a long way down

bethemasterofenglish

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello.

The following is from The Economist. http://www.economist.com/news/business/21647318-startup-culture-germinates-unlikely-place-land-temples-and-tech

"REMARKABLE views greet visitors to Phandeeyar, an open-plan office and events space which


sits atop a tower block in the centre of Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city. Its north windows frame


golden pagodas and colonial mansions; to the south weather-beaten cargo ships glide up the


Yangon River. The room is much-loved by the gaggle of computer programmers, entrepreneurs


and digital-media types who have lately begun to congregate there—but it would be better still if


Yangon's power were more reliable. It is a long way down when the lift is out of action."

Then, what does the sentence "It is a long way down when the lift is out of action." mean?
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's literal.'Phandeeyar,[is] an open-plan office and events space which sits atop ....': it's at the top of the building.
    A lift is BE for an elevator.
    When there's a power cut and the lift in the building I live in isn't working it's a long way down to the entrance of the building and an even longer way up. If there's an electricity supply problem the usefulness of an events and office space is much diminished.
     
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