Conversations from an elevator


The old and cramped elevator in our hotel is a nightmare. It’s small and noisy. The doors are strong and close with a hefty slap as you get off. The floor buttons are all one number off: We press ’5′ to get to the fourth floor. It’s the type of error you learn after only making the mistake once. Unless, however, you are one of the idiots who come here to party all night long. Then this simple numerical error seems to become an insolvable equation.

One morning after breakfast we found ourselves in the lobby with two young men who unlike us, were just finishing their night as opposed to beginning their day. It was 10am. Our friends waiting for the elevator looked a little rough. It was clear that midway through the night the duo had chosen sides: one was too drunk to take care of himself, and the other had the misfortune of forced babysitting.

The drunk stumbled over to a group of women in bra tops, spandex and stillettos. The caretaker was desperate for the drunk to stop talking. A loud ‘ding’ signaled that our chariot had arrived, and the friend pulled Mr. Vodka away from his new female acquaintances. Both parties loudly exaggerated their disappointment at this untimely breakup. The babysitter rolled his eyes at the averted business transaction and gave us an apologetic look. It was going to be a great elevator ride.

Vodka happily greeted us by offering a brief explanation of the obvious: ‘i’m terribly sloshed and am so pissed I can’t see straight!.
Dave’s eyes lit up: teasing an inappropriately inebriated individual is always a treat. ‘Good party town, huh?’ Dave responded. Vodka nodded, and then seemed to consider the statement. He made a balancing gesture with his hands- suggesting that he was about to break into a deep philosophical discussion about the bar scene. A slurred word started to form before the babysitter cut him off.


Vodka laid limply against the doors and then slung over into the corner when the elevator violently twitched into place. Noticing the elevator buttons at his new altitude, he made eye contact with the lit up numbers. There was a long moment before a loud creak echoed through the small space, then a high pitch as the moving vessel kicked into gear. His expression turned to panic.

‘That’s not my floor! That’s the wrong floor, man! We’re going to the wrong floor!’

The elevator gave another loud ding and the doors opened. The Babysitter stepped out and leaned carefully back in to pull Vodka out. Vodka was adamant that his keeper had picked the wrong floor. He fought his friend’s guiding arms, struggling to step back in.

It was something from a Jim Carrey movie. The elevator was too old to have a movement sensor on the door. A hand jetted in to stop the closing doors, then an elbow squeezed in. The doors slammed and then reopened. There were expletives exchanged. An arm was pulled out into the hallway as the door started to reopen. Vodka jumped back in with victory and then was fiercely yanked in the other direction. This time the door closed on his torso. He looked at Dave and tried to restart the earlier conversation– briefly forgetting his predicament. The elevator jerked in it’s battle. Two hands extended around his head and a foot forced the doors open. The elevator slowly acquiesced, briefly letting go of it’s captor long enough for him to fall into the hallway.

A battle between man, machine, and a walking bottle of vodka. Bangkok receives yet another star for entertainment value.

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