This courtyard is about 2 metres wide and four metres deep, it is essentially a concrete box however it does have a live tree growing in it and it does get natural sunlight. Unfortunately this courtyard does not belong to us. Our French neighbours have access to the courtyard and they love it. They sit on green plastic chairs, and eat bread and cheese, and talk very loudly about French politics (I overhear the word ‘Sarkozy’ a lot). I know this because when I stand at the kitchen sink they are literally one metre away from my face…
NB: See how little bench space we have? It's criminal.
The problem is Blane and I are in conflict over how to handle this situation. Blane says: Shut the window, close the curtains, don’t let them see into our apartment. I say: Open the window, open the curtains, let the neighbours see how close we are to them and maybe they'll go away.
So for the past week it’s been a game of open window-shut window in this household. This situation intensified last night when the neighbours had some friends over for courtyard drinks and I needed to go to the toilet. Our bathroom window is positioned right next to the neighbour’s backdoor.
Blane and I ended up in a lengthy, and at times heated, discussion over the best way for me to wee.
Blane said, ‘Shut window, close curtains, turn off light, DO NOT FLUSH. You must not let the neighbours realize you are weeing right next to their heads during their party. They will hate us forever and start being aggressive annoying.’
I said, ‘Leave window open, close curtains, turn on light, FLUSH. It’s a basic human right to be allowed to wee, I don’t care what the neighbours think. It’s our toilet.’
It was a ridiculous Elaine Vs Jerry argument. In the end we compromised and decided I would: Leave window open, close curtains, turn off light. NO FLUSH.
So I did my business and tried to be as quiet as possible. However, these American toilet bowls are just so wide and shallow. It’s impossible to hit the side! So some tinkle sound definitely floated out the window, and by the time I finished it was drop-dead quiet outside. Damn it. I flushed the toilet and suddenly everyone outside erupted into laughter.
They were laughing at me weeing!
I stood in the bathroom listening to their laughing feeling a bit miffed. What’s so funny about going to the toilet? Stupid French people.
However, I then heard a voice outside say clearly in English, ‘Maybe we go inside now!’
And they did. As they say in