Category Archives: Dining Out

Dining in the Dark (again) + Runners with Special Needs

Last Saturday afternoon, I was off to the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (“SAVH”) for my second encounter with Dining in the Dark.  More about my first experience [here].

Despite knowing what to expect this time, it didn’t get easier.  Drinking soup with the spoon still wasn’t easy, and I ended up just gulping it off the bowl (well… I usually drink my soup this way @ home LOL).  Poking around the plate and trying to cut my chicken chop was still one heck of a challenge and this time I had my tea with sugar so I had to estimate the amt that I put into my cup.  Oi, it’s not that easy considering I can’t SEE how big the cup is ok!   Yes, I could feel it cutlery but I am and always have been highly dependent on my sense of sight, so having that taken away made a simple thing like having a meal difficult.

Ironic, I know, but in that dark room, the only person who could “see” was our visually impaired server, Zahir.  How he managed to single handedly handle 17 of us in there, is just amazing.

Once again, this serves as a reminder that I shouldn’t really take everything that I’ve been given for granted, and that I should make the most of whatever I have, when I (still) can.

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During my visit to Tokyo, Japan in Nov last year, I had chanced upon visually impaired runners @ Ueno Park.  They were paired up with a sighted buddy running alongside them.  I had the intention of approaching SAVH with that idea, but I guess I just got busy and totally forgot about it.

This time, am determined to put my thoughts into action.

Drafted an email to the SAVH and as I was Googling for a picture for illustration, I stumbled upon Running Hour – a running club that includes those who are “mildly intellectually challenged and the visually challenged”.  Have since filled up the application form and sent it via email, expressing my desire to volunteer as a buddy runner.  Yeah I might just be a beginner in terms of the sport, but I strongly believe that running is something that everyone should be able to do, as long as they want to do it.  I hope they accept my application, despite me not having a 10km timing  o(^_^)o

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Anyway, that being said, I’d like to recount a story that Zahir shared – an incident that took place on the MRT.  He was sitting on one of the “reserved seats” and had his white cane folded up on his lap.  Then this man suddenly started shouting something along of the lines of “Are you people blind?  Can’t you see that my wife is pregnant and needs a seat?” At that point of time, Zahir was unaware and didn’t think that the man was referring to him.  It was only after when he unfolded his stick, and that the man started apologizing, that he realized.

I didn’t say it out loud, but I was pretty much thinking… just WHO is the blind person in that situation?

One thing people gotta realize is that, courtesy works BOTH ways.  Granted that people should offer up their seat on public transportation to those who require it more as it’s the right thing to do, people should also understand there no one is entitled to anything.  There is no need to be rude, and absolutely no need to take photographs and videos of people who remain seated on the priority seats and post them online.

Cos really… do you actually know what the person is going thru’ at that point of time?  You might think the person is just pretending to be asleep.  What if the person is someone who works 2 jobs for the sake of his/her family and is genuinely tired?  What if the person who didn’t give up her seat is pregnant as well, but it’s too early into the pregnancy to show?  What if the person just isn’t feeling well?

Ask and you shall be given.  Am sure that should a heavily pregnant lady ask politely for a seat, one will be given to her almost immediately.

Be kind