Point of view: I decided to bounce back

I saw these guys playing table tennis in an Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, neighborhood, and I knew I wanted a picture. I hopped out of my car and approached them with my interpreter. One man immediately said they'd be happy to let me take their picture - if I paid him. I didn't want to pay him outright, so I made a deal: I'd play him a game. If I won, I could shoot away for free. If he won, I'd pay his price, about $1. I'd played some Ping-Pong "back in the day," after all. But the guy with whom I'd negotiated the deal promptly handed his paddle to another man standing nearby - the neighborhood champion, no doubt. I gave him some good-natured ribbing about shirking a challenge, hoping he'd take back the paddle. No deal. I quickly fell behind, 1-4, but battled back to 7-10 before the champion went on a run and claimed victory. It was a good match, with some decent rallies and a fair amount of laughter. It was fun, and it gave me a fond memory as well as a photograph of Ethiopian life many never see.

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