Thursday, November 25, 2004
Train in Holland..
Here's a page of my sketchbook/diary. Hmm.. I wonder where can I upload more pages that can be displayed nicely (definitely NOT this Journal entry). I tried Photos but it didn't work properly.. well, I also think it won't present an appropriate format, either. Let's try something else, some other time.
Now here's a short story from today. This morning, a man came aboard my usual train to Delft (from Amsterdam central station). He was using a stick to find his way, to make one step after another. He is obviously not able to see with his own eyes (which appeared opened wide, revealing bright blue retinas).
He probed his way through the seats and tried to sense an empty spot. He found one and asked a person nearby if it was available, and it was, so he seated himself. Then the train departed from the station.
Usually, there are announcement of what the next station is, but not this time. I wonder how this man knows when to get off, since he can not read the name of the stations we're passing by. He must be fully informed about the trainstops, for he knew when the train entered Haarlem (the train was slowing down) and came to a halt, he stood up and sensed his way out with his walking stick.
I heard him utterred one word to a fellow passanger at the train door, "Haarlem?", and got a confirmation. So there he went, out of the train into the platform. No problem and no troubling other people. Again, a very independent specially-abled person I see in this country.
Is this the impact of free access to information and 'universal design' that makes it possible for everyone to (physically) use all public facilities? Is it the impact of an individual and independent society that conducts itself properly? Well, whatever the cause might be, I think the impacts give everyone his/her dignitiy and pride as a free, fully-functional human being.