Columns – Melting pot of neighbors sets scene for misery

Katrine Villumsen

I’m an insomniac, I’m exhausted, and it’s all because I’m a student.

Let me introduce to you the mystery of my misery-my neighbors.

In the apartment next door, you’ll find blonde high school girls number one and number two. They share the same interest in cheap hair-dye, pink clothing and the two college boys who frequently visit them on the weekends.

I still don’t know how on earth they can afford the rent at our place, which is conveniently located five minutes from Santa Barbara High School. However, this is something that comes in handy when the two of them can walk straight to school after regular weeknights of loud, wild partying.

Two apartments up you’ll find an old Mexican couple. The man keeps speaking to me in Spanish, even after I tried to explain to him that I don’t speak the language. Either I’m not saying the few words I learned in Spanish 101 correctly, or he just doesn’t care.

I have decided to answer him in Danish instead, leading to some interesting stories between the two of us. I have no clue what he is telling me, but it seems to make his day.

The smell of greasy stir-fry is escaping from the apartment on the left, together with high-pitched Mandarin Chinese words. I’m pretty sure that only two women are living in the small one-bedroom apartment, but they sure know how to sound like five times that many when they drink, party, and fight.

Finally-my favorite-the guy next door. The middle-aged, balding and badly dressed man doesn’t even live in my apartment complex, but in the next one over. This does not stop him from harassing my roommate and me.

It all began when the guy, who has a passion for leaving obscene Post-it notes on our door, accused us of using his trashcans. We tried to explain to him that it doesn’t kill us to walk to our own.

The guy then showed us a Fed-Ex box with my name on it, saying that he had found it in his garbage. What exactly my mail, or the Post-it guy for that matter, is doing in the trash doesn’t make sense to me.

Nevertheless, we woke up the next day to find trash spread all over the planters outside our apartment-not to mention the little yellow Post-it note on our door from the guy who victoriously claimed to be the perpetrator.

After confronting my landlord with these issues several times, he finally confessed that he places all the “noisy students” on the ground floor in our building, and all the “quiet” tenants upstairs.

Even though I’m paying the famously expensive downtown Santa Barbara rent, I feel like I’m living in mini-Isla Vista.

I understand that landlords have to take precautions when renting in a small town with so many college students. After all, I have exhibits A and B living next door.

Still, lumping all students into one category doesn’t seem fair to me.

I do like to party and I do have my moments, but I also know basic manners. This might not make me the average Santa Barbara college student, but I’m sure I’m not alone.

After living here for the past two years, I’m tired of constantly being accused of making the paradisical Santa Barbara into another Isla Vista. When it’s time for my big night out I’ll take it downtown, and I ask you to do the same.

Please let me have a quiet place where I can study, so I can at least feel like I’m living upstairs.