“Have you seen anything suspicious?” What a simple question, huh?
I have seen suspicious things all my life. I have been taught to live my life as a sighted person, and once again itʻs slowly getting on my nerves…
This time I live in Texas. Last time I was taught how to do everything the sighted way I lived in Europe (and Brazil). Since everything – the correct behavior, how anything is built or designed – depends on the location, language, and culture, and customs, this creates daily frustrations. No only for me, but this blog will be a way to vent on my road to … my own vision. (Pun intended. Pins up – yes, I can read and write Braille. I prefer the dots up).
Today I went for a nice midday run. There is this great trail close to where I live. It looks different every time. I love running in the forest as I have to look at my toes and try to scan the path for obstructions and for anything that could make me fall. Lights play a huge role, and so does the weather. The sighted people run carefully as there are many sharp stones. I love it – itʻs a whole body exercise. Eyes, lungs, back, the whole body to keep the coordination. And the speed of running is less of an issue anyway. I donʻt count tracks but I track the time by the music I listen to (and I donʻt like running without my music).
So on the way to this track thereʻs this great talking street light. “The walking sign is on” – is what you hear after pressing it. It tells you what intersection itʻs located at, and then itʻll also tell you how much time youʻve got left (about 30 seconds in total). So great, “the walking sign is on“… guess how often the cars donʻt stop for it? Today someone stopped their car just in front of me – sigh. It frustrates me – youʻd think the car drivers should see where the crosswalk is and maybe stop for it? Oh, but in this city… everyone drives. Everyone uses their mobile phone (handsfree or not), and … well, accidents happen. But what a great service it is then for all the traffic delays and accident infos to be available in twitter, right? Oh yea. “Omg I nearly ran to this pedestrian..” – I can imagine that. Just like today, in broad Texas midday daylight.
I run nearly always the same route, with some variation. I know around where I live. And I alter my course if or when I donʻt feel safe. And there are quite often all these weird behaviors people do that make me feel very unsafe.
Iʻve seen people park their cars in intersections and in the middle of the road in residential area and just walk off the car. Why on earth would they do something like that? Since I donʻt have usually my phone with me when I go for a run, what am I supposed to do? “Hey, I … heard you stop your car, whatʻs going on?” Oh no, I probably wouldnʻt ask that. I would just try to find my own safe way home instead.
I see people on the phones all the time. When running, driving…
“Oh, I see.” – sigh. How do you SEE in your dreams? I donʻt know about mine any more. Before I had eye surgery 15 years ago, I didnʻt see my fingers or toes without my glasses. My dreams had corrected vision, I think. Now… I get nightmares about crossing a road. Everything is made for and designed around cars. Public transport… well, not really an option for where I live or where Iʻd need to go. But – well, letʻs get started. Iʻll probably get SIGHT-tracked quite a bit occasionally. My starting point and post today was just to get started with the walking street signs and crossing the road.