Music to our ears…we now have wifi in our flat! No more trying to search out bars and cafes to get things done. We are slowly but surely getting adjusted to our new environment. It really is amazing what things we take for granted living in the US.
One examaple is our Fire Departments. Fire codes, regulations and the firefighters. Heather and I went to sleep Sunday night to wake up early for work Monday. A bit after midnight the fire alarm is blaring in our ears! Startled, I walk out my bedroom and instantly smell smoke, turn on the lights and see our flat is filled with smoke! Yelling to Heather,she is answering…phew….she’s not burning alive down in our basement. We are trying to figure out if there is a fire in our flat, appears not to be. I look in the hallway, no one around. Look out the window, no fire trucks or people. We decided to gather our coats and passports then realize we may need to call the brigade (FD). 911 didn’t work. I Google emergency number and they dispatch the brigade as it hasn’t been activated yet (Keeping in mind the alarm throughout the entire place has gone off for about 10 minutes now). As they tell us to evacuate, neighbors come to our door and want to have a look around to see if the fire is in our flat as they have smoke in theirs as well. So lets stop for a minute….Since when is it our job to run about a complex and find the fire?!
So we all decide a good idea to exit the building, down 4 flights, and the brigade has arrived at the same time. 2 trucks, about 6 firefighters.
Firefighter: “Oh, HiYa. Do you know where the fire is?”
Me: “No, but we live on the 4th floor and there is definitley smoke in our flat and the one below us!”
Firefighter: “Can you come with and show me where?”
Me:” Ummm…….really?!” (Thinking, are you fucking kidding around right now?! Isn’t that why you are wearing the special gear?!) “I guess so…”
Long story short, he gets radioed that the lady in the basement next door burnt something while cooking….I’d like to know what! They all stand around a bit. Then firefighter asks me again to join them upstairs as our alarms are still activated. Heather stay down below with the other intelligent people. We go in and there is obvious still smoke in our flat, he asks me to open windows to air it out. Meanwhile, making small talk and saying they really like our clock in the kitchen (2 pigs gettin busy). Then they ask for a chair to take down the alarm and shut it off. He “blows the dust out” and puts it back up. Instantly, goes off again. I tells me I need to open more windows and if the alarm keeps going off, there must be an engineering problem and to call the alarm company. Ummm….there is obvious smoke, and the alarms job is to tell us that so actually I think its working just fine! The 2 men then talk amongst themselves, radio to there buddy downstairs, and decide to leave.
Heather and I were both like, what the hell was that?! Since when do you get asked to go back into the potentially burning building to show where the smoke is?! Not at home! We thought maybe it was just a fluke…no. No one at work seemed to think our story was out of the ordinary!