On Friday morning I had a "pool date" with Dutch Twinkle. We spent an hour swimming leisurely lengths and chatting as the pool gradually filled up with people. It was a somewhat interrupted swim, as the fogger (the twice-weekly insecticide for mosquitoes) came round at one point and we had to get out and find a smoke-free bit of air to breathe. A pile of maids and mothers brought their small children into the shallow end, and we were serenaded with "The Wheels on the Bus" ad nauseam. I think I preferred 99 Red Balloons!
Then a proper swimmer got in. You know the sort: swimming goggles on, powers up and down the pool in a focussed and professional way that gives the illusion that mowing down slower swimmers and children is actually acceptable. After he'd missed me by inches for the second time, DT told him off. He apologised but the shaking head and goggle-magnified rolling eyes negated any sentiment. And off he went again in the same manner. We swam a few widths to get in his way purposely, then got bored with being childish and got out.
DT told me some interesting things though. One night in March last year when DH was away, I was disturbed by this terrific banging, vibrating noise that shook the bathroom walls and drowned out the TV. It was completely impossible to sleep through even with ear-plugs, because I was feeling rather than hearing it. I got dressed again and went to investigate. It seemed to be coming from the apartment below on floor 18. I met another lady from floor 17 with a very heavy Korean accent. She was panicking that something was going to catch fire, come down through her ceiling, explode and flood her apartment - barking mad. She said that she'd called the police!
This seemed rather extreme, but I joined her as we went and joined her husband who was talking to security. It was nothing to do with me, but what else was I going to do? Sit and listen to that racket all night? Nobody could raise the residents of the apartment although we could see lights on. The police weren't allowed to break in, however hysterical #17 got. We were all sent back to bed - haha. At around 4am the noise stopped and I guessed someone had made contact with the residents and dealt with it. The following day I heard the unmistakeable sounds of workmen and plumbers, and that night I slept. Good, sorted.
A few months later DH was again away, and I was woken up at 1am by shouting, screaming, the crashing of furniture. I listened for a while thinking someone was having a moving-in/out fight. They happen here: moving is stressful. But this went on and on. I got dressed and went to call security. I could see all the lights on in Hysterical #17's apartment. I should point out here that I'm 2 floors away on the 19th! It took 20 minutes for the security guard to wake up his colleague to come and relieve him at the front gate, but finally we were on our way back. We listened outside the apartment. The lights were still on but the noise had died down. My friend the security guard was very nice and told me to ring the gate if I was disturbed again. I didn't hear anything more.
So back to DT's gossip. Firstly, he has heard Heffalump Child and its marbles. From 2 floors down. He only realised that it wasn't me after I whinged to him about it. Good, if I ever meet these people I can now say something. Maybe I'll go and call on them when we move out. :)
Secondly, he calls Hysterical #17 the "maid-beater". He says it's a monthly thing, although I don't know whether that coincides with salary payment or a clash of hormones. We already know that the police can't do anything in a situation that's classed as "domestic", so nothing can be done to help. I wonder why the maid stays with them. Now that's drahmah duckie.