Dear Chinese Neighbor,
Our walls are thin and you must know this. I can hear your TV so you should be able to hear mine. I find this acoustic problem troubling because one night when I angrily banged on the wall I nearly crippled my hand against the concrete. Yes! Concrete! You’d think we’d be sealed up like prisoners in solitary confinement alone with only our thoughts behind walls like these. Maybe our ceiling is made of straw. I don’t know. In any case I need you to pipe down a bit, especially that girlfriend of yours. How can you stand her whiny voice? I liken it to a mosquito or a crow cawing at sunrise. You’ve been inviting her over more frequently these past few months and I can tell it’s not going very well. She seems to do all the talking and sometimes her whininess becomes so intense it sounds like you’re arguing with a child over there. I suppose with all that stress you’ve taken to smoking an occasional cigarette in the hallway. This is the real purpose of my letter, to inform you that our little platform at the top of the stairs is no lounge. Actually it’s not the street either, so for god sake don’t spit on the ground and don’t ash your entire cigarette where we walk. I should also inform you that in addition to our building’s thin walls we have large cracks under our doors, which act like high-powered air intakes. I get about 25% of your cigarette under my door if the little window in the stairwell is shut. Damn you for this. I’ve tried to catch you in the act, but when I smell the scent and explode out of my door unprepared for what I might say to you, you’re gone, just a plume of smoke, ashes, and spit.
I have little hope for correcting this cultural fault of yours, but do note that in 40 years or so this act will be considered a faux pas and with luck will get you kicked out of the building. You see, in America, we used to be able to smoke everywhere too, in airports, grocery stores, restaurants, even bars! But then people realized that only smokers like smoke. Your days are numbered.