I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Visualeyes 10

Hey! Lookie at the title....10 in 2K10! A good place to start out the new year.

The past 10 days have been really difficult. My computer, which had the H1N1 of  'puter viruses, has been out of commission. I haven't been able to blog, follow the news on Facebook, Tweet, or work on stories. I  was able to check email on a friend's computer but once a day check-ins are still tough when you're used to checking 4-6 times a day! Besides being computer-less, my digital cable hasn't worked so I've had the 4 networks only. No HGTV????? No NCIS reruns on USA?  Now add all of that to being car-less AND weather in the teens in the "sunny South" with wind chills in the single digits. Let's just say I've been a little crazed :-)

I did have to venture out into the cold one morning to go into town for a demo on assistive technology. Once I  was bundled up like Nanook of the North, I braved the wind, cold, and uphill path to the bus. The usual 10 minute walk took 20 minutes because the cold air left me gasping for breath like an asthmatic. I finally made it to the bus stop, huffing, puffing, and wheezing .I joined the 2 women waiting for the bus. One woman pleasantly cursed the cold weather (I agreed with her) while the second woman took a small dog she was holding and placed it back in the carrier that sat on top of an old-fashioned upright, wire shopping cart. She turned to me and said: "You haf pone?" I replied excuse me because while English is my first language, it wasn't hers.

"Pone!, Pone, make call!"  I figured out she wanted to use my phone. Now I'm not in the habit of handing over my phone to strangers, especially when communication with them is marginal. But my nature is to help people out, so I asked her what number she wanted to call. She pointed to a number written on the top of a notebook and I dialed it for her. I don't have an ear for languages but I did listen to many a student and parent jabbering in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese during my 30 years of teaching and when this woman began shouting into my cell in a harsh sounding dialect, I guessed it was Vietnamese.

Suddenly the other woman-who had been observing our interactions- called out that the bus had arrived. I didn't plan to miss it and stand in the cold any longer than necessary, so I  told Ms. Vietnam I needed my phone back. She turned away from me and continued to talk. I tried to reach for the cell and she blocked me and kept talking! The bus started to move and I  waved my arms begging for another moment and loudly stated  to Ms. Vietnam that I needed my phone. Again, she ignored me. I think I suddenly channeled The Hulk because a rage came upon me as I tore the phone out of her fingers shouting, "GIVE ME THE PHONE NOW!!" I leaped over to the bus, tapped my card and fell into a seat. The woman who had been observing this "confrontation" laughed and said she thought I wouldn't get the phone back. The bus driver, closed the door and started to drive off. The Vietnamese woman pounded on the door, shouting to get in (I guess that's whatshe was saying because it was in Vietnamese. Of course, she might have just been calling me names!). She dragged the cart and carrier onto the bus, fumbled for her card, then pushes the cart right in front of me and stood there trying to stare a hole through my head with dagger eyes!

I don't know what possessed me, but I actually sat there apologizing for ripping my phone out of her hands and offered to try the call again! ( the cold must have frozen all my working brain cells; either that or I had the feeling  that she might attack me with something-like a dog carrier- if I didn't let her use the phone again.) Just my luck, the battery was running low and the call wouldn't go through. She tried it twice- pushy little woman that she was- before she handed the phone back with a belligerent "it no work!"

Meantime, the bus driver had been shouting at her that it was dangerous to stand and she needed to sit down in a seat. She turned around and told him, "Get off, get off now!" I'm not sure if she meant herself, me, or the bus driver. He gladly stopped to let her off. He drove off mumbling about the crazy woman blocking the aisle. I noticed she was pushing the shopping cart/dog carrier toward the dry cleaners I use. Duh! It dawned on me that I had seen a small dog in the cleaners several times and this woman must work there. Visions of stained and torn clothes whizzed through my brain. Darn, now I have to find a new dry cleaners!

Oh the joys of riding the bus and the subway trains. I think I'll  write a book about my travails, uh, adventures. I think I'll call it "Mass Transit Chronicles." Here are the lessons I learned from chapter one's encounter:
          * Always start out your day with a fully chanrged cell phone. You never know if you'll have to dial
              911 because some crazy person is stealing your phone.
           * Never hand your phone to someone else, especially when you're waiting for a bus or train and
              especially if they don't speak English.
           * Beware of people with animal carriers on top of shopping carts.
Enough said.


  1. Well, I would say that made up for all the days you were house bound.... I'm still laughing

  2. This is so well-written, I can visualize everything!! Thanks for the laugh.