Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

The never ending story of construction noise

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A month ago, to the day, I naively wrote that the construction works appeared to be over.

This has turned out to be very incorrect. The number of days per week affected, as well as the average disturbance per day, has dropped, but they are still ongoing.

Fridays and Saturdays have been particularly likely—and right now (Saturday, December 4th) even the drilling has returned full force.

This for construction work that began September (!) 20th. All-in-all, I would estimate that roughly a third of the time since I began work on my books in 2019 have been plagued by construction noise—with horrifying consequences for my writing, my quality of life, and, often, health.

Yet, this type of unconscionable situation appears to be entirely legal and there is nothing that can be done.

More generally, Germany claims to be a Rechtsstaat—to the point that there was an advertising campaign with this claim a while back. (Confirming my hypothesis that advertising campaigns are often directed at convincing fools of the opposite of the truth, e.g. that a business with outrageously poor customer service would excel in customer service. Find the statement of a campaign, assume the opposite to be true, and you will do reasonably well.)

The two core pillars in a Rechtsstaat are (a) that the individual citizen is protected from mistreatment by other citizens, (b) that he is protected from overreach, incompetence, arbitrariness, etc. from the government, civil servants, and similar.

The current situation is but one of very many where Germany fails completely regarding (a). (Other issues have been discussed in the past.)

As to (b), the citizen has little or no recourse against the government and the extreme amount of incompetence and other problems. Even the lowest civil servants, moving on the intellectual level of receptionists, appear to be considered of more worth than a citizen—including by themselves. The COVID overreaches, lockdowns, and whatnots form a horrifying (if, sadly, not unique) example. (Cf. a great number of earlier texts on both COVID and the German government, etc.)

Written by michaeleriksson

December 4, 2021 at 1:22 pm

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