Friday, September 03, 2010
Life can be so complicated
The past few weeks have been crazy.
Everything came at us at the same time. It felt like even before one wave receded, the next one crashed over us. Like a tsunami. We experienced exactly what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 42:7 "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me."
First it was the ex-landlord. We had to clean, re-clean, paint, re-paint the house until it was in a "tip-top" condition. Oh boy, this was beyond what I ever understood about having a "reasonable" level of cleanliness when you hand your apartment over to your landlord. Hubby and I were at our wits' end when ex-landlord didn't stop complaining about how "dirty" our apartment was. FYI, when we got the apartment 4 years ago, my mother-in-law had to scrub and clean the entire place because it was filthy!
Hubby is usually very calm, cool and collected. Like a cucumber. But he told me that those last 2 conversations he had with the ex-landlord ended up becoming a "shouting" meltdown.
Anyway, that's over now and we have got back our deposit for our apartment - finally!!!
Then, it was / is the new landlord's parents.
Our landlord is nice, but she lives 2 hours away. Her parents are a nightmare. I don't know what overcame them. When we were still prospective tenants, they were extremely sweet and polite. They even invited us into their apartment to take a look.
After we moved in, its like a Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde transformation. Out came the horns.
Today, I took advantage of the beautiful sunshine to play my guitar on the balcony - which is the first time I ever did it after living here for more than a month. Before I could start playing, the old man, let's call him Mr Hyde said in a most sarcastic and rude manner, "The neighbour downstairs works the night shift the entire week and is sleeping. You'd better play the guitar in your house". I said, "Oh, I didn't know. Don't even know that guy personally." And I took my guitar into my house and played my guitar behind closed windows.
After playing I went out to my balcony again and wanted to read my Bible in the sunshine.
Mr Hyde was still there and continued ranting on and on about what he had already told me.
He: "The whole week. The neighbour below works the whole week! Besides, you are not allowed to play the guitar from noon to 3pm, according to the law. Do you understand, Mrs T.!"
Me: "Yes, I understand. Besides, I didn't play the guitar at noon. I played it before noon"
He: "Yeah, just so you know! The neighbour downstairs works the entire week until 6am..."
Me: "Alright then, you told me before and I played the guitar indoors"
He: "You should not do anything in your house that the other neighbours can hear. And there should be absolute silence from noon to 3pm"
Me: (Thinking to myself, this is ridiculous. I can hear the TV from the neighbours and when they smoke, I can smell the smoke in my house too, but I don't say anything)
So I said "Yes, that's why I played it in the morning at 11am plus and not noon time!!!"
He: "You should only play after 3pm."
Me: "I don't play the guitar everyday but I have to practise. And I can't only play after 3pm because I have to work in the afternoons too"
He: (couldn't stop nagging and repeating himself like a broken tape recorder)
(I finally couldn't take his nonsense anymore, so I walked back into my apartment and left him talking to himself. I decided that the next time he chooses to nag at me, while I'm enjoying the sunshine on MY balcony, I will tell him that this is my private house and I don't want to talk to him.)
This is the same neighbour that refuses to allow us to put our shoes outside our main door. Once, hubby's shoes were wet because it was raining. So he left his one pair of shoes outside to dry. The next morning, someone had taken the shoes from the corner (where it was left) and placed them directly in front of the main door, perpendicular to it - like a subtle reminder of "You better bring your shoes in".
Hello? Its only one pair of shoes!
And guess what? We have 3 bicycles and no garage. And we are only allowed to leave them next to the garden, where there is no roof. Hence, whenever it rains, the bicycles are always wet. There is a part of the garden with a shelter, but our landlord said that we can't put our bicycles there because its meant for people to hang their clothes there.
In the 1 month that we've been there, the clothes line was only used twice! And the old couple can somehow leave their summer table and chairs under the roof but we can't leave our bicycles there???
How ridiculous is that?
Thirdly, the job front hasn't been a bed of roses either, (which I don't expect any job to be), but that still contributed to yet another wave on my shores.
On top of it all, we've had so much work to do with our new apartment that hubby and I have had to pull ourselves together to not snap at each other. This is why we were so thankful to have the Munich trip, just to get back our sanity.
We know that where the will of God leads us, the grace of God will keep us. So we trust that somehow in the midst of all this crazyness, God is working out His purposes in us. Definitely a time of molding and giving up our rights.
Guess what? After that horrible episode(s) with Mr. Hyde, I had an awesome day teaching at school. Every hour I taught was such a blessing! The students were great and funny, and time flew by so quickly! So yeah. I can testify that God does give grace (power) to the weak. He knows how much I can take and He encouraged my heart so big time after that unpleasant experience.