I thought it was difficult to live with the noise created by my six kids, but after reading the following excerpt from Seneca written around AD 50 I now realize my housing situation isn’t that bad.
“I live over a bath. Imagine the variety of voices, enough noise to make you sick. When the stronger fellows are working out with heavy weights, when they are working hard or pretending to work hard, I hear their grunts; and whenever they exhale, I hear their hissing and panting. Or when some lazy type is getting a cheap rubdown, I hear the slap of the hand pounding his shoulders. . . . If a serious ballplayer comes along and starts keeping score out loud, that’s the end for me . . . . And there’s the guy who always likes to hear his own voice when washing, or those people who jump into the swimming pool with a tremendous splash. . . . The hair plucker keeps up a constant chatter to attract customers, except when he is plucking armpits and making his customer scream instead of screaming himself, and the fellow hawking cakes, and all the food vendors yelling out what they have to sell, each with own special intonation.” (source: Sources of Western Society, volume 1)