helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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First World problems.

Richard & I have been really emo this evening. When it's one of us that feels bad, the other one can comfort them; but it seems to be almost impossible when both of us feel bad to simultaneously provide comfort.

Basically - Richard invited me to come with his paintball team to Florida next month, but where they will be staying is the arse end of nowhere with no public transport. So if I went, I'd either be stuck in the villa all day every day, or having to take taxis everywhere - which will cost a small fortune and greatly limit my movements. If they were staying in Orlando, it would be fine - but they stay in "cities" like Davenport and Polk City, which have 1500 permanent residents and then thousands of holiday homes. And Orlando is in the total opposite direction to where they need to go for the paintball tournament (which is literally in the middle of nowhere), so they couldn't even drop me at a bus stop on the way there.

We then proceeded to have a mutual meltdown about how broken I am. Bluh.

Of course, the fact that I currently cannot walk hugely far would make travelling in a strange place hasslesome even if there was public transport. Not all buses are wheelchair accessible, I wouldn't know where I was going or what sort of ticket I need or anything like that. But despite an anxiety disorder, I'm oddly used to travelling under those circumstances. Instead of being afraid to make myself a nuisance, I go to the opposite extreme - especially in North America, where public transport workers seem to be trained in being helpful. I just apologise in advance for being a stupid tourist and not knowing where I'm going, and they are suitably amused as to give me useful information.

Being able to drive really isn't a skill that I need in my daily life. One of my friends was once amazed that I couldn't because where she comes from, everyone has to learn to drive as early as possible so they could handle a car in an emergency - but where I live, there are rarely emergencies where having a car would help. And from here, you can get a bus or train to pretty much anywhere. True, getting to Oxford to see otterylexa is a pain by bus or train, but other than that it just isn't an issue.

Also, I have a strong suspicion that I might be physically unable to drive. I can't judge distances properly. I sometimes crash into things when I'm riding my tricycle, because I can't keep in my head how wide it is. I even crash into things in the wheelchair, and it should be obvious how wide that is because I'm sitting in it! (The steering control, being the part which sticks out the most, is covered in scrapes and different coloured paint smears from all the times I've crashed into a wall or doorframe). In the dim and distant future, when I no longer have any immediate Health Issues going on, I plan to go to the Institute of Optometry to find out whether I have some weird brain/eye problem that could be corrected with prism lenses, or something like that.

And there is, of course, the whole issue that while I might be able to learn to drive on British roads, I might not be able to reverse it for countries that drive on the wrong side. Especially with wildly different levels of strength and muscle control in each of my arms and legs.

Still, not being able to drive is one of those things that only rears up as a problem if I'm travelling outside of my usual comfort zone. Hence the title of this post. It's the sort of problem you only have if you're rich enough to afford discretionary international travel (but not rich enough to be able to get a taxi or limo everywhere).

I've worked out a compromise that might work - Richard goes to Middle of Nowhere, Florida, with his paintball team on Tuesday or Wednesday, I fly out on Saturday or Sunday to join them, and then Richard & I have a coupley time seeing all the tourist stuff together in Orlando for a couple of days after the tournament finishes. It will cost more money as we'll have to get a hotel room in Orlando in addition to the villa in Middle of Nowhere, but is more practical unless someone comes up with a better idea. Except that Richard doesn't have unlimited holiday time left, so it sounds considerably more stressy than the idea of me going over for a week in the sun originally did.

I don't know. Maybe it would be easier if I didn't try to go. Maybe it would be easier if Richard didn't try to go. Whine whine whine whinge whinge whinge emo emo.
Tags: disability, north america, travel, tricycles, wheelchair rambling, wuzzie

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