Elisa's Blog
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Yesterday I had to transport a small piece of office furniture from the parking lot to my 2nd floor apartment. It was a small assemble-yourself (insert tab A into slot B) computer desk, but even so as I am a rather small-framed person the box was about three quarters of my height and at least that same proportion of my weight, with the result that I could only lift one corner of the box a few inches off the ground at any given time.

Not having a cart or a dolly, I simply stood the box up such that I could little by little pivot first one corner and then the other corner of the box in turn to "walk" it down the path that crosses my apartment complex recreation area, the swimming pool and garden. It was a very warm and sunny day, and there were lots of people about, many of them children, but at least four of which were gentlemen between 20 and 45 years of age. Of these four gentlemen, two were jumping noisedly into the pool, one was looking on at the swimmers, and another was scolding his toddler children for being children.

As I travelled the path, they looked up, for the "pivot walk" was making quite a racket, as there was a lot of box-dragging going on (for I couldn't lift it to dampen the noise), but I then saw as I stopped to wipe the sweat off my brow that they turned absently back to what they were doing.

And I looked confusedly around me, and saw a woman in a nearby balcony looking straight at me immobile with an interested expression, and then as I lifted the corner of the box again I turned back to see the two men, diving again into the water, the other one scolding his kids and smiling at me, the fourth oblivious.

Now, I have lived in this country for 11 years now, and thought that by now I was immune to culture shock, but as I travelled the despairingly slow and agonizing length of the interminable pathway, furrowed brow and cheeks burning humiliated in a sea of immobile stares and amused smiles, inch by punishing inch up the stairs and finally into my apartment door, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.

Maybe this is a sign that you should move to somewhere where people talk to their neighbors? They may be rare but there are still a few places where this is the case.

Either that or it's a sign that you should have purchased a lighter computer desk.
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