Sunday, May 6, 2012


We had some new neighbors move in.  A few days later the most horrible smell arose in the hallway.  A few more days later the smell was so overpowering that I was gagging in my own living room.  Finally I sent SB to investigate the smell and discovered that it was all coming from a pair of shoes that sat in the large shoe rack that the new neighbors had installed in our shared entryway.  We had to ask them to move the damn shoes.  Frankly, I thought it was pretty suspect to place their shoe rack right outside of our door instead of if they were trying to keep the shoe smell away from their own door.

The old woman of the household plays mahjong all day long, every day of the week.  Every. Single. Day.  She leaves the door open.  It doesn't really bother me; I kind of like the sound and she starts in the early afternoon and and finishes by early evening.  She has some goofy friends.  One of them wandered into our home the other morning.  I guess SB and I should lock the front door when we're having breakfast in our underwear.  Mahjong lady seems very friendly unlike her children, smelly shoe man and his wife.

Today another neighbor went to the flat and had a long conversation in Cantonese with the new neighbors.  I recognized a few words and assume that she was asking the new neighbor to close the front door when cooking up fish and other pungent foods.  I was relieved because I really didn't want to have to knock on their gate and complain about the fish smells after already complaining about the revolting shoes.  The relief was short lived because they reopened their door five minutes after the neighbor left.  And then they had a big fight in the hallway, followed by one of them stomping off and the other turning the television up. 

My umbrella is also missing.  I've never lost an umbrella from my front door before but I have no proof so it could just be a coincidence.


Gweipo said...

A friend in HK has neighbors who smoke pungent cigars every night on the balcony that adjoins their balcony - it stinks and means they can hardly use their balcony anymore or leave the door open as the smell seeps into their house!

architart said...

Yes, it's unfortunate that people can't enjoy their spaces because of smells or sounds that cause nuisance. The shoe smell is back and we are looking for a new home as we see that this is going to be an ongoing issue.

Foamier said...

A good way to discourage people from treating the common areas as their own is to borrow one of the shoes, always remembering of course to return it a couple of months later.

architart said...

I like your idea but I can't even stand to even think about touching those smelly shoes. On the other hand, we purchased a brie that has been tainting the air of our refrigerator in a revolting manner and SB wants to hang it from our doorknob- where the missing umbrella used to rest after use.