The Law vs. Sleep

This morning, I was awoken at seven by a nail being hammered three inches from my head. I had thought my bedroom wall abutted my apartment’s bathroom, but a quick scope-out revealed that no, my room juts out past the bathroom, sharing two walls with an apartment in the next building. And after sticking my head out the bathroom window, it appears that this apartment is in the very early stages of what’s sure to be a long renovation.

Yesterday, I was awoken at the same hour by a strange scratching that I eventually determined to be sawing. The day before: the same.

I plotted my recourse.

Should I bang on the wall? (I did, and the hammering stopped briefly, before resuming 20 seconds later.) Should I, shouting through the wall, invite the workers down to the street for a friendly conversation? Or simply yell at them to stop?

Turns out I don’t have much recourse. Apparently, the law here says that construction work can begin at seven in the morning. (This seems to be common knowledge, as everyone in the Spiegel office chimed in simultaneously when I mentioned my predicament.)

Are there similar laws in American cities? I don’t recall ever being awoken by banging quite so early on a daily basis.

Regardless, looks like I’ll have to shift my sleep schedule, probably for the remainder of my time in Berlin. Fun.

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