Tonight I locked Jess and myself out my apartment.
Jess is visiting from Aceh for the weekend. We were just going downstairs to fill up some water bottles so I didn’t bother to lock the door and take my keys. But instead of that being true I locked the door on autopilot and the keys were locked inside.
I realised half way down the stairs. The hours of bother ahead flashed through my mind. We weren’t going to be sitting down to watch movies as planned. My phone was inside the apartment so I couldn’t call the owner who lives in the next suburb. The admin office was closed so I couldn’t get her phone number from their records either. My instinct told me it was going to be tricky. I went to the security guards and told them in English that I was locked out. I didn’t know any of the Thai words required to express being locked out, so I said “I’m locked out of my apartment. The keys are inside, I’m outside”. The security guard looked at me and slapped his forehead with his palm. “You forgot your keys? Silly girl!”
That took me by surprise. He spoke a few words of English, but not many. Usually our conversations consisted of “Where you go?” followed by me doing some silly actions to convey ‘dinner’ or ‘exercise’. The day I tried to explain I was going to see the Princess he looked so confused I just had to abort mission: conversation. I suppose this particular phrase he’d had reason to use often enough.
He took his phone out of his pocket, spoke to someone for a few seconds and then said “wait here”. Jess and I went to the back of the building to fill up the water bottles while we waited. Only three bottles so it took about 1-2 minutes. We walked back to the front of the building and there was a man standing there, waiting for us, almost looking impatient. We followed him upstairs, I showed him my door, he unpacked a little tool kit, started picking the lock, and three minutes later we were inside, he was paid and bidding us farewell (not before handing me his business card – perhaps he sensed I would be a repeat offender).
I am still confused about how it was all sorted so fast. Getting locked out added a maximum of ten minutes to our planned trip to the water dispenser. It took less time than it has for me to write about it.
I just don’t know where he came from! He was just there. Amazing.