Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Great things about being blind. Sighted people who naturally know the right things to do.

I had a wonderful day today. All of it. It started out freezing cold. I was up early to walk my dogs and to get things together to leave for a storytelling/disability awareness presentation in a town about an hour away by train. I called for a cab to pick me up. I could have bussed it to the train station but it was freezing and early. The cab driver was wonderful, friendly, and pointed out where the station doors were when I got out. And he complimented me on my guide dog too. Once inside, I got my ticket. The man at the counter broke apart my tickets and said he was handing me the one for the journey back first so that I could put it away. Then, he handed me my ticket for the outward trip. This doesn't seem like a big deal but usually sighted folks just hand you the whole thing and then you hand the train people the whole ticket. It isn't a big deal but by doing what he did, he showed me he was aware of what I would need to know and I didn't even have to ask. Next he asked if someone could show me to the proper departure area. Another very nice and friendly man came and without my having to ask, he asked if I wanted to take his arm or if my dog would follow him. Once again, someone who easily and naturally knew how to help and how not to help. The people on the train were wonderful. Tulia was beautifully behaved on her first train journey with me. When I reached my destination, I was met by one of the people organizing my presentation. She too was wonderful, friendly, full of enthusiasm. She admitted that she didn't know how best to guide me but she asked what I needed and listened. At the restaurant, the food was good, the company interesting, engaged, and wonderful. One person said they expected to learn something but hadn't expected to be so entertained. There was lots of laughter and many excellent questions. The storytelling was wonderful in itself but as it often does, serves as a vehicle for disability awareness education. After we were finished, I got a ride back to the train station where (once again) staff were friendly, helpful, not patronizing in the least. the trip home was smooth and relaxing and when I got here, my wonderful retired guide was thrilled to see us back again. So thanks to all of you sighted people out there who make life so fun. And to those who make it difficult sometimes, that is okay too because you may just show up in one of my stories. Everyone today was stellar. Thanks for that.

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