Housekeeping or Certain Death?

Most of the time, I can get around on my Chinese. I can read simple signs, I can ask basic questions, and I can recognize both foods I like and foods I won’t touch on a menu. But sometimes, everyday things remind me that I’m really living in a non-English world.

A sign appeared next to our building’s elevator the other day. I looked it over. I didn’t see the “is forbidden” characters from a non-smoking sign, or the word for electricity, or the words for up and down, so I figured it was probably safe to get in. Probably. I mean, “elevator is broken,” has to have some of those characters, right?

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