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  • Writer's pictureThabo Baseki

Strange Blind Times in My Life


An apple cut in half

This post is more relaxed and entertaining than any others on my blog. Because I am blind, I want to talk about some of the awkward things I have done in the past. It's not always as horrible as many may believe to be blind. Self-tolerance is crucial for being able to look back on actions that may have been caused by a disability and laugh at them. Here in this writeup, my friend, let's giggle together.


Stealing from a Victim While She Is Watching Me

This incident is so embarrassing, but I am including it in my post because it is one of those odd situations. I indicated in the Who Am I post that as a child, I believed that everyone else was blind like myself. I was seated next to a girl in standard 2 (grade 2) who was always willing to help me with my schoolwork. This girl seems to enjoy apples just as much as I do. I could constantly hear her chewing into an apple during teatime. Sadly, since I wasn't living with my mom, I never brought one to school. So, I eventually picked up a nasty habit that didn't stick. When she went to the bathroom one day, I stole an apple from her bag, hid it under my desk, and carried it home with me. Nobody in the class responded to her question about who took it. I doubt that anyone saw me that day. I realized I wasn't being observed, so I carried on. She arrived one morning, put her luggage on the desk, and then left to, I believe, talk to a friend because she wasn't at her desk. I took her bag, stowed it underneath my desk, searched around inside, and extracted an apple.


Instead of asking where her apple was when it was time for break, she opened my desk drawer, removed the apple, and split it in half. She handed me half while keeping the other. Even though I was so ashamed, I still ate it. Instead of saying goodbye after class as is customary, she added, "I will bring you an apple tomorrow," and then followed through. Fortunately, our friendship didn't suffer; she continued to help me until we broke up after three years when I switched to a class with a Braille transcriber. Ultimately, that experience taught me a lesson that I carried with me throughout my life. You make a request rather than stealing.


Choosing the Wrong Place to Sit

In 2022, after a particularly fruitful day, I boarded a bus headed for home. I took a seat right by the entrance and opened it for anyone leaving. Now it so happens that the other passenger requests to be dropped off at the following bus stop from the driver. I had no idea that a traffic light was located before his final destination. As I opened the door after the car had stopped as advised by the lights, everyone said, "No, it's not there yet, we're in traffic." Goodness gracious! I felt so humiliated! I never want to occupy that space again. I found it to be interesting though.



Handshake

I will admit that I frequently fail to shake people's hands when I try to do so. I recall a time when A teacher came into our class and said hello to me. When I extended my hand to meet her, I was unaware that she was holding books. I was also unaware that she was expecting. My classmates teased me for checking on how developed her tummy was when I stretched out to meet her because I was seated, and my hand went straight to her stomach. The amusing thing was that she did it herself.

I remember this other day when a sighted person who was with me failed to specify whose hand was pointing in which direction when I was trying to welcome a fellow blind person at an event. I guess something had grabbed his attention for a moment. It turned out that we had both reached out to shake hands. I tapped him on the elbow and a sighted individual then joined the chat. But it was too late to prevent an awkward moment, which we both chuckled at, by the time we used his elbow and my hand to locate his arm and shake.


When No One is Listening

I don't have a specific anecdote to go with it right now, but it typically occurs when I'm at a social event. Someone would strike up a conversation with me and then abruptly depart, perhaps to get something, without letting me know they were going. When I don't hear back from them or when someone abruptly interjects, "I'm sorry, were you talking?" I would then recognize it. So, I have to restart whatever I was saying. At times I may even need to explain more to bring the new person to the same page.


What Can We Take Home?

Through this article, I hope you can realize that being blind isn't all that horrible. Of sure, there are times when life is really depressing, but we also have entertaining times. I think the key is to adapt, accept life as it is, and learn how to function without sight. It also involves not being overly sensitive to slights. There will always be awkward situations, whether they are brought on by us or by people who are currently with us. Even in times of stress, cultivate joy. If at all possible, turn potentially harmful situations into humorous situations. Will you?


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