Monday, December 22, 2008

Travelling -- Part 2

Well let's see, after getting past he customs it sometimes may be difficult trying to find the seat on the plane. (that is if you don't want to ask for help) Some planes have their seat # up right under the overhead baggage so you can lean in to see. But there are other makes of plane that has their seating number around where the lights are so sometimes it might be too small to see. But with my experiences on planes, most people and attendants are relatively friendly.

So I would say that getting to and from various airports are usually not that bad. And if you know a little English, it goes a long way. The most troubles you may encounter is often when you're travelling within foreign cities.

Blind, mute, deaf.. can it get any worse
I think when you can't see, what we often rely on is our ability to communicate, but if you're in a country that doesnt' speak your language, then you not only become blind, but also deaf and mute. Now that's a scary thought.

So how can we get around it? Well if you want hi tech a GPS always helps. But best way is to map out where you wnat to go so you're not trying to wing it as you go. If you know where and what you're looking for, it gives an extra sense of security even if you may not be able to speak the language. No matter what, rule of thumb I would say is to remember where you came from so if for any reason you become lost, at least you can back track. Using large landmarks can also be a good location indicator. But when in doubt, have a written name of your hotel or destination so you can point to and ask.

Clueless about what it is...
Not being able to see, oneo f the worst places to be in is a museum. It often feels like I am missing such a big chunk of exploring things. Why you may ask? Well simply at museums I can't see the explanations. It's always frustrating staring at a piece of artifact not being able to know what it is or its history. Same goes with aqarian or zoos, the inability to read explanations puts a lot of stress on the back.

Money, Money, Money
Adjusting to new currency is also a pain. Although I must say some currency are more low vision friendly than others. Personally I'm a Canadian and I like our dollar very much. It is distinquishable by colour and has a very large roman numeral indicating amount the bill is worth. One the contrary the US dollar is less friendly since the font is quite small and it is difficiult to distinquish otherwise.

Then you have the problem of dealing with coins, its bad enough having to sort through them, but more often than not, its almost impossible for me to see the value of the coin. Not to mention cash registeres. Normally you can simply ask the cashier for the total, but in a foreign place, you may not be able to understand or see which could become an issue. Sometimes for me, it helps to count the different coins and arrnge them before i get to the cash register.

Feet is your best friend
Finding bus routes is already a pain. Knowing how to get fronm point A to point B can help minimize the frustrations. Always ha e a good idea on back tracking. And of course not being able to drive is a big downer. Everything from train schedules, suying subway tickets, and everything you will be constant reminded of how much easier things would be if you can only see.

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