Friday, August 27, 2010

The Noise Situation

T oday they are jackhammering the balconies off our side of the building next door. Charming! Anyway, it reminded me to post an update of the situation! The Mieterverein advised us that it was within our right to withhold 20% of our (warm) rent from the landlord as long as this is going on. We would also be allowed to ask for the money back retroactively for all the months we already endured. However, we felt this was unfair to spring on the landlord, so we only plan to do it from here on. However we did tell him we'd be happy to see that money if he manages to get it in damages from the construction company. Since we informed him of the problem he has joined up with the Hausverwaltung and some other pissed-off residents of our building in trying to get some kind of compensation from the construction company. The guy we talked to from the Hausverwaltung hinted that it had been thus far unpleasant and there is absolutely no sign yet of when the end of the construction will be. Wish I could say when we know we are leaving Heidelberg so we could make some kind of decision as to whether to bother moving, but no, we know nothing and have no idea when we will know anything, so we are really stuck. 20% off the rent is nice, but it doesn't cover up the sound of a jackhammer at 7:30 in the morning.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Endearing German Habit Alert!!


This guy is eating his double burger with a knife and fork (as was the other person he was with).
Actually, he could be French. I heard they do this too.

Monday, August 02, 2010

How close is the jackhammering to my apartment?

(Photo removed, but trust me, IT'S CLOSE)

Guys, I can't take it any more. The guy in the red shorts is jackhammering, and the photo is from inside my living room.

This has been going on for months. They start around 7am Monday through Saturday. It goes until around 5pm (I think they quit earlier on Saturday). The only day of peace is Sunday. Sundays have seriously become a holy day around here. They are glorious. Imagine, we used to have that kind of peace EVERY SINGLE DAY!! I can't imagine it anymore. Jackhammering is just part of it, but it seems to be a project where jackhammering is the biggest part of the job right now. There's also hammering, scraping, drilling/buzzing, you name it. Nothing can cover up the noise - not closing the windows (and baking in our hot apartment), not putting on white noise, not wearing noise-cancelling headphones, not cranking the music. I can only escape by going in the bathroom, closing the door, and running the fan in there. For whatever reason we have a really sturdy bathroom door. And it looks like it will be continuing for months, as the progress on the building, which is being completely gutted and renovated, is moving at a snail's pace.

On top of this, our road has been closed since we returned from the US in May and is intermittently another source of jackhammering and other construction noise. That's going to be another long-ass project.

Since we don't even know how much longer we'll be in Heidelberg - it could be anything from a couple of months to a couple of years - putting a lot of money into moving across town (and then having none left to move again right after) doesn't seem feasible. You know, unless we can get the construction company to pay for it. Oh, I'm sure our landlord would be thrilled at trying to find a new renter with all this shit going on.