Sunday, January 21, 2007

Fear of Personal Safety #1

In my rush to describe our new apartment, I neglected to describe our first evening in it. Katie and I decided to stock the pantry by going to Carrefour (did I mention how much I love the place?) and buying armloads of staples. On our way back to the apartment, we discovered a fire hose snaking out the front door, pumping a heavy stream of water. We were turned away at the door to the building. Apparently, a pipe on the 18th floor burst and the elevators were not working. We could take the stairs or go through the next building and walk over. We decided to follow a security guard to the next building as the prospect of walking up the 29 flights of stairs with our bags of purchases was not very appealing. The guard took us in the elevator to the top floor of the next building over. We walked out and followed him up a flight of stairs, out a door and onto the… roof. It turns out there is no connecting walkway between buildings, just a rooftop available for maintenance workers. We picked our way across the roof, climbing over ventilation ducts, electrical wires, and drainage pipes to get to my building. My building is four stories taller than the one we were on, so to get in from the roof, we had to climb the fire escape. Once there, another security guard was waiting to open the door to get inside my building. We then climbed down one floor to my apartment. While I would not consider our activities dangerous (we were well over 20 feet away from any ledge), I did note that there were no railings, no warning signs, or even lights. We just had three security guards and flashlights helping us. The United States is a trial lawyer’s heaven, but there are times when I think liability laws actually help keep people safe.

2 comments:

Katie said...

This sounds a little frightening, and at the time as was deeply annoyed. In retrospect, it's pretty funny. The best part is, we got all the way to the apartment then realized we had no food for dinner. So we had to go all the way back down, out, up, and back in the dark.

John Chen said...

Look this way, you did your excise that day!!Oh, well, you have to look Right??