I should let you know that things have changed a bit since my last post on A Blinding Light. I have neglected my little blog a bit lately. You see, I’ve been busy coordinating a move. Yes, we’re on an adventure again, this time, it’s New York! It seems there’s quite a bit involved when moving across the world with two little ones in tow. The last time we moved continents, it was just me, my husband and our backpacks. Now there’s kids. Kids come with stuff! Lots of stuff… anyway more about the move another time.
This post is quick one about when I need to get somewhere and it’s not practical or possible to walk or use public transport. I tend to use Uber. There are several reasons this works for me when I can’t see. Firstly I have an app on my phone which I’ve used in a number of different countries. It’s the same app and I know how it works. At a time where everything is unfamiliar, at least I don’t have to relearn how to use the Uber app. It’s the same as it was in Yorkshire! It also works well with Voice Over, my screen reader, which is important to me. The thing I’ve been doing differently recently which has really made a difference is I’ve started to use the option to ‘contact driver’. As soon as my ride is booked I select the option to call the driver and I explain that I can’t see. I ask that when they arrive and find me (my picture is on my profile, plus I’m generally holding a cane) they call out to me so I can find their car. This has worked a treat. Regardless of whether I’m in New York or (old) York, 100% of the drivers I have had, have been kind and helpful when I have called them. Some drivers actually get out of the car and lead me to the car door. Some even get out of the car when I leave to make sure I’m ok before they drive away. I’ve said it on here before, but I do think people are generally good and when people are in possession of the facts, it allows their kindness to show more readily.
I can’t tell you how much this has improved my experience of using taxis. No more missing taxis I have ordered because I couldn’t find the car, even when it was parked right in front of me. No more trying to hail a taxi, not being able to see if there is in fact a taxi coming (seriously, I’ve accidentally flagged down lorries and buses on more than one occasion. It’s embarrassing -stop laughing!)
I know this blog post is a bit random, but you never know, sharing how I use the ‘contact driver’ feature might be helpful to someone, somewhere, in some way. The subject was on my mind after encountering two particularly helpful drivers, William and Mo in Jersey City. The other night I attended a fabulous event for Mums (more on post-move mum-life in the future!) It was in a part of town I’m not yet familiar with, in a building with an infeasibly complicated entrance for a blind person! So thank you to those kind gentlemen who made my arrival and departure from the event as stress free as it could have been.
Right, I promise I will try to write more regularly once we are settled, but between apartment hunting, finding things for the girls to do and trying to figure out how on earth a blind person uses pedestrian crossings without the spinny bit underneath, I haven’t found the time lately. Will try harder! (Seriously, if you have the answer about the crossings and lack of spinny bits, let me know!)
For now, as always, thank you for reading and bearing with me!x