Tag Archives: disability

An Arm and a Leg

prosthetics

I visited an area of town where they sell prosthetic limbs. Store after store of prosthetic arms and legs.  It’s fascinating, depressing, then fascinating all over again. It’s easy to imagine people who lost limbs and how sad it must be to come to such a place, but it’s also amazing that such people could also regain some of their freedom due to the amazing technology we have these days. We live in amazing times. We have prosthetic arms and legs on window displays!

It also got me wondering at how people get into the prosthetic manufacturing business. Whatever choices in life could’ve led people to devoting their skills and talents to making arms and limbs. And how did it all begin? How do people go up and just decide, “you know what, there’s a lot of money to be made here. Let’s start a prosthetic limbs store!” In any case, however they got there, I’m jealous at what they do. At least they wake up in the morning knowing they’re making someone’s life be better. They’re helping people walk or regain the use of their arms again. Not many people can claim to change lives on a regular basis as much as these people.

Unfortunately, to get there, I had to pass by a little hidden red light district. Afterwards, I had to go through an area frequented by homeless people. Under the certain conditions, my little stroll yesterday could’ve driven me to depression.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Subway Hero

Fake_Antigue

Saw this over the weekend. Someone was peddling “antiques.” Now I know that many of these “antiques” are made in China, are probably not even a year old, and are probably being sold more than ten times the price they were bought, but who would buy these things? It’s neither antique nor porn. Where exactly does a person put these?

I don’t mind fake “antiques” btw. I would buy them and have them in my house as long as they’re being sold at a reasonable price. Don’t tell me something is from the Ming Dynasty and that I’m getting a deal at $500. Just tell me it’s from a distributor in China and I’ll gladly buy it for $50.

Being in Asia, the anachronism of the bronze figures kinda reminded me of plastic figures like the one below. Again, as a practical matter, where does one display such things?

anime_figure_butt

I try not to stare at disabled people, I really do. I’m sure that many of us have that compulsion to stare at disabled people not because they are oddities, but to make sure that they are okay, just in case they need our help. We’d swoop right in to save the day like Supermen. We don’t stare directly, but we steal glances through peripheral vision, much like men would steal glances at exposed cleavage. The staring (or monitoring) is not in itself malicious. It comes from a good place. It’s empathy. We are concerned about our fellow human beings. It’s not something we do to the “normals” but hey, they’re disabled!

But all too often it truly is just arrogance. Of course they’re okay. They don’t need your help. They were fine many years before they encountered you.

I had a moment like this in the subway over the weekend. There was a blind man in the car. At first, I thought he was a beggar, but then I realized he was just like everyone, a passenger. He was standing right by the subway car door, waiting for his stop. I was trying to have a conversation with the person I was with but I can’t help but steal glances at the blind passenger. Maybe he’ll need help.

Then he fishes out a smartphone from his pocket. I thought it was odd because I assumed he would require something more tactile, but then he placed the phone close to his ear as he typed. Lesson learned: the blind can use smartphones. Butt out of their lives.
As if to make the point clearer, as he steps out of the subway car (bumping to one or two passengers), I noticed that he has a dragon tattoo on his right arm. He’s not so helpless as to not appreciate body art. He clearly doesn’t need my help. He’s doing fine without me.

A person who did need my help was a girl on her phone outside the station who didn’t realize her skirt was caught on her purse and was unwittingly giving everyone a view of her underwear. Who knows how long she’s been walking around without anyone telling her. She was embarrassed, but was glad someone alerted her to it.

It’s not the blind who needed help from me that day. It’s one of the normals.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements