A couple of days ago Leila and I took the elevator down from the 20th floor. She was in a single stroller. Two well dressed women started a conversation with and about L. Ms. Pink and Ms. Blue seemed to be working in offices in the building. Of course the usual “How cute,” and “what curly hair,” came up. I figured that at least since I was with one child, the sensationalism would be reduced considerably.
Our building has recently exploded with new offices. Taking the elevator has become tedious. With the double stroller we sometimes have to wait for two or three full-loads to go by before we can squeeze in. And there are three usually-working elevators.
I did a geeky Nanu-type calculation. There are 3 buildings in the complex, 29 floors in each, and 6 apartments on each floor. I picked an average of 4 people per apartment during the day. Some apartments are uninhabited, others house families with parents and maids, and some are offices with employees. The ground floor is the first floor. So 28 floors. That makes 672 people in each building, with a total of 2016 in the complex. Let’s say 2050 people in and out during the day if I include the management staff, cleaning team, security guards, delivery people etc. In some countries we could call ourselves a town.
It’s heart warming, baffling, and irritating at the same time that in such a large community, people manage to recognize others, communicate and gossip with them. Ms. Pink and Ms. Blue continued their conversation all the while curiously and admiringly looking at L. The elevator was dark, crowded, and lacked air. I dazed off for a moment. Except for the loud chatter L was almost asleep.
When Ms. Pink announced that L is a twin, I was abruptly snapped out of my hazy mood. It’s not the first time that someone has said that. This is one of a “pair” of children. The last time it was in the street just outside our housing complex. Ms. Pink then said that one of the long / feung tai, dragon / phoenix twins which represents boy / girl twins here, must still be upstairs! I nodded, smiled meekly and we fumbled out.
It’s always refreshing to get out of the building, to see the wind blowing through the trees, the water in the fountain, and feel the sunshine. Some days at least.