I regard myself as quite independent in terms of daily life including mobility. I go anywhere I want to go on my own, although I do ask my friends to go with me in some occasions, like shopping clothes.
I started to walk around without sighted guide when I was 15 as I entered a boarding school 800 km away from my hometown. There was no protective family and caring neighbors there. It was not easy at first as I am very bad at directions up to now, but practice makes somewhat close to perfect, right?
So I have taken it granted that I can move around like any other people. But… it seems that the country mouse has gotten used to the city life a bit too much and forgot about the countryside.
This month, I started to live in a small town called Phrao, 90 km away from the province capital of Chiangmai, the second-largest city in Thailand. Here, ARC will start two new projects in collaboration with Warm Heart Foundation. I’m very lucky to be here, and things are going smoothly, except one tiny stumbling block…
Near my house, there is a bus stop, yes. But the bus comes only a few times in an hour (if any). Almost everyone move around on their neat motorbikes, if not vehicle.
So how do I move around?
Well, lucky me again. My colleagues and friends here comes to pick me up and drop me at home every day when I go to work at Warm Heart office. If I need something to eat, someone can take me on a motorbike.
It’s just like when I go back home in Kochi… I totally depend on people around. The only difference here is that I have to work constantly, not just relaxing at home with occasional outings.
Needless to say, I feel so grateful to have friends who offer me transportation. And like the famous Isop fable, the country mouse love the modest and peaceful way of living that she has been used to from childhood. I must admit that I do miss the freedom that I enjoy in the city like Tokyo and Bangkok…
If ever possible, genious people out there, please invent motorbike for blind mice like me! I wouldn’t be greedy and ask for the car, you know :d
Or, maybe it’s easier if I get a horse, and train him to be my guide horse that I can ride anywhere in this beautiful countryside!