My Warring Havana Neighbors

Nonardo Perea

A "solar" tenement in Havana. Foto: Eladio Reyes
A “solar” tenement in Havana. Foto: Eladio Reyes

HAVANA TIMES — It’s said that what a writer sitting in front of a blank page needs is for his muse to come down and inspire him. I don’t put much stock in that. What I personally need to write a good story is absolute peace and quiet, only then can I get creative.

Ever since three of my adorable neighbors decided to wage war amongst themselves, peace and quiet is the least I’ve had of late. I live in a tenement building and, regrettably, my apartment is located right in the middle, surrounded by seven other homes.

Before, they were the best of friends, confidents who visited each other frequently and even spent New Year’s and other celebrations together. They prepared stews together out in the courtyard and it was all a bed of roses…but all good things come to an end, and not always a good end.

Now, two of them have made a habit of playing loud music every day.

If one’s playing a song by Jose Jose, the other plays the worst of Cuban reggaeton. This music competition starts at nine in the morning, at the latest. They then take a break, at noon, to have lunch, I assume, and the music starts again at around two in the afternoon. This musical war is horrible because, even though I shut my door and windows, it seems I have the singers in the living room of my house and I can’t get any work done. Right now, as I write this post, I have the Chacal and Yakarta coming in through one ear and Spanish singer Malu through the other (one is more romantic than the other, it seems).

This war between them doesn’t spare the neighbors. Day after day, we have to endure this situation, for, as many say, this is quite simply a Cuban tenement and, when one lives in a Cuban tenement, one has to put up with everything. No social norms are respected, not only because we live in a tenement, but because we live in Cuba.

I wonder if something similar happens in other countries.

2 thoughts on “My Warring Havana Neighbors

  • Even in the U.S. unfortunately.

  • Does it happen elsewhere? Of course it does.

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