In my land there are regulations about how to behave in a condominium.
Those regulations are, I recon, to be followed.
Well, there are regulations and there are customs. They don´t always walk hand in hand.
As a foreigner I tried to follow the law just to make sure the neighbours would not kill me, the bloody foreigner that rocked the boat.
Every week I wash my clothes and try to dry them outside, when the weather is good. I have a huge balcony, which was at the beginning, and not until last year, open. Last year I put up a glass wall so now everything is closed if I like to, which I quite often do.
My neighbours, upstairs, have 2 days per week where the cleaner comes and among other things she does is washing the laundry. Unlike me she hangs the laundry outside the balcony.
This is understandable in a way, she gets more wind and the laundry dries faster. The problem though is that this is not allowed according to the Portuguese law. You can not hang your laundry further down than your balcony floor.
As you can see in the pictures above this is a bit, a BIT beneath their balcony floor and stretches down to my view from my balcony. I just have to reach up and can touch the linnen, which of course I don´t. I am a well behaved woman!
I discussed this problem with a friend of mine in Iceland. He suggested I cut the laundry, the cutting should be from my balcony ceiling and those upstairs would get the message.
Of course I did not cut anything. If had I would not be writing this, for sure I would either be in prison or dead. No doubt in my mind.
Even though I did think about it. I thought about cutting the bead sheet, I thought about it every week. I visualized it. It was real in my mind, but I did not act on, I did not dare.
Maybe you can spray a paint on it, said my friend.
I did not have any paint in my house and was definitely not going to spend money on the horrible, annoying clothes. No way.
One day, when I came home, this was on Friday, the sheets washing day, I heard a loud discussion above me. The mistress of the house was home and she was furious. What had happened? I was a bit scared. I had not done anything, I was sure of that. I had thought about it but thoughts don´t materialize, or do they? No, they don´t. I’m not that powerful.
Anyway, the lady upstairs was talking to the people living in next condominium. She was hanging her sheets out and making sure they got as far down to my balcony as possible.
She was telling the lady that I had put a red paint on their sheets!
This was too much. There was no red paint in my apartment and had never been. I did not have ANY paint at all. The painters had finished painting 2 years ago and my apartment was whitish.
Well, she was convinced that there was read paint on her sheets. I could not do anything about that. For several weeks the sheets you see in the pictures above, the yellow ones, she patted like a baby and hung again and again and again, always making sure it went as far as possible down to block my view.
She hated me, there was no doubt bout that. When I came home and she was leaving with her daughters she made sure the front door was closed. Closed in my nose. What a wonderful upbringing that was. I took out my keys and made sure that if I was leaving and she was coming home I left the front door open for her and even stood there until she had entered. I tried to be polite. That was my revenge.
The laundry does not go quite as far down as before, but now I have got a glass wall and her laundry washes the upper part of my glass. Does she hate me? I don´t think so, not anymore, but there is no lost love between us. The holy ones are nice and considerate, there is no doubt about that! There is no way that I am going take the blame when the laundry upstairs gets dirty while washing my windows. It is not my responsibility, not at all.
Isn,t life wonderful?