Sunday, 15 August 2010

Living Inside A Drum

This picture was taken on a snare drum.Image via WikipediaWe are temporarily renting in Auckland's Bucklands Beach and move to our own new house in a couple of weeks time.

A major  part of the decision to quit our condo in Singapore was the noise emanating from our neighbours, especially the Japanese tenants directly above us.

We found them a most inconsiderate race who refused to discuss any issue with their neighbours.  The staccato clack of their wooden footwear (geta) on the marble above our heads drove us to distraction at times, as did their propensity to chain smoke and flick their cigarette detritus into the apartments below.

So you would have thought we would have learned from our experience in Singapore.  Regrettably not, as the small one bedroom flat in which we are temporarily domiciled is directly below that of our landlord.

With two active children below school age their lifestyle is clearly not ours and the children running back and forth above us produces an effect similar to living inside a snare drum.

Singaporean children  are brought up to respect the rights of their neighbours and it rare to have their noise upsetting the social equilibrium of the condo or HDB community.

Perhaps this difference in attitude is these children are brought up to respect the rights of others?  There is no doubt that the lifestyle of children in New Zealand is a more active one and the climate is more conducive to hyperactivity.

As children in  a rural service town we were always running around outside on the grass lawn, playing games of rugby on the verge between the road and the house, riding bikes at breakneck speed up and down the pavement and generally causing mayhem.

But this activity was never allowed to upset the neighbours and  ceased once we were inside the house.  This style of parenting has regrettably been lost.  Respect for others is a learned skill, not a genetically pre-programmed attribute.

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