What’s going on above us

We live in an apartment block caught up in controversy, but protests haven’t stopped the developer adding another storey. To the untutored eye the building looks a bit too crumbly to support the load gradually being added above our heads.

For months now, the courtyard has been commandeered by blokes using a small concrete mixer and a pulley system to transport loads of whatever up five stories. It takes us a while to realise that it’s not just a replastering job. Their taptaptapping begins at 7am and sometimes goes on till 7pm. One morning after heavy rain there is loud swooshing at 4am as they sweep water off what looked like totally inadequate tarpaulinage. 

We go out on an afternoon photo shoot to record what’s happening. Passersby slow down and crane their necks, wondering what we’re looking at with such intensity. Reticent J clambers on a bench occupied by two lads eating watermelon to get a better view, an invasion of space he’d never consider in Australia. (My window is the one marked by the red bag.)

We really begin to take notice when we get a spatter of soot and small bits of debris through the vent above the stove.

We cover the kitchen vent. 

We go away  for a week to Grójec Wielki, and return fatigued and ready to crash. When J goes into his bedroom he discovers a litter of debris on the floor, the vent half full of solid bits, and all his bedding soot-impregnated. Instead of an early night he finds himself vacuuming and mopping. 

We cover the bedroom vent.

A week later a noise outside the living room window draws us and we find the arm of a rusty and definitely non-state-of-the-art concrete mixer leering at us as it extends upwards. One load is poured, the mixer leaves, and we decide the worst is over. 

 A loud cascade of fragments tumbles down through the wall cavity. 



We have no more vents to cover.

 

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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15 Responses to What’s going on above us

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Good grief, I’ve never heard of such a thing, I hope the building is safe. Judging by the condition of the walls around the windows, some maintenance would be a better idea, I suppose a landlord is trying to maximise income rather than thinking about the future. I hope none of the apartments are privately owned. I hope you’re not breathing in dust Meg, this wouldn’t be allowed over here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our apartment is privately owned, a family one inherited by the current owner, who’s been more than obliging. It’s obviously allowed here, and although I have chronic slight asthma, we have plenty of air to dilute the soot, it was mainly in J’s room, AND the vents are now blocked. I’m not suffering, just telling a good story! We though of moving when noise was the main issue, but it’s far too convenient to family.

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  2. Sue says:

    Sounds appalling, Meg…..and I second Gilly’s comments. Is there no way you can find anything out from the landlord?

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  3. Rosemary Barnard says:

    This is dreadful, and, as things stand, all yours for the next six months. I once lived in a house in Malaysia where the landlord was doing renovations all around me, but nothing as bad as your situation seems, mainly an intrusion into my privacy. However, it was bad enough to move to another house nearby when the opportunity arose. I hope that you won’t have any health issues arising from the dust falling out of those vents.

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    • It’s not unmanageably dreadful: just another adventure in Polish living! No intrusion into our actual privacy, my health is good, and building work tends to stop in winter. Moving to another place is unthinkable for reasons of twins. Sophie offered to waive a month’s rent but we said an emphatic no.

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  4. restlessjo says:

    Sounds a bit of a nightmare, Meg, though you’re making the best of it. Mick wouldn’t sleep at nights and I suspect J might feel a bit the same way? I shall send my hugs in a plastic bag so they don’t get dusty! 🙂 🙂

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  5. Heyjude says:

    Looks decidedly dodgy to me and I would be worried whether the foundations can support that extra weight. The whole lot could come tumbling down! I know you are making light of this, but i’d be seriously looking for a new apartment to move in to. You will be no good to the twins if you have several storeys fall on top of you!

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  6. findingnyc says:

    It sounds like you’ve decided to approach this as an adventure rather than a tragedy – good for you! (Although I can’t imagine that was J’s thought as he discovered the mess in his room. I have to admit that the construction seems pretty precariously perched up there. That last line though – I had to laugh, Meg. Such a dry sense of humor you have!

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