The plight of the apartment neighbor has been well established at this point, being the subject of many an angry online rant and comedy sketch. The noises emanating from the apartment above you that keep you up at night wondering what in tarnation is even going on up there. The human factor involved makes solving this issue a problem: you, your neighbor and sometimes even your building super need to be on the same wavelength. Through the power of reason and discourse, these problems can be fixed. In China, however, this is often not an option.
Guaranteed to ruin your weekend.
In the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, an apartment resident known only by his surname ‘Zhao’ took extreme measures that have been described as either desperate or vindictive. The young family in the upstairs apartment had a young child who, according to Zhao, would not stop jumping. After several attempts at reasonable discourse with the parents, nothing had changed and the situation persisted. What’s a man to do but devise a devious form of revenge?
Searching Taobao (China’s eBay equivalent) for the noisiest device Zhao could find, his eyes were caught by something called the ‘Building Shaker’. Its purpose? “Who knows,” Zhao thought. “As long as it makes a ton of noise.” One day and 400RMB (60USD) later, the apparatus had arrived. The odd looking machine was designed to continuously and repeatedly thump against walls. The following Friday night, Zhao built a contraption putting the ‘Shaker’ up against the ceiling, turned it on and left his apartment. He had decided to spend his time at a friend’s house over the entirety of the weekend, giving the upstairs neighbors plenty of time to stew.
And stew they did. The ceaseless thumping kept the neighbors up all night. Their first stop the next morning was Zhao’s apartment. No answer. The next was the property manager. No solution. The police were called to investigate. No Zhao. It wasn’t until Sunday when Zhao returned to his apartment that the machine was turned off. The police felt no need to detain him for anything, but there’s no doubt plenty of discourse occurred between Zhao and his neighbors that Sunday, and none of it reasonable.