On what I walk to see...

"Objects do not have any intrinsic meaning- that meaning is conferred on them by us- and that different people, and the same person at different times, may confer different meanings on the same object." (Hammersley, 1989, p. 135)

Friday, August 16, 2013

An ode to Airport Disability Assistance--the unmentioned

I used to love traveling and I still do.  Having my body structured the way it is today doesn't make it easy to travel.  I am not complaining since however funky I might move or how in pain I might be, I can still move.

In my peculiar case, I have difficulties with weight, slope, and stairs.  Throughout my recent traveling experiences as an handicapped who isn't disabled enough to be eligible to be classified as a handicapped, I have come to the conclusion that the most challenging, if not "scary," part of being an independent traveller is to traveling with luggages such as when travelling by air.  You see, even if I checked my luggage (which is a ridiculously small for an over-three-week trip), I still have to carry the laptop, camera, and IDs with me... and the laptop is always the heaviest item.

All my luggages, which can be stuffed in one backpack though I split them into two bages.
Of course, if I were loaded, I would get myself one of them extremely lightweight laptop (no offence, dear laptop, I love you to death... just both you and I can lose a few pounds. lol) and/or simply hire someone to escort me when needing to travel with luggages alone.  Yet, since I am not, other than cut the weight of my luggage to the minimal humanly possible, what I can do is to depend on the airport disability assistance service when travelling by air alone with luggages...

What's big about travelling, right?  For me, it's in the unmentioned... the weight of the luggage while in transit.  The extra undergarments, shirt, pants you might need so that you don't wear the same thing for the entire duration of the trip (unwashed lol). And, the computer that I need so that I can make a dime or two to pay for the trip so as to complain about how difficult it is to travel independently with my kind of disabilities. 8-O lol

The reality is... for me to get from Taipei to Shanghai, from Shanghai to Hong Kong, and from Hong Kong back to Taipei... or from any city to any other city I have travelled to with physical disabilities in any other trip... one of the most straining parts of the travel takes place at the airports. The reason why I made it has nothing to do with me... I didn't do it. It's the airport disability assistance that made the getting there part possible... so that I could, from there, take my walk one step at a time at large and make copycat comments like "Trotzdem, das Leben.!"

Do I insist on traveling from airport to airport alone?  No, I don't.  To be honest, I'd rather trouble my companions to help me carry my weight than having to trouble people to wheel me around... (though, in reality, what I prefer is to have the ability to do it myself.)  Just it happens and when it happens, it makes the usually unmentioned part of the trip less challenging and makes travel more "accessible."

An ode to Airport Disability Assistance--all modes of assistance making my arriving wherever in one piece even more possible!!!

From... a cup of coffee in Shatin

Today is the last day of this trip.  Instead of going with my friends to the Hong Kong airport together, since their flight was earlier than mine, I decided to stop by the Shatin Mall and do a bit more of an exploration.

I know it would be a great challenge walking around carrying my luggage containing... my Seroquel, a laptop, a power strip, a battery charger, a mouse, a few sheets of paper, a skirt, a pair of pants, a shirt, undergarments, a few loose packs of cigarettes, my IDs, a music CD, a map of Shanghai and another one I got from Hong Kong, and some light and loose items.

A backpack should be able to hold it all although I decided to split the weight and put them in two bags.

Actions have consequences... so said the Frenchman.

I know my body would get out of the whack with the weight.  Yet, I thought I would like to have a cup of coffee in Shatin, do some people watching, and, perhaps, do a bit of work.  And, I did... not at the first cafe I spotted but after I ventured a few floors more.

So my body started to do its own thing and to move in all funny ways... including walking into the wall at several points.  Walking into the walk is fine since I can use the wall as some sort of support... as long as I don't walk into people.  Moving not so elegantly?  Not my issue... as long as still mobile.  lol

I then caught the airport bus A41, which dropped me right in front of the departure hall. I successfully moved myself and the luggages to the counter, monkeying around a bit and a bit more and did a little bit of work. I also discovered that there was this type of the airport luggage cart that functions mighty well as a walker... It made it so much easier easier to move with five legs (since the cart has three wheels)... though, Puerto Plata principle... I absolutely avoided slopes.

Then the time came when the lady came to wheel me all the way to the door of the airplane where the flight attendants took over the luggages for me while I walked in funny fashion and in pain to my seat.

After I took the painkiller I got from this nice flight attendant, I leisurely waited there for the med to take effect. The reality is that... never mind the pain and the walking into all directions... What a lovely trip and how wonderful the body is still relatively in one piece with the minimum minor inconveniences in life induced!"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Le Voyage... Yours Rambler

Last night in Hong Kong and going back to Taiwan tomorrow.

Although I have not making too many postings on my trip, I have been "tripping" since July 23rd with yours dedicated sojourner doing her tourist thing on days of the never-ending record-breaking heat in Shanghai to the Typhoon days in Hong Kong.

Many a walk I took, many a places I went, many a thing I saw, and many a experience afforded.

It surely has been an excellent trip (while I did do my work here and there at points).

Albeit the limits and the fact that I get support and assistance here and there many a time, with my body still in one piece, the efforts I made to get back to walk absolutely paid off... (especially considering that it was this January when I started to walk with two feet (as opposed to three)!

C'est un bon voyage para yours rambler (a new word I learned in Tianzifang this time)!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My first Typhoon experience in Hong Kong-- Utor No 8

I have lived through many a typhoon in Taiwan... today marks the first time for me to witness what a Typhoon in Hong Kong is like.

"The No. 8 Southeast Gale or Storm Signal has been issued at 1:40 a.m. to replace the No. 3 Strong Wind Signal" for the Typhoon Utor that's approaching... around the time when I got done today's translation work.

Apparently, No. 8 and above means everyone has to stay in... thus... however a dedicated tourist in Hong Kong you might be... stay put.

Following is the copy of the warning texts issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 1:40 Hong Kong Time.
 1. No. 8 Southeast Gale or Storm Signal ( 01:40 HKT - 14.08.2013 )

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yet another record-high in Shanghai

Apparently, the temperature in Shanghai hit yet another record high today... 40.8 degree celsius.

Good thing that I was still inside of the hotel trying to finish up a translation job and didn't get out until 2-3 o'clock! (though might have experienced a bit of the heat when getting out to steal a smoke)