28
$\begingroup$

Last summer, I spent a week of my holiday in a hotel in a small resort town close to the sea. In the room next to mine stayed a family - the parents and two children of elementary school age - who looked a bit stressed, especially the parents, but otherwise perfectly normal and not noticably different from any other guest.

However, I soon noticed something odd about this family:
Every morning, they would all leave their room on the 10th floor and take the lift down to the lobby on the ground floor to have breakfast. After they had all finished eating, they would take the lift back to the 10th floor and prepare for a day full of... whatever it is a family does on their summer holiday.
Every evening however, they would take the lift down to the lobby, eat, and afterwards take the stairs back to their room. This struck me as weird, because the lifts were all in perfect working order, and I used them myself within minutes of them disappearing into the staircase in order to get back to my room. One day I walked out of the lift just as they arrived at their door, all four of them sweating and breathing heavily, looking like they all had much rather taken the elevator than climb ten flights of stairs.

I did not dare ask them why they insisted on this strange evening ritual, but after thinking about it for a while in the silence of my room, the answer became clear.

So, what was the reason for my neighbour's behaviour?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Is the entrance to the stairs in the lobby as well? $\endgroup$ – Nzall May 3 '16 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ @ Nate Kerkhofs Yes, the stairs are right next to the lifts. $\endgroup$ – cpj May 3 '16 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ Is there something between the ground floor and 10th floor which is of interest? $\endgroup$ – Shuri2060 May 3 '16 at 12:03
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ For religious reasons? Maybe they aren't allowed to use elevators after sundown? $\endgroup$ – RobertL May 3 '16 at 18:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ how is this lateral thinking? $\endgroup$ – njzk2 May 4 '16 at 17:13

11 Answers 11

42
$\begingroup$

in the silence of my room

Was the aim to:

tire the children out entirely so that everyone would get a decent night's sleep?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This actually sounds like it might be the answer. $\endgroup$ – Nzall May 3 '16 at 12:11
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ We have a winner! Of course, two children between 6 and 10 on their summer holiday will be far too excited to care about something boring like "bedtime". So, if the parents want to actually relax during their holiday, they have to get a little... creative. $\endgroup$ – cpj May 3 '16 at 12:27
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Those parents must be awful at planning child-friendly outings if this is necessary. :( $\endgroup$ – Will May 3 '16 at 12:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @cpj Don't tell me this is a real anecdote? If it is then this makes it even funnier XDD $\endgroup$ – Shuri2060 May 3 '16 at 13:10
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Meh, I disagree. Children will recuperate from this activity rather swiftly. Most healthy adults wouldn't be taxed too much either. If anything, a rev-up like this will destroy any intent they had to sleep. When I am on the road and feeling sleepy, I get out of the car to do some squats/pushups to get revved up and that allows me to stay alert for more time. Adrenalin pushes melatonin out of the body. $\endgroup$ – DraxDomax May 3 '16 at 16:59
13
$\begingroup$

The silence of your room?

I'm guessing it was too much gas after eating!
Perhaps they didn't want to suffocate their fellow guests in the lifts but let it work out over a 10 floor climb. Were they fond of beans? :-)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ LOL! 😂 Up to the top you go! $\endgroup$ – L S May 3 '16 at 19:01
11
$\begingroup$

Here are a couple options:

The family was all very short and could reach the button for the lobby but not the 10th floor. In the morning, there are enough people eating breakfast at the same time that they could ask someone else to press it. However, they eat dinner at an odd time and so nobody else was on the lift.

 

They're taking leftovers from dinner and they want to hide it from the hotel staff in the lobby because they think it's against the rules.

 

They are strict orthodox Jews who all have brain damage and think that every day is the day before Shabbat so they can't use electricity once the sun sets. They would have to start eating before sunset and finish after.

 

They've dedicated themselves as a family to a healthier lifestyle and taking the stairs after dinner is one step in that direction.

 

They think that local hooligans use the lift at night and threaten hotel guests.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I like the 2nd and 5th ideas $\endgroup$ – Shuri2060 May 3 '16 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ 3 doesn't make sense -- then why use the elevator in the morning and before dinner? $\endgroup$ – Scimonster May 3 '16 at 18:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Aside from the accepted answer, I thought your third option (exercising off their meals) was a serious possibility. $\endgroup$ – L S May 3 '16 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Scimonster Good point. I had it right in my idea but I typed it wrong. Fixed? $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast May 3 '16 at 22:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @HankyPanky They have big heads and little arms and they don't think this plan was thought out very well. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast May 4 '16 at 12:44
10
$\begingroup$

I think it's because

There is a weight limit in the elevator. The normal weight of the family is just under the limit, even after eating there breakfast there are still sure to be under. But they are stressed about being beyond the limit after dinner (which is mush bigger than breakfast) so they don't use the elevator.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No, that was not the reason - it was a pretty big lift, and save for up to 10 people. In fact, I shared a ride with the four of them a few times. $\endgroup$ – cpj May 3 '16 at 11:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @cpj And of course they could have split in two groups to use the elvator ;) $\endgroup$ – Fabich May 3 '16 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ Standard elevator limit is 900kg, family of 4 is usually under 200. :) $\endgroup$ – Alexus May 3 '16 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ If they're that close to the limit (assume the limit is really low), they'd take the stairs all the time just to be sure. $\endgroup$ – immibis May 4 '16 at 22:21
5
$\begingroup$

I think as @LogicianWithAHat said, the line

"after thinking about it for a while in the silence of my room, the answer became clear."

Is important here.

It might have been because they wanted to

Tire the kids, so they could easily fall asleep (as @LogicianWithAHat said)

Or

The elevator was making some noise and they didn't want to wake anybody up?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The elevators are likely running rather frequently right after dinner, avoiding one trip up in the elevator wouldn't make much difference to anyone if they could hear the elevator from their room. $\endgroup$ – Question Marks May 3 '16 at 19:26
4
$\begingroup$

I think it's because

The resort is near to the sea. So they take stairs to see the beautiful sunset scene which is only visible on the way by stairs. They take the breakfast after the sunrise in the morning so they prefer lift in the morning.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I have a feeling there's more to it than that, looking at "a bit stressed". $\endgroup$ – Shuri2060 May 3 '16 at 11:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I know/knew it but I like to give wrong answers. All the correct answers I post are accidental. $\endgroup$ – manshu May 3 '16 at 11:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice try, but the stairs go around the lift in the middle of the building - you would need to be in their room before they could see the sun. Also, depending on which side of the hotel their room is, they would see the sunrise or sunset, but not both. $\endgroup$ – cpj May 3 '16 at 11:40
3
$\begingroup$

It's a non-smoking hotel and they use the stairs to secretly smoke a cigarette.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Smoke? Around young children? Who would do such a thing? Certainly not. Also, they would probably have triggered the sprinkler system. $\endgroup$ – cpj May 3 '16 at 12:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @cpj you would have to smoke a pretty big cigarette to set off the sprinkler system, and while I would call it irresponsible, a lot of people have no problem to smoke in front of children. 25 years ago nobody would even think it was strange. $\endgroup$ – Pieter B May 4 '16 at 13:07
3
$\begingroup$

I think:

Since dinner time food is generally taken in comparatively larger quantity than breakfast so they take stairs to get to their 10th floor room to digest the food. After breakfast they have whole day for activities to digest their morning food but generally after dinner people go to sleep. And as they are in a hotel holidaying so they probably had heavy dinner. So they need to digest it.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

They have numerophobia (a fear of numbers) so scrupulously avoid ever pressing a button having a number on it. Going down to the lobby requires pressing the "L" button so is no problem. And in the mornings, the elevator operator presses the button for the 10th floor for them (it's a very upscale hotel). However, in the evenings at 7:30 pm, the elevator operator has already gone home for the day, so they are forced to use the stairs instead, to avoid pressing a number-bearing button.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

They have been surfing/skiing or whatever, and their surfboard/skis or whatever don't fit in the lift.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

An idea:

Perhaps it's something to do with checking in and checking out. I can't quite think of it, but perhaps there is a loophole in the system to save money if you only take the stairs from the restaurant rather than the lift. Perhaps you need to insert a card into the lift, or something which checks how many times you've entered the restaurant? (of course, this leads to the question of why they don't do this for breakfast, but this is just an idea)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ If the hotel offered something like this, I would have known from the beginning - and maybe even joined them. No, that was not the reason. Interesting idea, though - maybe you can pitch it to a weight loss-hotel? "You want an extra slice of bread? Sure, that would be the calory equivalent of... climbing 10 flights of stairs. Have fun!" $\endgroup$ – cpj May 3 '16 at 11:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Haha, that's not quite what I meant. I meant loophole as in some way to sneak out of the restaurant to the stairs without paying or something like that. $\endgroup$ – Shuri2060 May 3 '16 at 12:01

protected by Aza May 4 '16 at 22:18

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.