If my neighbours wake up to the sounds of Cesaria Evora at 6AM and allow their guests to rumble across the stairwell at 4 screaming “Come out, Menno!”, it ultimately means that once a month I’m allowed to go to sleep at 5 to the sounds of Donald Byrd.
Fair trade, and it removes that bourgeois Northern-European tint from the neighbourly life where you need to go around begging for consent if you want to have a party on Friday evening where you’ll serve mineral water and nachos and read religious books in total silence.
If I dare to answer a phone call at 2AM sitting at the office I first get a feverish banging on the wall, then a visit from the neighbour, and then a police officer at my doorstep in no time. Excuse me, but even with all the luxury of a true Amsterdam herenhuis this is pure nonsense (I’m also somewhat nocturnal and can only properly function starting from noon).
On the flip side, everything in life fits a certain age. You wouldn’t want to have babies here.