Meeting the new neighbours in a strange way

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d briefly met our new neighbours across the hall from our apartment. And that they had a dog and cat in quarantine after emigrating from South Africa.

Early this evening as I was bringing Scully in from a toilet break outside, I heard the sound of a dark barking from their apartment. I figured they must have their pets out of quarantine. Scully reacted to the barking by barking back, and my wife and I discussed and thought it would be a good idea to get the two dogs to meet each other and become familiar, so they won’t be barking through the door at each other all the time. We thought now was as good a time as any, and knocked on their door.

They answered, the woman coming out holding their dog – a west highland terrier which we learnt was named Sophie. Scully and Sophie had a bit of a sniff and started to get used to one another. The woman’s husband stepped out to say hello to us as well… and accidentally let the door slip closed behind him. He asked his wife if she had the key, but she didn’t. They’d locked themselves out of their apartment!

I asked if they had anyone with a spare key, and they said no, since they’d just moved to Australia recently. They didn’t have phones on them, so I got mine and found a 24-hour locksmith nearby and called to have them come over. They said they’d be about half an hour.

Rather than let them wait in the corridor, we invited them into our place. They turned out to be very nice people and we chatted about our dogs, their move from South Africa, and various other things while we waited. It turns out all their furniture is still sitting in a shipping container at Port Botany, after several weeks of delays in arriving, and then a port workers’ strike, and now customs inspection of everything they’ve brought over. The man said how nice it was to sit on our sofa – at the moment they only have some folding chairs in their place to sit on! We also learnt that their dog Sophie had only arrived at 4:30pm today, after having been flown from the quarantine facility in Melbourne, so they’d only had about an hour with her before we knocked and they got locked out!

Eventually the locksmith arrived and let them in. We felt terrible for having started this chain of events and apologised repeatedly and offered to pay for the locksmith, but they were very gracious about it and insisted on paying themselves. A bit of a misfortune, but at least we had the chance to sit and have a bit of an introductory chat. They said they’d invite us over for a drink when they get their furniture.

In other news today I received a mail order of some more board game expansions for Root. I decided to take the plunge and order some of them now in case they go out of print at some point. There are a few small ones already out of print and hard to find, but fortunately I managed to get those in the special Kickstarter edition of one of the other expansions I bought from the game store.

I had four classes to finish off the “Why?” topic for the week. And I put together a presentation to give at the next ISO Photography Standards meeting next week, on details for the meeting I’ll be hosting in Sydney in October. It was finally approved by Standards Australia, and now we can start giving delegates information on things like visa requirements, hotels, and so on. So it’s been a busy day.

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