Did you know that, in addition to being the Hepatitis World Day (highly important) and the Chocolate Milk Day (yummy), today happens to also be the National Talk in an Elevator Day (https://tinyurl.com/3ehkn8z7)?
To begin with, it is absolutely necessary to take care of one’s liver. Sadly, sometimes liver infections occur due to three distinct viruses who are spread in different ways. Indeed, in Hepatitis A, B, and C , the liver is affected differently despite the similar symptoms. If you are curious about hepatitis, this is the day to read about it. As for chocolate milk, what can Bambi say about it? She is a heavy milk drinker while adoring chocolate. Combine the two and this would definitely be one of her favourite drinks in life.
Regardless of taste and personal preferences, this post will put aside food to only focus on the so-called National Talk in an Elevator Day. As mentioned in an older post (not shown below), Bambi is unsure who comes up with those days. Some are highly important, raising awareness about health conditions or other critical topics. Yet others seem trivial, and at times funny, even if very dear to Bambi’s heart and belly, like the national ice cream day. Again, let’s forget about ice cream to highlight elevators and the talks that could or could not occur in them.
If Bambi may, she will raise the following questions: when was the last time you took this machine, called elevator (“ascenseur” in French), to be transported to another level of a building? Do you have a vivid memory about what happened there? Did you greet people (if any) when you entered the elevator? Did they politely reply to you? Did they smile? Where they friendly? Did you have any small talk? Was the encounter enjoyable?
Stated differently, are you someone who tends to like talking to strangers? Some of us do actually whereas others may prefer to stand as far away as possible from the next individual, especially in a small or crowded elevator. If you have broken the silence yourself or if it was another person, what happened? Perhaps someone smiled, said hello, talked about the weather or even joked about something. According to National Talk in an Elevator Day, chatting with others could be an unexpected way to “make a new friend or a business acquaintance on the lift” (https://tinyurl.com/3ehkn8z7).
Of course, there are stories we hear about in songs, or watch in movies, like people falling in love in an elevator. Freaky stories, under crazy life circumstances, can take place too. For example, imagine being stuck in an elevator with someone in the darkness and under a sudden heavy shelling. This is what happened to Bambi and her sister Roula once in Beirut. She will always cherish this frightening moment of her life, as described in an older post, which was a tribute-obituary to a VERY dear family friend deceased during the Covid-19 pandemic (shared at the end of this post): “First the dramatic memory: Bambi and one of her sisters got stuck in your elevator in the darkness under the sudden and heavy shelling. The incident was scary, especially for two young girls. It is your voice Khalil and your tenderness that kept us hanging on. Thank you!” May your memory be eternal Khalil ❤️.
Another scary memory during civil was was when Eliah, Bambi’s “jeddo” (or grandfather) almost lost his life in the space box of the elevator. The latter was unlocked, even when the machine was not on the floor, following a power outage. The incident occured in Beirut in 1982, which was his last year among us. At the time, Bambi was 10 years old.
Of course, there are happier stories in elevators, with nice encounters with neighbours, tourists, fellow citizens, and/or colleagues in different workplaces, etc. Bambi will always remember having met an inspiring man to whom she spontaneously expressed her appreciation. Yes, she once bumped in the elevator into Dr. Réjean Thomas whose biography reads as follows: “family physician at l’Actuel, a centre in sexual health, which he has created and chaired since 1984, a medical advisor at the Center hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, a member of the McGill AIDS Center, former special advisor of the Québec government to International Humanitarian Action, Dr. Réjean Thomas also pursued philosophy studies. Founder of Médecins du Monde Canada, he has contributed to the establishment of humanistic medicine in Canada and abroad, participating in humanitarian missions in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Malawi and Vietnam” (https://shorturl.at/imqF2).
Besides fascinating encounters like the above, Bambi has funny elevator-related memories with childhood friends who also migrated to Montreal in 1990, but sadly later lost their lives too soon. Did Bambi say funny? Maybe not when in pain due to a fall together, which took her to the emergency while scaring her mom. Yes, Firas, now is the time for a friendly wink to heaven for you. You know why and most likely our other common friends who may be reading this post now and remembering the story :).
Before leaving you with elevator-related music, Bambi has two additional stories from her neighborhood in Montreal, which she will happily share with you, if you are still following: First, since she loves number 13 (like her birthday), Bambi was a bit shocked when she noticed that Montreal buildings, at least during her time there, did not have a 13th floor. Indeed, the floor numbers went from 12 to 14, imagine. This could be because 13 is considered, at least by some, as a doomed or unlucky number.
Second, a couple of years following her stay, at first with her family, in this building lacking the 13th floor, Bambi moved to live on her own. She first lived for a year in another building, which also did not have a floor called thirteen. However, in her second apartment building, which was not as tall as the first one, she made an unforgettable small, yet huge, talk with a neighbour in the short elevator ride. Of note, Bambi loved this building in which she stayed for almost ten years. Most of her neighbours, including the latter, were good-hearted middle-eastern immigrants. For instance, they were sweet and generous. They even kindly brought her Lebanese pastries on religious events. However, there was a senior lady who was perhaps more socially conservative than the relatives she left in her birth country (immigrants often remain too attached to some traditions or ways of living). Indeed, she could not understand how Bambi (or the younger version of her) seemed polite, and even family-oriented, yet she was independently living on her own. When Bambi entered the elevator, she greeted her neighbour. The lady did not reply. Immediately after, she asked her: “don’t you have a mom? Don’t you have a dad?” Bambi understood the why of this question (at that time, her parents had moved back to Beirut). She waited a few seconds until the elevator arrived to the ground floor (the ride included two levels). Calmly, she replied while leaving the elevator: “We all have a mother and a father. This is how we come to the world. Bye-bye”. Sometimes, one can be slow in replying to unexpected questions or comments. That was surely not the case in this example. Well, up until her middle-age, Bambi remains proud of her prompt answer :).
With this anecdote, this post will come to an end now in order to leave you with music. If you wish to listen, below you may find French, English, and instrumental pieces, which are all related to elevators. Some of them are romantic, thanks to Mr. Fady Bazz (French). Others are amusing, thanks to New Zealand police officers (instrumental). Many thanks also to Mr. Jean-Louis Cormier (French), Mr. David Archuleta (English), and Mr. Rudy Mancuso et al. (instrumental). All the shared pieces are filled with talent. Bravo.
If you wish to share your own elevator stories, please feel free to do so anytime. You may wish to post a comment on this blog or write privately to Bambi. This being said, if you happen to be taking an elevator today, please enjoy the ride. If you are reading this post from out Lebanon, Bambi urges you to be safe in case of unpredictable power outages.