Living with an Elevator

DISCLAIMER: I wrote the following blog post quite a few weeks ago. I’m not sure what’s to blame for me not posting it: pregnancy forgetfulness, pregnancy priorities, pregnancy naps… hmm. Take your pick, each reason has a theme. In any case, please pardon my delay 🙂 I didn’t revise my time references in the post, so it might be a little inaccurate in terms of timeline. But, hopefully you’ll enjoy the snapshot of our everyday life adventures anyways.

A few stories of note have happened in the past few days, all relating to our apartment’s elevator(s).


We live in an HDB  high rise apartment. HDB=Housing Development Board; in other words, “HDB” is the local jargon for publicly built/maintained buildings that are NOT condos. Thankfully, our HDB has elevators that go to every floor. I don’t think we would live in a high rise without living on a “lift level.” Believe it or not, though, there are still buildings 10+ stories that do not have elevators that go to every floor. While the Housing Development Board of Singapore is undertaking efforts to update the older buildings with less elevator access – it is not an immediate process. Plenty of HDB buildings have one or two elevators for the entire building, that only stop every 4-5 stories. But thankfully, our building is “updated” and the lift goes to every level.

Story 1: Sad Girl

Late Monday night Andrew and I were headed home after a grocery store run.

We just missed making the elevator before it headed up from the ground floor. Oh well. No matter. Patience is a virtue. We weren’t in a rush anyways, right?

The elevator finished dropping off its previous load of passengers and came back to the ground floor.

Before it arrived though we could tell something was amiss. We heard crying.

The crying got louder.

The elevator arrived, and the doors opened. We were greeted by a lonely young girl, approximately 3 years of age, wailing pitifully. Slightly taken aback by the sight, we didn’t know what to do. She looked at us with the most mornful eyes not able to catch her breath in the midst of the cries. She tentatively took a step forward. We held the door open for her, because she seemed like she wanted to come out. But we must of unnerved her, because she then stepped back into the elevator.

We assumed there was a family waiting for her on one level somewhere above us. Unfortunately we didn’t know where that might be.

Did we go on the elevator with her and press each number? Did we let her ride back up alone? (She seemed too young and out of sorts to know what number to push.) Should we get her to come out of the elevator and wait for someone to come claim her?

We stood there holding the door open unsure of how to best come to the aid of this little girl.

Finally though rescue came, but not through us.

The girl’s father walked down the steps opposite the elevator and came and swooped the daughter up in his arms.

Major crisis averted.

He got on the elevator with his charge, and we got on as well. Eventually he and his little girl stepped off the elevator to a waiting mommy with a stroller and a younger sibling. From what we could tell one of two scenarios happened:

1) The little girl dilli-dallied and didn’t get off the elevator with her parents.

2) She was mischevious and went back on the elevator.

In either case it was clear that she was not happy with her results and her parents didn’t seem exactly happy with her either.

We felt sorry for the dad who had to walk down the multiple flights of stairs to retrieve his child.


While the elevators normally work fine such that you don’t think about them, it is not unheard of for the elevators to require maintenance. I would say once every other month we have had to use alternate means to get to our apartment than simply riding the elevator for our section of the building. Once Andrew even got caught in the elevator when it was having issues. It only would bring him to higher floors. It was one way. Unfortunately, this meant he ended up on the top floor of the building … with his bicycle.

Anyways, back to our recent news.

The other night Andrew arrived home from work and notified me that the elevator was out of commission. We didn’t think much of it as it is often fixed within a few hours.

We went back out later that evening. This is what we were greeted with:

Lift Repair Notice – from the 15th to 18th of August; “Inconvenience Regretted”


Good news first: For our building/block, we have elevators that go to each level. Bad news: Our building/block is split up into 3 sections. So our elevator only services one third of the building. The middle section has two elevators. And then there is another third section on the opposite end with its own elevator. The sections of the building are connected by walkways that occur every few stories. This means the nearest lift access other than our section’s elevator is either two floors down or three floors up.

Thankfully, we don’t have to climb all the way to the 8th floor. We can take one of the elevators in the center of the building up to the 6th or 11th floors. From there we can use one of the connecting walkways to get to our section of the building and then proceed via stairs to our floor. It’s not necessarily straightforward, but it works. And with a pregnant belly, I am very thankful for that!

Despite the unique travel method to leave our building, Andrew still rode his bike two days during the maintenance period.

Last night Andrew arrived home. He happily informed me that the elevator was back in working order! Sweet! Go Singapore for getting things fixed before they say they will 🙂

We’re happy to have our elevator back.

left-over Habbit?

Now, my favorite elevator story of late.

The other day Andrew left to pick up a few groceries for dinner. Apparently he had gotten used to using the other elevators in the building recently. He later informed me that he was absorbed in a book he was reading on his kindle and didn’t realize he was taking the wrong elevator until it was too late. He ended up in the wrong part of the building and had to walk down to another level so that he could cross over to our section of the building. While I wasn’t trying to make him feel bad that he had his spacey moment, I couldn’t contain my laughter when he told me his story. His spaciness just about made my day 😀


2 responses to “Living with an Elevator

  1. your “lift” story up”lift”ed me! Hope they are in working order from mid October til early November! (for your sake and for my sake!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s