Last night TH and I went to a ‘meetup,’ a meeting of English-speaking readers of science fiction. It was the first real social outing in months; since my latest and most severe problems. I have an electric wheelchair, but, having some experience we brought the smaller manual wc as well. Last night was the beginning of the fast for tisha b’av so we wasted some time looking for an open restaurant so TH could have a proper meal before the fast, and ended up getting a bunch of picnic supplies he could eat in the car while driving before sundown. I can’t fast for medical reasons (obviously).
We had a nice drive on relatively empty roads, but long before we got to Tel Aviv the problems began. I had the address where we were going in an email, but with my coordination problems I can’t use a smartphone. My new phone allows me to make calls and receive texts, but not to look at my email. TH couldn’t access my gmail account at first so we lost a lot of time over that.
Then, when we got there, late already, the parking lot across the street had a bar across the entrance. So we were very fortunate finding a handicapped parking space close by. One where the lift could be lowered and thus allow access to the wheelchairs. Only by blocking the one-lane street unfortunately as we found the locals and taxi drivers had no patience for this cripple and went so far as to drive up on the sidewalk rather than wait. Which made the whole thing take three times as long as it needed to, as I couldn’t safely get out of the way.
Finally, over an hour late, made it to the correct address to find (unsurprisingly) that the one ‘small’ step was too high for the electric wheelchair. I managed with TH’s help to stand and get up the step – and then another tenant helped TH wth the wheelchair. Only to find that there was no way to get the wheelchair into the lift. So off went TH to get the manual wheelchair and I broke one of my toes because I wasn’t able to just sit still and wait for him. We were finally able to get me in the smaller wheelchair into the lift by taking off the footrests. After that it was a lovely evening although TH also had to return the electric wheelchair to the van (I swear sometimes the man is a saint).
We knew it was going to be an exciting learning experience but perhaps next time not while fasting and not when it is so hot and muggy in Tel Aviv. It’s always hot and muggy for us in Tel Aviv. Such is life.
Got to stop, this is too painful.
* Note: wrote this Tuesday, didn’t notice that I hadn’t published ’till now.