Behind closed doors

It was on my recent trip to Durban that I realized a rather significant, overlooked aspect of my life, the door dilemma. It was the first day of my holiday and my sister, cousin and I decided to embark on an exploration of the hotel, see what it had to offer. We got off at the second floor, the pool deck and apparently the hot spot of the hotel to hang out.

We disembarked and took a cool stroll, taking in the surroundings. There was a length of glass windows and doors, which gave way to a breathtaking view of the pool and ocean. Its outside that we really wanted to be, so we took a walk to the first set of doors, all ready to open up and let the ocean breeze whip us away. Simple. Hand on the door handle and pull. It didn’t budge. Uh, push maybe. Pull, push…nothing. Ah well, theres another door a few metres away. Next stop. Door two, and access to the outside. Repeat. Pull, push, pull, push. Geez, what is up with this door?! 

When there are three “intelligent” people fighting one door, its quite a scene, especially when it appears that you have spectators on the other end. We smiled at each other sheepishly and gave up, more to save ourselves from embarrassment than anything else. 

A few windows to the left and we spotted a curtain flying in the breeze (wait, on that particular day I think it was wind!). Freedom, at last. Finally, a way out. Curious to see how the door actually opened, we took notice of its position. A sliding door. Brilliant. Not push or pull. Slide towards either side. What would it cost these guys to give us some indication? It would save a great deal of embarrassed folks. The up side to this was that from the other side, the window was tinted to some degree. Sigh of relief.

Back inside, we occupied three seats and just lazed there for a while. Its quite interesting to watch people☺ I picked up the newspaper and got absorbed in the news for a while (nerd!), then just sat back and watched what went on around me. There was an unsuspecting victim, clad in her swimsuit ready to head out. Oh, but that doors again! I watched her battle for a short while, confused and obviously frustrated and then decided to help her out. Poor thing. I bet these doors have a good laugh at our expense. 

A little later I saw a guy and girl walk towards the door from the other side. It was hard to say whether they were a couple or not, but after observing his behaviour, I’d opt for the latter. Heading towards the inside, the guy took the lead and opened the door. What a sucker. The girl expected him to hold the door open, but alas, she assumed wrong. Slam! A few inches closer and she would have needed nose surgery. She came inside, muttering under her breath and obviously embarrassed. Loser dude.

We headed down to the car park later on and had to take a flight of stairs down. We were on the ground floor of the hotel, which was bustling with people. The door was located just next to the lifts so we had a group of people obviously bored, waiting for the elevator to make its way down. Memories of the previous ‘embarrassing’ door incident still fresh in my mind, I was a bit skeptical about approaching the door. I gave the task over to my sister, who bravely checked the options and made a clean entry. Down a few flights of stairs, and another door. These doors can get really confusing. I messed up with this one a few times. The good thing is that it was down in the basement. I’d only be making a fool in front of myself.

We humans are evil, laughing at someone’s misfortune (ok, we not that bad, but sometimes its uncontrollable). I bet there’s only a handful of people who have never laughed at someone who tripped over themselves, slipped, had a really good fall or bumped into a glass door. It’s just funny and even though we empathise with them, it doesn’t make you want to laugh any less. No matter how bad the resultant injury is though, I think it’s the ego that’s most damaged. It’s even funnier when it happens to someone close to you, because after all the laughs you know you’ll probably be forgiven. Sometimes it’s a matter of laughing with someone and not at them. When you replay what you looked like in your heroic scence, its usually quite hilarious. 

Another incident comes to mind. When I was in Cape Town last year, I stayed for a night at an apartment in Blouberg. It takes time a acclimatize to the windy weather, and figuring out which way the door blows should be the least of my worries. People at reception are supposed to be the friendly, helpful type. But, apparently not. I came downstairs and fought with the door, begging it to let me out. Do you think the guy at reception cared to help out? Nah, he was too busy laughing at me. After an embarrassing battle, he probably felt sorry for me eventually and let me out. 

I know that chivalry is on the brink of extinction. I’m not asking that a guy open the car door or pull out the chair for us every time the moment presents itself, but the least you can do is keep the door open the next time we behind you. People like myself, with long noses are more susceptible to nose injury, so be kind…save a nose where you can. And don’t be like the Capetonian guy either☺

Uhh, and the next time you see a closed door, you’ll probably meet an unsuspecting foolish victim like myself (at times) on the other side.