Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nostalgia and my neighbours

When I get really nostalgic I often think about my last two years in France, living in the apartment on 5 Rue Crépu. I loved that place, even if the heating was bad and in the winter I tended to study wrapped in 3 sweaters and a duvet, writing with fingerless gloves on.

I had the most eclectic, interesting neighbours. People who were noisy enough not to mind our noise. No one ever gave us trouble for having late night parties with loud music (not even when I decided to give the whole street my rendition of Mozart's Don Giovanni at 3am from the balcony).
Just underneath us, on the 3rd floor (European 3rd floor) there was a very old and very deaf lady who lived with her grandson. Her grandson (I cannot remember his name) would spend his days shouting at the top of his voice so that she could hear him (although I doubt she ever did). "Mémé!! NOOOON! Faut pas faire ça!!!". He was such a strange guy, in some ways like an adult child. But always really kind and friendly, even though we would spend most nights blasting loud music and having at least 3 friends, all clad in black with long hair over.
Across from the guy and his grandmother was the "Nosey Italian Woman". She would stand at her door and just grumble about "people of today" and if you got caught up in conversation with her you could never get away. She was such a gossip though - she was the one who gave away all of Mr 5th Floor's secrets to me just before I moved out.

Ahhh... Mr 5th Floor... He was the best. Every single night between the hours of midnight and 3am he would move his furniture around his apartment. Consistently every single night. In high heeled shoes. I could only imagine the scene. This guy was about 5'5", shaped like a cube, with a red face and big nose, dressed in high heels and rearranging his apartment. I don't think he ever uttered more than "Hello" to me in the two years I lived there!
Nosey Italian Woman let me in on his deepest (ha ha ha) secret one day: he supposedly dressed up in women's clothes at the weekend and hung out in Parc Paul Mistral at night (I will leave your imaginations to conjure up what happened there during the night...). I suppose all of the high-heeled wearing furniture antics were just him practicing how to prance around in heels.

My neighbours are all boring, predictable, annoying hipsters here. I don't remember any of them and would not recognise any of them if I bumped into them on the street. But I remember my neighbours from 5 Rue Crépu to this day. Eight years later.

1 comment:

CJR said...

Haha... Nosey Italian Woman!

this has just given me such strong images...