Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ground Floor

Floors in a building in India are numbered differently than those in the US. Ground floor is labeled as floor 0 here while we are used to referring to it as the first floor. Trivial issue, you say? After hitting the button for floor 1 for the nth time (when I really wanted to go to floor 0), I realized how painful this transition to the alternate numbering scheme can be. In general, elevators here move at about a third of the speed of their US counterparts. Same thing is true for the speed at which doors open and shut. Secondly, there is a continuous traffic of people in and out of residential buildings, which means that the elevator will make several stops before reaching your target floor. Of course, it does not help that we live on the top floor in our building.

So having the elevator stop at one extra stop (floor 1) can be VERY PAINFUL. Especially when you are rushing the kids to school or charging off to an important meeting.

On the other hand, if you look at it technically, this numbering system does make logical sense. The ground floor ought to be considered 0 and the basement -1. But then if I am on the 13th floor, am I really 14 floors high?

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