After hundreds of miles traveling on trains, trams, ferry boats and subways, the Two Crabs have returned home to "Londontown." From Amsterdam, we took a 90 minute train down to the Hook of Holland, then boarded our boat for the 4-hour crossing of the North Sea to Harwich, England, followed by another 90 minute train ride to downtown London. It's been about 12 hours and we still feel like we're bobbing from side-to-side from the train/boat movement. I have no balance!
Home sweet home. Our flat was still there so things were looking up. Just glad to have a shower and clean clothes. But then about 11pm it started...CA-CHUNK. CA-CHUNK. CA-CHUNK. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. "Put your hands up in the air and yell WAA-OOO" BOOM BOOM BOOM.
You see, our new flat is directly next door to a nightclub. This is NOT something that was disclosed to us by our letting agent (They are called Copping Joyce. Don't use them. THEY SUCK. I call them "Conning Joy"). The restaurant next door was called Fez, it used to be a Moroccan restaurant that started a dodgy dance club in their basement as an after-thought. Even though we are located two floors above and over from the club, the noise seeps up through the walls of our 105-year-old building. When we first moved there in August, we called the Islington "Noise Police," who came over and took noise level measurements.
For a while things got quieter, and a new owner has taken over. We've luckily had good relationships with the new owner but we notice the club has been slowly turning up the volume night-by-night, perhaps testing our limits. Last night was the last straw. Apparently during our week away, they cranked the dial as far as it would go because you could literally feel the bass of the music in your chest and on the walls and floorboards. Mr. Crab went down at 1am and kindly asked the owner to turn it down, which he did. But later it got loud again. At four-o-frackin in the morning, Mrs. Crab went down and practically dragged the club owner upstairs so he could hear the noise from our bedroom. As he stood in our hallway, he had a look on disgust his face as if to say, "What? I don't hear anything" (surely half-deaf from years of working in nightclubs) and complained that he had already turned the music down three times in three hours.
I'm sure he's now beginning to think that we are the stereotypical "arrogant pushy Americans." Frankly, I don't give a damn. He has repeatedly promised to soundproof the walls but now he says that won't happen until January at the earliest.
We don't want to move because we love the flat itself. But there is also very little we can legally do. In this country, landlords have all the power and renters have practically zero rights. In the meantime, we'll keep dealing with the landlord directly and, if need be, the noise police. Until then, we are...
SLEEPLESS IN LONDONTOWN