Tuesday, November 24, 2009
OK, so got stuck in the Nairobi office lift today. There were about 10 power outages during our presentations – apparently not unheard of in this part of Africa.
Anyway, panic stations. Fuck me.
Cruising vertically into space to the seventh floor, staring at the numbers, as one does in a lift, making small talk with two other dudes and bang…stops.
And lights go out, so in the dark. For extra fun.
Now please understand – I’ve never experienced the contorting panic that is a lift, suspended, mid-air by one measly little cable, stopping and no one hearing you frantically push the alarm bell.
Come to think of it, I’ve avoided ever being stuck in a dodgy lift. Even in res at varsity, (I lived in a tampon. Seriously.) Where the lift was dodgier than Shabir Shaik, and mainly because someone had vomited in it the night before.
I had to sit down on the floor like a complete poen and take deep breaths because I felt all dizzy and claustrophobic. I just thought of someone cutting the cable and we’d go flying like lead balloons down a mineshaft – resulting as a gooey paste at the bottom.
I read in the You magazine when I was 10 (first mistake), that people who tried to fuck with lifts – as in horror stories of people climbing out between floors, or running into a lift when the doors were closing, got their legs snapped off.
There were graphic pictures too, and from that day onwards - back in the dark ages of 1990 - I knew I'd never advertedly piss an elevator off.
Lifts are dangerous little capsules that want to eat us alive ok.
And I was stuck in one yesterday for an excruciating 15 minutes.
Didn’t think I was the claustrophobic type, but let me tell ya – you are when it’s 40 degrees in there and the dude is asking you if you’ve ever been in a cave.
‘A cave? That’s totally different. A cave isn’t hanging by a cord ok. It’s in the wild. Caves don’t move.’
No one heard, bothered? about the alarm button I was pressing incessantly, while pushing beads and wondering how I never considered actually dying in Kenya.
The other dudes were nonchalant – oh I see, you do this everyday.
Anyway. So at 29, I experienced my first ‘fuck me I’m stuck in a lift’ experience.
This week, I got:
1) Headbutted by a giraffe called Laura
2) Got stuck in a lift dangling from the 6th floor
3) Ate a curry so hot, I thought my intestinal system would catch alight
4) Went to Kenya
5) Touched baby elephants
Not bad going, innit?
And at sparrow’s, I fly back home. I won’t forget the amazing smiles and sincere hospitality of the Kenyans. They truly are lovely people.