>If you should ever move to Europe, there is something you should know before you start inadvertently pissing off your neighbors — many areas have what’s called Ruhezeit, or quiet time, usually between 12 and 2 pm, as well as pretty much all of Sunday. This is when small children (and old people) take their naps, and is considered very important for the communal well-being of the apartment building. This doesn’t mean you can’t go about normal activities, but you shouldn’t throw loud parties, mow the lawn, or hammer a bookshelf together during this time, without getting an OK from the people who will have to listen to it.
A couple in Innsbruck have discovered that one of their neighbors, in response to their use of the washing machine on a Sunday — once, back in January — didn’t bother to complain to them but instead went straight to the local authorities. Last week, seemingly out of the blue, they got a €200 fine in a mail.
I am very grateful to live in a multikulti building, with all sorts, where most people are out during the day and the retirees are too deaf (really) to notice the washing machine. Although I don’t have to worry about this at the moment as my washing machine died last month. Waiting for my next paycheck before I went to buy a new one, I started handwashing everything (even jeans and bedsheets) and found it, astonishingly, not so unpleasant. I don’t know whether this is discovering the joys of pioneer living or just being a miser, but I may just hang on until there are sales!
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