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First lessons in Addis

Originally posted by Emily Schmidt (IFPRI):

The largest hazard here in Ethiopia (besides the normal cautions of don’t drink the tap water and steer clear of the raw meat dish) are door handles.  Most of the door handles are only slightly secure, and at any moment they may just come right out of the door as you are pulling it open.  Several times I have fallen backwards because I was trying to pull open a door with a little too much force and I took the door handle with me.  This experience is sort of like falling in the bathtub; you reach out for something to grab and the only object you find is a shower curtain (if you are lucky), which provides no stability whatsoever.  Same idea – as I feel gravity pull me backwards, I look for something to grab onto, but quickly realize that I am already holding the doorknob in my hand and there isn’t anything else to grab a hold of, so…away you go.  When you land, you feel ridiculous sitting in the middle of a hallway with a doorknob in your hand.  But, I am slowly learning to win this battle of doorknob wit, and I am becoming quite efficient at tugging lightly, and I try to stop and readjust if I sense any give in the doorknob.