I'm not sure what happened, but I actually wrote this on Thursday. I'm going to blame technology, and just go ahead and post it now, along with the tale of our fun trip to customs.
Last night, we went to sleep on the late side. One of our colleagues has instituted Wednesday evening gatherings in one of the common areas of our building. We stayed fairly late, and then had dinner fairly late before going to bed.
Sometime close to midnight (I failed to look at my watch to see the exact time this happened), at the point when I was finally drifting off to sleep, we were jolted out of bed by an alarm. It was a loud sound similar to a siren, punctuated by instructions in Russian, then English. The English instructions said that there was an emergency, and we needed to evacuate the building immediately.
Scott was organized enough to actually throw on some real clothes. I threw a bathrobe on over my pajamas, put on my flip-flops, and grabbed a blazer (the first jacket I found) to put on outside. I also managed to grab my phone, purse, and a pair of somewhat sturdier shoes to take with me. We live on the tenth floor, and I knew it would take some time to get out of the building, and not knowing what was going on, I didn't want to take any chances.
It was quite a scene in the lobby and outside. Various colleagues (some still in their jammies, like me), their children, and their pets were all gathered around in small groups, speculating on what had happened. It became clear pretty quickly that the situation was not immediately life-threatening, but no one was anxious to go back inside until we knew for sure (and until they turned the alarm off).
Anyway, after all that hullabaloo, rumor has it that someone was cooking and set off the smoke alarm. I'm trying to withhold judgement before learning all the facts, but this raises two questions in my mind:
1) What on earth is wrong with cold cereal as a midnight snack?
2) If you are cooking at midnight, wouldn't that be an ideal time to watch what you're doing and try really hard to not set off the smoke alarm?
On the one hand, I guess I'm glad to know that our building has a functioning alarm system. On the other hand....aaargh!