Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Faulty Spain

Yesterday afternoon, Phil and I went up to the rooftop of our apartment building for the first time. The surface area of slanted bricks is expansive and is much bigger than we thought. With stairs that bring you to a second level of rooftop, it'd be the perfect place to host a miniature gathering, if I trusted anything in Spain that "seemed" sturdy (read on for more on this...)

We looked to the east and saw all the way to the sea. Turning around, we saw the Mt. Tibidabo cathedral and its famous carousel in the western hills, along with various height-happy spectacles of Barcelona as we spun in a slow circle. It's too bad we didn't climb up here during the summer since the winter wind is comparable to that of San Francisco here. And if any of you know those rain-drenched wind speed warning days which occur often in that foggy Bay Area city, then you know it's no sweet watering. In SF, you must beware of flying objects during rainstorms. Once, I had a large, heavy canvas mountaineering-type hat that hit my stomach like a bull while crossing Grant and Pine. Feeling sorry for the poor person who had lost their hardcore rain hat and immediately reacting to the shock of being pelted by it, I remember lifting my head and umbrella up enough to look through the shower and shriek "WHOOOSSSE HAAATTTT??!!" A few office workers in the Financial District scurried past me in their wellies without so much as looking up and acknowledging my Minnesotan gesture of trying to help even when it was of no use. Now, although I say Barcelona's wind is similar, I must retract that statement a wee bit after remembering the number of broken umbrellas in a violent cactus shape poking out of the heavy green garbage cans around the city. Here in Spain, the wind does get strong enough to pull off building antennas and satellite dishes (we have heard them crash in the night) but normally, it's just a cold, humid breeze that whips around the narrow alleys and has us preferring the drafty indoors.

When we left the roof, Phil pretended to get us stuck between floors to challenge my claustrophobic tendencies. He does this by opening the inner doors of the rickety elevator, causing the tiny 3' x 3' pod to come to a stop between floors. But since he's done this before - in fact, I think he does it every time we ride in the elevator, which reminds me of something big brother Ty might do to me to "make me stronger in the long run" - I don't overreact at all. I just sit there and wait for my 6 year old to become 27 years old again and shut the doors so we can get on with our day. But this time, after we started up again and were inching down from floor 5 to floor 0, the elevator came off of it's pulley (we think). This caused it to lunge past floor two very quickly and come to an abrupt stop about 2 feet below the floor. Phil opened the interior doors that slide to each side, and tried pushing on the outer door leading to the second floor. Nothing.

We were stuck there, between floors, in an elevator the size of my pinky finger. Just as we realized we were actually locked inside, we see our former roommate Kris walking up the stairs. Before we know it, he's dialing the elevator maintenance folks with the cell phone I left in our bedroom - and Amin, our current roommate, has joined him outside of the door staring in and laughing.

I was beyond angry, since I felt it was all somehow Phil's fault. I mean, it had to be. Why would you challenge a crotchety old contraption? Especially when you know for a fact that the one person affected by this would be your claustrophobic girlfriend. Subconsciously, the elevator stopping seemed intentional. I mean, he'd smile when he'd see me get annoyed and flustered before when we'd be stuck between floors for 20 seconds in that god-forsaken capsule. And boy did I ever let him have it this time, because he definitely was to blame for this.

Twenty minutes passed. I was sitting on the floor with my head tilted up. But my butt was numb. It was better than standing up though. He tried to console me and I could tell he felt horrible, but I was not having it because I'd rather scream and break the entire door down than tell him it was all okay when we had no idea how long it would take to get someone there to help us. And we all know that I won't back down easily...especially in situations like these!

Thirty minutes later, at around 2:30 pm, we were rescued by the elevator folks. My resentment turned into relief, and life continued on as we walked through the cold wind to nourish ourselves with a warm little lunch.

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