Travel the web you find some amazing facts, people and stories. It's a universe and while you're off exploring, somebody is landing back at home base. Often they're pests, but sometimes they bring with them the gifts of new insights. www.RollingRains.com falls into the latter category.
It's run by Scott Rains and covers everything from developments in new innovations and development for the disabled, to their own stories. One which featured on the site came from blind journalist Ian Hamilton. Below is a transcription of a podcast for the exhibition Lives in Motion, at the Glasgow Museum of Transport. Okay, it's not a Kiwi yarn, but some stories are written so well they touch everybody...
Travel story - Ian Hamilton
As a blind person using public transport, it could be described as an extreme sport!
Not only do I have to run the gauntlet of escalators, lifts, finding the right platform, and accessing ticket barriers, I also have to cope with the general public, who tend to balance between two extremes: overly helpful and won't leave me alone for a second; or they pretend I don't exist, so they don't speak to me.
Years ago, I was trying to find a particular bus stop in Union Street in Glasgow.
After asking numerous people, and walking for miles, I eventually found the right one.
I was exhausted, and the noise of the bus and the traffic on the road was very loud and it made it difficult to hear people speaking to me.
All of a sudden, two little old ladies, pushed their way through the crowd. They had been observing me for some time and had decided I needed rescued.
When a bus arrived, they took my arms, and lifted me bodily on to it.
Now then, I'm six foot tall and over fourteen stone, however, these five-foot tall senior citizens proceeded to push, heave and drag me aboard, causing absolute mayhem.
With mothers and toddlers being pushed aside, the driver had to leave the safety of his cab to untangle buggies, shopping, walking sticks and various limbs. Shame it was the wrong bus!
I often wonder if the ladies are still patrolling that part of Union Street today?
Getting the train also brings its own challenges. Arriving at Glasgow Central Station, I headed for the exit of the train with my guide dog.
I had remembered that the buttons were on the right hand side of the automatic doors.
When the train eventually stopped, I reached out my hand to press the button, which was at shoulder height. But to my horror, I found a face!
But it was too late. I had started, so I had to finish. I continued to push the head firmly back against the button, the door slid open, not a word was exchanged, both the dog and myself shot out!
If only people would communicate, life would be so much easier!