Elevator Rules Broken: Awkward Adventures In A Metal Box
There are unspoken rules about being in an elevator with other people. Do not maintain eye contact, do not speak if not spoken to, and do not under any circumstance attempt to join the conversation.
Yet somehow in Dubai, these rules don’t apply.
A few days ago, whilst in the elevator, I saw an elderly man with his groceries running towards me. Rather than give in to the urge of closing the door (like most of us), I tried to be a good samaritan (for the first time in a long time) and pressed the ‘open’ button.
Somehow (thank you, karma), he ended up on the floor squeezed between two metal doors. I immediately apologized and dared some ‘eye-contact’, but what I got in response was an angry look - an angry look that lasted the entire ride up.
If you thought that was bad, it’s more uncomfortable when you’re stuck in that abominable metal box surrounded by mirrors. In other words, I had a 360 view of his anger. The tension was so thick, it was stifling.
Then, there are those moments when you’re in said elevator with a friend, a person walks in and, lo and behold - they’re adjusting themselves in front of the mirror and you can’t help but, stare.
Let’s not forget the pathetic attempts we make to prevent ourselves from bursting into laughter. You try to look at your friend from the corner of your eye. One of you smiles, one suppressed a giggle, then another, and before you know it, you both break into hysteric fits of laughter whilst the topic of your silent conversation stands there awkwardly.
The first time I got into the university elevator, I was scared out of my wits.
It was me and a couple of young guys, all of whom (with the exception of one) had their hands over their stomachs. It gets weirder.
Apparently, it’s an elevator ritual where if you are male, in an elevator with a bunch of guys, you must cover that tummy or get punched. I was relieved that game did not apply to me. If it were up to me, I’d hold a staring contest with a random stranger in the elevator for the longest time without laughing.
That would be funny, especially in Dubai where people aren’t used to such behaviour and would probably be rooted to their spot until they’ve reached their intend floor.
At times, it can get very uncomfortable, you often see others reach out for their mobile phones, pretend to be in a conversation - which is always hilarious because there’s no reception.
People do funny things to avoid awkward situations.
I recall a girl who kept staring intently at her hands the entire ride up whilst another, was busy shoving his face in a newspaper - that was spread out, upside down. So much for pretenses.
The most entertaining however, are those who like to defy said moments.
Often breaking out into song (and yes this has happened), or try to have a conversation with you (and yes people find me interesting enough, surprise surprise!). You can’t help but laugh.
There are countless scenarios that occur inside that metal box. You may find people eating food on their way up, singing their way up, or even dancing their way up. Overall, elevators remain to be the most entertaining, and often awkward thirty seconds of your life.
Until you get stuck in the elevator with a stranger - that’s a story for another time. What happens in the elevator, stays in the elevator.. well not this time.
By Sarwat Nasir.
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- edyaradebergamasco reblogged this from mccmedia
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- cirquedusoliloquies said: Hahahahahahaha!!! This genuinely made me grin like a madman for the duration of the read because it is all absolutely true. Great job Mena! =)
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