Saturday, 10 February 2007

Talking the Piss

Living in flats means lifts, and opening lift doors is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get. People, bikes, McDonalds delivery boys, Indian cleaners, hawkers and school children selling ice cream are all pretty standard fare.

In Singapore, there are rules. Elevators have 3 don'ts: Smoking, Littering, Urinating. The odd person unselfconciously smokes, some littering (discarded envelopes and junk mail, cigarette butts), but no big deal. It all gets cleaned up every morning by the ever efficient Indian cleaning team.

That brings up to the third point. A strange diagram of a cherubic child relieving himself with a pair of handcuffs around him and a dire warning of $1000 fine makes the official position clear. The prospect of trying to sneak a quick leak between floors seems unappealing and offences seem thankfully non-existant. A recent conversation with a neighbour sharing a lift suggests an additional motive for high compliance. A slight pool of clear liquid (discarded drink most likely) prompted him to say there were urine detectors installed and if triggered, would stop the lift with the doors closed and raise an alarm.

The sheer unlikeliness of this scenario, even in Singapore whose authoratarian reputation is well founded, didn't dent his apparent conviction.

"You can't see the detectors, they're between the floors". You can't argue with that.