Life on the Ledge

This morning I woke up to a most curious sight. It was a sight that instantly took me back to the year 2006, which was one I spend in Shanghai - it was a rather common sight over there (and surely still is). I immediately grabbed my phone to snap a couple quick pictures of the moment. Perched outside the ledge of the 4th floor window across the street was a window cleaner. No safety harness, no nothing - very much like how it was in Shanghai (there the window cleaner would perch on dubiously installed air conditioning units to reach the windows above, or hang off skyscrapers attached to a single rope sitting on a wooden plank). It was an entirely superfluous act, I should mention. The windows he was cleaning were the sort that could easily be cleaned from the inside - both front and back. So apparently he enjoyed the buzz of doing the cleaning in this way. In fact, I could easily relate.

"good morning, Copenhagen!!'

You see, the sight also brought back memories of my university days, as I once had a summer window cleaning business way back when. There were moments when I quite enjoyed that job, actually. It was great to be outside all summer, and I came to enjoy climbing the 11 meter ladder that I owned, which was tall enough to reach most 3rd story windows, and usually just get me to onto the roof of 3 story buildings (so I could clean the leaves and other gunk out of the eavestroughs).

Anyway, in the same way I enjoyed climbing that ladder (we would normally only have the need to use it once or twice a day - normally the 8 meter ladder would do the trick, and it didn't have quite the same bouncy swaying action that the 11 meter one had as you climbed it), apparently these guys enjoy having the chance to straddle the ledges of Copenhagen apartments - just because they can. Myself, I generally found a certain passing tranquility and peacefulness whenever I was up that high, looking out across the neighbouring rooftops. I know, I know, it's not for everyone.

In a western world increasingly obsessed with safety, it was somehow good to see a couple guys 'living on the edge', even if just a tiny little bit. Of course, the company they were working for would probably get a hefty fine if such safety-regulation-flouting behaviour ever got caught and reported.

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