy neighbour. And she’s been unnecessarily noisy for quite some time now. It started with the builders… they 6 months of refurbishment before she moved in. Drilling. Banging. Banging. Drilling. Hammering. Drilling. Early starts. Late finishes. Few extra hours at the weekend. Banging. Drilling. And then came the parties…. the house warmings (plural), the friends visiting for the weekend, the girlie catch ups. The shrill of over excited drunken chatter. The outbursts of random screams of laughter. Every long weekend cycling into another long weekend. But then best. The recent addition of unnecessarily noisy sex. Unnecessarily noisy new boyfriend sex at that. 5 am 6 am 6 pm 5 pm 2.30am 2.30pm 7 11 4 am pm am am am pm sitting room kitchen bedroom spare room stairs kitchen bedroom. ROUND THE FKIN CLOCK!! Now the frequency of which she wishes to indulge in, what is indeed a most basic animal instinct, is her own business. But the audio levels involved here unfortunately make it my business. I sure we as a species should have evolved adequately enough to eradicate noise. If only we could go about thinking at people. If only my neighbour could could think her fake orgasims instead of squealing them into my audio zone…

    Good luck with the next move to you both. And hopefully to more ‘sound’ considerate neighbours.

    • Anxious Travelers says

      Oh man, I can empathise a lot with EVERYTHING you’ve said. I’ve got many a memories of going camping with my parents when I was a kid and being in tears of frustration because I was lying right beside them while they snored in my ear. I don’t think there’s any sound in the world worse than the sound of snoring! Especially when you think it’s finished, and you relax, then it starts back up again.

      I think I’ve basically decided that I’m going to have to live in the countryside without any neighbours, that’s the only way I’ll manage! Like you, I just can’t stand noise and it really really bothers me. If there’s even the slightest noise from upstairs then I can’t sleep at night. I just lie there seething! It gets me so angry.

      I’m amazed at how much pure hatred I can feel for my neighbours despite the fact I’ve never even had a conversation with them. I’m convinced they must all be complete twats simply because they’re so noisy and in my mind inconsiderate. In reality they probably don’t realise, but I also think “HOW CAN YOU NOT REALISE!?!” Whenever they’re blaring music I fantasise about knocking on their door, then bringing them down to my flat and seeing if they think their music is at an acceptable level.

      I once knocked on their door and (surprise surprise) nobody answered. Probably because they couldn’t hear me knocking! I’ve also been tempted to put and tape an itunes voucher to their door along with a note saying “Buy yourself some better music!”

      Good luck with your move!

  2. says

    Oh dear! This makes me feel luky about my current and previous situations with neighbours. The only noise problems I have had have not even really problems – the people above my last flat had parties fairly regularly, which I’m totally fine with in theory but the crappy building meant that people dancing around my room made the floor sound like it was about to collapse onto me and the previous neighbours next to my current apartment were a couple that had daily arguments in a very angry sounding language. My boyfriend and I would be pressing our ears against the wall trying to determine the language or glean some sort of insight into what they were fighting about, all in vain – I do wonder where they are now, though.

    I worry about my own neighbourly behaviour. I think I too need to find somewhere where I’m not sharing a wall or floor/ceiling with anyone as I am one who would like to loudly sing songs (including Disney ones), but of course I don’t for my neighbours’ (and my dignity’s) sake.

    • Anxious Travelers says

      I blame the old houses here in New Zealand. The lack of insulation means you can pretty much hear through your walls easily. When they play music upstairs, they may as well be playing it in our house as we can hear it clearly.

      I hope they don’t listen to us arguing. But if they can hear that, hopefully they can also hear when I’m angrily bitching about them…


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