TODAY marks the midway point of the Muslim fasting month. However, life doesn’t change much even though many would have gone through several sweet, as well as bitter experiences, along the way. The trials faced aren’t surprising as Muslims believe that this month is all about testing, not just the stomach but also the patience. And to my dismay, I was put on one such test recently.
It was 11.15am and I had an appointment with a client at 11.30am. It was a tight window and I had no room for mistakes. I arrived at their office building and drove up the seven levels of its 10-floor parking lot. From then onwards, I was given a series of tests that pushed me to my limits. Firstly, I had to park in a very tight spot because it was a ramp-like lot, built presumably to save space and enable the carpark operators to stack two cars in one lot. It required a lot of skill to reverse park the car. Moreover, due to its tight space, I only had a few inches after opening the car door with which to get out. Thanks to the fasting month, I sucked it in and managed to squeeze myself out.
At the parking lift lobby, only one of the two lifts was working and I was alone. After waiting for a while, the lift finally arrived. It was almost full but seemed to have some space left. So I stepped in only to hear the overload buzzer going off. I had no choice but to step out but the buzzer still sounded. Another person then had to reluctantly step out as well.
We waited for another few minutes but the lift didn’t stop at our level. We could hear the overload buzzer going off on the other levels as the cab passed us by. It was quite a funny moment even though the situation wasn’t ideal. While waiting, I introduced myself to the other guy. His name was Wong. We engaged in a small talk and cursed our luck but mostly his. I apologised for causing him to be ejected from the lift.
Finally, the lift arrived again and we were happy but it was short-lived. The overload buzzer went off again, even when nobody had stepped in. This unfortunate event yet again forced another person out of the lift. However, this lift, I came to believe, isn’t easily satisfied. Its buzzer didn’t stop until another guy stepped out. You should have seen their faces.
Wong and I decided to walk down the stairs. Unfortunately, after going down two floors, we were met with a restricted access door that had on it the sign: “For Staff Only”. We moaned our luck once more as we found ourselves back at the Level Five lift lobby — and then I had an epiphany: Why don’t we go up instead? Wong agreed. When the lift arrived on the top floor where we were at half full, we couldn’t help but give each other a high-five celebrating our ingenious idea.
What’s more interesting, when the lift stopped at Level Seven, we met the guys who had to step out earlier. It seemed they had the same idea as us. As they stepped in, we politely smiled at each other. Twenty minutes had gone by; I was already late. The lift didn’t help either. It stopped at almost every floor, triggering the buzzer every time. But for some strange reason, it didn’t make a sound when a woman stepped in at Level Six. We all just smiled.
A good 30 minutes later, I finally reached the ground floor. I said goodbye to Wong and we went our separate ways. It was definitely the longest time I had ever taken to go down seven floors. But life can indeed be colourful, if we let it be. That incident could have easily spoilt my day but I didn’t allow it to.
I posted the experience on my Facebook page with a dint of humour. After all, we need to stay positive for our family’s sake. This was just one of the Ramadan tests and I’m sure there are a few more to come.
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