It feels like it has been a long, long time since I wrote anything here. Everything changes. I wanted to write a blog about my travels by train around Israel. I thought I would keep on taking little trips and tours, tiyulim, for three months, and maybe beyond that. I made it about a month. The next month was spent making plans for tiyulim that never happened. This month, I feel I have surrendered. I have a couple of trips I want to make, but they may well not happen, and one of them at least will probably not happen by train.
We have a car, but I so much prefer the freedom of train travel. No parking, I can read or knit during the actual traveling, and I have just always loved trains.
The train window is closing. My whole household has been wretchedly sick for a number of weeks now, in addition to a wedding in the family. It hasn’t been a time for taking tours for pleasure or any other reason. Now that the wedding is over and the family is on the mend I am looking at what is possible. Not very much is possible.
Part of it is the timing. I have to, for various reasons, plan out a trip the night before to make reservations with the train system. I cannot, on the spur of the moment, decide to get off of a train at a different station, or to cut short a visit. Then there is the timing involved. The trains are on a rigid schedule, of course, but also not so very frequent. If the trains to my ‘home’ station, Sderot, run every two hours, then I haven’t a lot of options regarding how much time I spend someplace, or to get off of one train and catch the next one if something calls to me.
Heaven forfend that something I planned to do doesn’t work out – I’m stuck wherever I am until the train system is ready to pick me up and take me to my next scheduled destination.
Obviously a lot of this would not exist if I were not traveling in a wheelchair. Being disabled isn’t trouble enough, the world is designed to make it harder still. There is no good reason that trains can’t be designed roll-on, roll-off. There is no good reason busses can’t be made at least as accessible as trains are now. There is absolutely no good reason why handicapped bathrooms are kept locked and ramps are only installed at the furthest reaches of the entrances to buildings.
There are times I can walk. Not very much, but enough to get me in and out of a building if I don’t have to walk too far. I am often left with the choice of having to go up stairs (not good for me) or walking many times the distance on a ramp which is tucked against the side or back of the building. Why? Turnstiles and revolving doors are all wheelchair unfriendly, and there are entire neighbourhoods without a single useable curb-cut.
Not everything can be fixed easily, but all of it could be made better if there was a mindset of wanting to include all people, whatever their capabilities, instead of treating wheelchair users, blind people, people who use walking frames &tc., as a special case.
None of this is new and I am not going to campaign to try to change the whole world, but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about what I think about it all.
Today is feeling bleak. The sky is grey and dreary. Not even a dark grey like storm clouds, just a dreary all-over cloud cover. Tomorrow was supposed to be a tiyul to the Jerusalem Zoo. I don’t know if I am going to make it. I don’t even know right now if I want to. Well, yeah, I want to. I don’t know if I want to deal with all the headaches and troubles that getting to the zoo involves.
And. I want to not be sick.
So tired of feeling sick and tired.
If I get out to the zoo I will write about it. If not, maybe I’ll start writing about knitting. I do a lot of that. Whatever else happens, this spot will not remain blank. Just because.
Something I knit while travelling: a potholder