Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Trapped in the 13th floor

I found myself trapped in my apartment's elevator this morning. I was on my way to work when the lift (that's how the British call elevators) decided to go crazy and take me for a terror morning ride. I was trapped in the 13th floor (what a number right?!) with the lift's door only partially open.

I was on my way down when the lift suddenly bolted up instead of down. The indicator lights for the 14th and 15th floors lit up so I thought someone must have pushed that button before I boarded to lift. Then suddenly I felt a large jerk. Then the doors opened about 2 inches then stopped. That was when I realized I was stuck!

Trying not to get myself in a panic mode I began to push the open button. I dared not to push any other button as it might cause more problems. I pushed the alarm button to signal to the outside world that I was trapped. I had my phone and started to think of people to call for a rescue. Unfortunately I didn't have any of my apartment's maintenance people saved in my phone book.

It started to feel extremely hot after several minutes. I realized that the ventillation system wasnt working and if it werent for that tiny open slot i would have been suffocated for lack of air. My arm was already starting to numb from pressing that darn alarm button (it would turn off whenever I pull my finger out). After a few more minutes I saw an Indian guy pass by. I yelled for him to notice me. He looked lost first and finally noticed my voice. He was kind enough to call for help downstairs to the main security post. 10 minutes later two guards came to rescue me out. The two gentlemen were the guards I have come to befriend in the condo. Every morning we would say hello. When they saw me trapped there, they immediately rescued me out.

They had to pry the doors open with a wrench. That tiny slot saved my ass again. For had there been no opening, I would have had to wait for a technician to show up since the guards wont be able to pry it open at all.

It was 20 minutes of hell. By the time I got out I was sweating like a pig. The guards escorted me down and for a few moments there I actually contemplated on taking the stairs instead. I was so grateful to my two superheroes.

I used to just hear stories about people being trapped in elevators. Now I know how it feels like. And its a feeling I don't want to ever repeat again. Sana man lang may gwapo dun sa loob ng elevator diba?

Another misadventure in the life of an expat. It makes you realize--life is indeed full of surprises.

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