My Dancing Grandmother Nightmare

It all began easily enough.  The apartment was stunning.  It had a wide open layout, new fixtures, and an unbelievable view of the ocean and sandy beach. Zhuhai is known as the Chinese version of Hawaii, and it didn't disappoint. When we moved here from Dangguang the clarity of the air, the colors of the trees and the immaculate blue sky told us that we were living in heaven.

Of course, after going through about 20 or so apartments, when we found one right there on the beach, we just had to have it.  Not only did it possess a wide open airy layout, but it was cheap!  Indeed, it was a full 1000 RMB cheaper than a comparable apartment elsewhere in JiDa.

We couldn't wait to move in, and as soon as we had an opportunity we moved right in and made our selves at home.  By the end of the day, around 5:00pm we bought the movers a meal and then saying goodbye, and walked to our new home.

Taking the elevator up to the floor, we opened the door, and that was when we realized WHY the apartment was so cheap.

Outside our window, below our house, was the big public plaza that was constructed for people to conjugate before they walked onto the sandy beach.  And sitting right there, in the middle of it was the loudest sound box I had ever seen in my life.  It was about VW micro-bus size, and looked like a reused speaker from The Rolling Stones, with a collection of cobbled together amplifiers on top with a maze of high power wires and controls.  Not only was it sitting there, on at full blast, but it was pointed directly at our apartment.

Our windows were shaking with each verse of "Ni she wo de xia ya shao ping guo". And in front of it had to be around 200 dancing grandmothers (obviously with hearing problems) going through their dance routines.

I was stunned.

We had seen dancing grandmothers before.  Usually it was a quiet affair, with only a handful using a portable music machine. But this was on a completely different scale. First of all they were all wearing red and yellow costumes, and were dancing a choreographed routine from memory, but most importantly, they had somehow purchased the biggest, baddest and loudest noise maker this side of Hong Kong and were using it with absolute abandon.

I suppose I should of suspected that something was amiss when I saw the apartment price, but who would think that I would be distressed by little old grandmothers?

My wife went down to talk to them, but after an hour she came back with a perplexed look on her face.  All she could say was "they were like little children".  They just could not understand that their noise would disturb the residents of the area.

We later discovered, to our dismay that the "dancing grandmothers" rocked out to the same tape at two times every single day.  Their dancing routine began at 5:00 am until 9:00am, and then they walked back home to sleep.  Then they returned and rocked out from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. No wonder they were healthy.  Four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening.

Also, it was no wonder why they were hard of hearing.

We enduring that apartment, and after eleven months we quickly moved out of it to a much quieter location.  One, I might add,  we checked at numerous times to make sure there were no surprises.

The problem with the schedule that the dancing grandmothers had was it represented all of my waking free time while I was at home. During the time we lived at that house, we were never able to watch television without hearing the dancing grandmothers music, nor could we have a simple quiet conversation.

I hear that the apartment was quickly rented out after we left, but the new tenants broke their lease a month or two later and had to forfeit their deposit.  I can't say that I blame them.

Next time you see some costumed dancing grandmothers walking down a sidewalk and refusing to make way while you ring-a-ding your bicycle bell, have some understanding.  They are partially deaf from their daily exposure to disco-grandmother-music.

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