Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Some of our floors are missing

Hong Kong.

The highest floor of the Harbour Plaza North Point hotel is number 32, and there are 419 steps to it from the 2nd floor. There are only 275 steps to my floor, which is given the numeral identifier "25".

But here's the thing. Although my floor might be called 25, it is not the 25th floor; there are not 24 floors below mine. There is no 4th, 13th, 14th or 24th floor. Well I suppose there are, if you count them properly. But there are no floors assigned those numbers. The numbering scheme - and indeed the lift system - simply strolls on, whistling innocently, pretending not to have noticed.

But we uncommon minds need to know what's happened to them! Were they skillfully omitted by cunning builders cutting corners? Were they spirited away by implacable aliens in the deep of the night? Or is it merely a collision of superstitions from disparate belief systems? We may never know.

There is a floor called B1, though, and one called M, which is situated between floors 3 and 5, as well as - and this is the really clever bit - between floors 5 and 3. It doesn't have a button in any of the lifts, though, and I tried looking on the floor in case it had fallen off, but couldn't see one anywhere. The only way I could find to reach it was using the staircases. Staircase 4 was my preference, but I also used staircases 3 and 5 (I didn't find staircases 1 and 2, and don't even get me started on that).

M for mystery, eh?

Oh, and the floor called 22, which is a smoking floor, really does reek of cigarette smoke.

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