If keeping your independence is important to you then at some stage you may need to rely on catching public transport by yourself. This was a very scary and exciting experience for me, but I am a bit of an adrenalin junkie, so it was an adventure.
I needed help for the first trip so that the person could show me where to go. It was difficult for me to find someone to accompany me on the first journey as all my friends said, “don’t’ worry Jenny, I will take you where you want to go”. That was not what I was asking. It was only when a friend of my sons, who was staying with us, said he needed to get from the suburbs into town that I jumped at the opportunity. The poor fellow didn’t imagine leading a half- blind person around the town explaining landmarks, pedestrian crossings, bus timetables and how to pay the taxi driver. If it hadn’t been for this day, I would not have ventured out on my own – thanks KB.
I believe that God is always with me, so I never feel alone when I am on the move. I sometimes need to stop and remember that God knows where I am even if I don’t! Since I was a teenager I prayed, half tongue-in-cheek, that God would assign me a ‘traffic angel’. Well, when I say aloud, “Please send my traffic angel” it is amazing what provision unfolds. I have had strangers come up to me and ask if they can wait with me to hail my bus and offer to help me over a busy road. My travelling experiences have restored my faith in human beings. People love to help and it makes them feel valuable – a win/win for all.
I always use my symbol cane when out and about, because it frees me to ask people for help. I have only occasionally found people avoiding me and all of them have been white. I think they think I want to beg for money! Coloured and black folk are awesome in helping. Oh South Africa!!! I wish we were all colour blind!
This is the most useful mode of transport. I know that private vehicle owners get mad that minibus taxi’s stop anywhere and everywhere, but if you are a pedestrian it is absolutely marvellous! The folk in the taxi have always been helpful and told the driver where to drop me off. I once left my handbag (with wallet and cell phone) in the taxi. It pulled off and then screeched to a halt and one of the ladies called out to me and handed it out of the window.
I do hold out an A5 card with the word ‘taxi’ written in bold black Koki pen, as I cannot see which vehicle is a taxi. I presume the driver can see it!?
Another Plus for taxi’s – Taking the taxi has strengthened my faith. Every time I climb in I thank god that He has numbered my days ….and not the taxi driver!!
The cool thing about busses is that you can generally plan what tine you will get the bus ans where exactly it will stop. I do carry a card that says ‘bus’ in large letters and the destination e.g. BUS CITY or BUS DURBANVILLE. Once again it relies on the driver to read the sign and stop for me. It has worked so far.