Tuesday, January 11, 2005


For 30 seconds, I think. Mami thought it was 5 minutes long.

We were shopping for some gifts last Saturday when we decided to check out the new HSL electrical appliance outlet in Subang Parade shopping centre. HSL has moved from their usual location on the Lower Ground floor, near Parkson, to the other end of the complex, where Toys 'R' Us used to be.

After asking the HSL attendant for an item we were looking for and wandering around for some time, we decided to go to Toys 'R' Us, located on the First floor. If you are familiar with Subang Parade, as soon as you come out from HSL (formerly occupied by Toys 'R' Us), the 2 lifts are right in front of the shop.

Coming out of HSL and seeing one of the lift's doors ajar, I quicken my steps to the lift and asked Mami to hurry up. I saw the lift panel (inside the lift), reached out my hand and finger, directing it to the 'Open' button (to hold the lift), stepped into the lift and .... suddenly my right foot lost ground!!
My body was unable to balance itself and lunged forward. My hands were trying to grab whatever it could reach or find on the side of the lift. It found nothing. When my right foot finally touched the ground, my left leg was quick to respond by moving forward to take on the weight of my body, preventing me from falling flat on my face. All those years of watching kung fu movies did pay off.

I quickly turned around, only to see the lift's door closing shut just in time. S**t! I was trapped. I can barely hear Mami screaming outside. "Are you OK??!!". I tried to remain calm and looked around. The lift was actually not level with the floor, it was actually lower, with a 5-inches descend.

Outside, Mami panicked. She saw a security guard outside HSL, a few paced from the lift and asked for help. "Saya tak tahu. Saya kerja sini" the pak-guard said, pointing to HSL and at the same time, turned away. She was hoping for the caring, kind-hearted and helpful spirit shown in the recent Tsunami disaster, but then immediately she realised it was the same people who donated torn bras, dirty diapers, empty tins and used relief centres as dumping ground.

Meanwhile, I was still trapped inside the lift. I tried the buttons. 'Open'. Didn't work. 'Close'. Didn't work either. 'G' for Ground Floor. Nothing. '1' for First Floor. Tough luck. Then I examined the see-through glass wall of the lift. I will break the glass wall if I need to. But then I realised I am no Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jackie Chan and this is not a Hollywood movie and that thick glass wall is no candy-glass.

Outside, Mami still panicked. She tried the buttons on the outside with no luck. She cried to me "Are you, OK?!!". She looked around to see whether she could ask for help. All she could see was the pak-guard walking away.

Seeing that the doors were not responding to any of the buttons, or me prying on the doors with my fingers, I decided to try the intercom. There was a button with a bell symbol on it and a speaker/microphone unit next to it. I raised my hand to press the button, when suddenly the doors slid open!! And standing out there, was Mami. With a worry face, she kept asking me whether I was hurt or injured. After making sure I was OK, she laughed herself silly. The whole thing turned out to be quite funny.

When we walked passed the pak-guard, he lowered his head, pretending he didn't see us. He didn't have the gut to look at us.

For those who intend to visit Subang Parade, please be careful with the lifts. It's always faulty, and sometime it takes ages to come to your floor. Make sure it's levelled with the floor, before you step in, especially if you are pushing a baby stroller.