This is the first in the series of pieces about my daily life in Barcelona. I frequently go to the Barcelona Public Library to do my online schoolwork and while there, I take the elevator up three flights. I have found that the epitome of awkwardness occurs in an elevator. We all know elevators are awkward, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. I’ve decided that there is a perfect number of elevator riders for an elevator to be less awkward: 1, or 4. Obviously, one is ideal; it’s just you and the empty space.
Two is the ultimate awkwardness. At the library you just stand there in the elevator and you both stare at the sign that shows what floor you’re on and act like you’re busy finding something in your bag or drinking water and what not. For example, I was in the elevator today with a middle aged guy who had the day before asked me to watch his computer as he went to the bathroom (I’ll be honest: I didn’t understand what he said until after he walked away). After we half smiled at each other in recognition (I guess) it was silent. The seconds ticked by slowly. At our apartment, in contrast, if you end up in the elevator with someone else, it wouldn’t normally be so awkward because the people are so friendly BUT the fact that they’re friendly in Spanish (and um… I’m not so fluent) isn’t very ideal. I don’t always want to reveal that I’m not super fluent in Spanish so I just cross my fingers that they say simple things and when I don’t understand, I’ll smile and say sí or no sé.
Now, three people in the elevator is just as awkward, and five people gets too crowded; BUT, four people in an elevator is much better because there’s enough people that the silence isn’t as awkward and it’s not as crowded either!
After having thoroughly pondered this topic (as you can tell) I came up with five ways to make an elevator ride less awkward:
1) Keep a smile on your face. It’ll quickly relieve any awkward tension… possibly.
2) Be brave and say something! Give a compliment; they’re easy and everyone likes them.
3) Too shy? Bring a book and act engaged before you even get in the elevator.
4) Make life a little funnier by making the situation even more awkward! This guy has got is down!
5) Or you can just take the stairs.
Well… now I have to take my own advice (and take the stairs hahahahahah). Any other suggestions?
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn