“Over there” is a puzzle that has confused the Blind for a long
As my guide dog and I stood at the checkout of my local store, I
asked the cashier a simple question. “Where are the Avocado Pears
please?” Her response was hurried, but sincere, “Over there.”
Appearing from the station, I asked a passer-by. “Please sir, can
you tell me where I can catch the My City bus?” Before disappearing
into the afternoon throng, a kind voice offered a pleasant
response, “You can catch it over there.”
So many things live over there — Avocado Pears, bus stops, spray
cans, my shoes and even toilets ! A never ending supply of
important and indispensable items all reside in this place which is
blanketed in mystery and conspiracy. I stand in bewildered silence
after learning that something is over there! It is a place I have
never been, and have no hope of finding on my own.
My guide dog is quite clever in finding chairs, stairs, escalators,
helping me cross streets, and can even find me the buttons on a
lift; however, when I tell her to find “over there” her bottom hits
the floor and a shake of her ears tells me that she is as confused
as I am. We will not be going “over there” today.
Over there has caused me a bit of annoyance, a lot of puzzlement
and, on occasion, made my heart race. I have discovered that “over
there” can be a dangerous place.
One day, while crossing a street, I heard a driver’s irritated
voice shout out a warning of a truck bearing down on me from over
there. Vixen skilfully dodged the oncoming vehicle and pulled me to
the safety of the curb. Our hearts were both racing as we took a
few moments to compose ourselves. Close encounters with over there
can be frightening experiences.
Although many blind people have wondered as to the exact location
of “over there”, few have dared to venture forth in an actual
search of the mysterious place.
Once, while standing in line at the Chemist, I asked the cashier
where I can find the Aftershave. With a cheery smile, she said, “It
is over there.” With a sigh, I decided I would take the extra step
to unravel the riddle, which had frustrated my associates since the
beginning of time. Taking a deep breath, I smiled at the cashier,
and deliberately asked, “Where is over there?”
I imagined the girl’s shocked expression. I felt her sharing
concerned and condescending looks with her fellows in the store.
The silence grew apparent as they pondered the possibility of
allowing a blind person access to the forbidden place. She had no
choice; she would have to tell me how to find “over there”. I had
won! Excitement swept through me as I waited in eager anticipation.
A victorious smile crept to my face, my hand tightened on the
handle of Vixen’s harness; we would soon be going over there!
The cashier’s voice was full of resignation as the decision was
made. “That way,” she said!
“Date a blind man: It will give you a good feeling all over!”
Just another example of how Blind Barry Blomkamp takes his daily
frustrations and turns them into adventure and fun.
Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
Professional Public Speaker, Trainer and Corporate Entertainer,
Motivational speaker, Guest & Key note speaker, Seminar &
Conference speaker, Team Builder, Comedian, Master of Ceremonies,
For your Strategic Planning sessions, Management or Sales meetings,
Conferences and/or Seminars, Award functions, Year end parties,
Cape Town, South Africa.