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10 Things You Do in an Elevator

A true test of your personality and patience, we've all been guilty of these...

There's something inherently visceral and awkward about it. Whether it's just you, your thoughts and your reflection or you and another stranger in a one metre squared box, nothing quite describes society, the human condition and your own personality like being in a elevator. 

1. There is no signal in a lift. There has never been any signal, in any lift, since Schindler decided travelling vertically was the way forward. This little discrepancy, however, will never deter you from picking up your phone and fiddling with it to seem busy during the 20 second ride lest you face the wrath of acknowledging the other human in the lift with you because that would be way to awkward. As far as you are concerned he does not exist, and your signal has full bars. This is of course, unless you’re in the Fairmont Nile City on a Friday night, at which point phones will be used to take a multitude of selfies with strangers that you will regret in the morning.

2. Assuming it is a fully functional lift, you will stare at the numbers - more intently so if there is someone else in the lift and you do not have a mobile with you to fiddle with. Your mind will play tricks on you; "It's been on floor 9 for ages," you'll think. "Wait, are the numbers going backwards now? When will the horror end!" Staring at the numbers going up will only make the lift go slower. This is scientifically proven.

3. If it's one of those old pre-war lifts that act as part-time death traps, it will not have a functioning door. As such you will bide your time by touching, placing your palm on or feeling up the concrete wall in front of you as it zooms down into the abyss of the building. Your hands will get dirty, you may pick up a disease or two, but who cares? You're the daredevil who pulled his hand away just in time not to be caught in the lift's mechanism and successfully entertained yourself for 20 seconds.

4. Most lifts are built so that if you would like to keep the door open all you have to do is press the open button from the inside, or the call button from the outside. Instead, you partake in a subconscious nonsensical battle of strength with the emergency mechanism that opens up in case someone's hand is caught in between the lift doors while it closes. Again, more fun daredevil antics.

5. You gasp, curse and look down on the person who pressed both the call up and call down button which stopped you on your one way trip “Ah, inta tale3? Ma3lesh.” You will smile back and say “Ah ma3lesh.” The lifts will close and you will think: “Ma3lesh eh ya kosomak, tab3an ana tale3”. They are inferior idiotic humans of course who have not quite grasped how lifts work, believing that pressing both buttons will make the lift arrive faster. They never learn.

6. Once the lift arrives you will play a game of Hokey Cokey with the other inhabitants of said lift. Calls of “etfadal, etfadal,” will echo through the elevator chamber as no one wants to be the dickhead who leaves the lift first; you would prefer to waste more time and show manners to the stranger who you’ve just ignored for the past 20 seconds.

7. You are never vainer than when in a lift by yourself; you tussle your hair, contort your face in all manners of model-esque poses you would never actually make in life outside of the lift. You check how your clothes fit, squint and rub your facial hair or if you’re a woman check out your own ass. Imagine if there was a camera on the other side of that mirror…

8. You check to see if there’s a camera in the lift. This usually happens after entertaining ourselves with funny faces and dance moves in the mirror. We humans are a paranoid bunch. Despite there not being an obvious one, you are always convinced there is a secret one hiding in the roof somewhere…

9. If you’re convinced that there is no camera, lifts are the perfect place for a passionate 20 second make out session. Banging your partner against all four sides, the excitement of pouncing them when the lift door closes and the cheekiness of abruptly stopping just as the door opens.

10. You fight with Jay Z.