How To Use An Elevator In China

Conquer complex Japanese machinery with aplomb

(1) The game begins

When waiting for the arrival of your carriage to the sky, stand within 5 centimetres of the doors. Even better, stand with your nose actually touching the doors. Being an only child means you are special, and the elevators know this. They travel only for you – and on the mere off-chance that a human has snuck on board and is exiting, don’t panic! They’ll move out of your way.

(2) Why isn’t there a VIP button

Hailing an elevator is tricky business. Those darn things seem to have a mind of their own, so always make sure you press the up, and down button, no matter where you actually want to go. When the doors slide open, do a slow zombie shake towards it, be about to enter, and then ask “is this going up?”

The other option here is to check the lights on the wall. The basic brain power of man has ensured that no less than 100% of all elevators on Earth indicate their direction of travel. Correct comprehension of these lights will give you much face amongst your friends and co-workers, as you patriotically declare: “Follow me, comrades! This elevator is going UP!”

(3) Ignorance is bliss

You are the only person in the entire world. At least, the only person that matters, right?! So logically, whenever you are pleasure-riding the elevator, gossiping about your co-workers, and the doors open – it has to be the floor that you wanted! Walk to exit, before experiencing the fun shock of that “Oops! This isn’t my floor!” joy. Slowly wander back inside, blocking off everyone else who just doesn’t matter.

Decades later, should you ever tire of this hobby, you could switch to using the technology of the future – those bright, LED lights we mentioned earlier. Elevator manufacturers care about your vertical transportation experience, and have cleverly installed floor indicators inside the car. If this still proves confusing, you could loudly countdown the numbers, so your self-extrication is a successful one: “5! 4! 3! 2! 1! That’s the ground floor! I shall exit accordingly, thank you fellow passengers!”

(4) Becoming the Master

These are only the basics of this complex art. Diligent practice will pay off, as you master the intricacies of modern inter-building travel. There are gems to uncover, such as pressing the ‘close doors’ button to stop humans from attempted commandeering of your vessel, the ‘hold door open with box’ tactic, useful for owning an elevator for 6 hours if you are moving apartments or just bored, and a classic, the ‘pre-journey door-hold’, useful for laying claim to the car, even minutes before you are actually ready to use it. After all, who knows if that thing will ever come back down?




Categories: Community, Expat Life


Foreigner in Shanghai


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