I went on a Blind Date… We touched… in Pitch Darkness…
Yes, the title is true. I did went on a blind date and it was an unforgettable experience. If you are interested to know about what happened, read on.
So Shawn drove us to the venue of the Blind Date. Yes, we decided to sign up for it together to experience how it is like to go on a blind date 🙂
The venue: The Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH)
The event: Dining in the Dark 🙂
The ‘Dining in the Dark’ experience is organized by the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), as a form of raising awareness about the challenges that persons with vision impairment face in their daily activities. A sighted person can also get to experience what it is like to be blind without the use of blindfolds.
The idea for this project originated from the Blindekuh (Blind Cow) restaurant in Switzerland. Similarly, patrons there are served by blind and visually impaired people.
Dining is but one aspect of the daily activity for the blind; other challenges include education, employment, mobility, family etc. This dining experience also shows that where blindness affects the daily lives of the blind, difficulties can be overcome.
For the blind, it is a lifetime of adapting and adjusting to new environments and ituations on top of those common to all of us. Some adapt quickly to blindness, some take longer to adjust – some never adjust. Organizations such as the SAVH provide some help in filing in the gaps and strive to ensure the welfare of the blind is addressed.
Thus, we are there to experience what it is like to dine a 3 course meal without our sense of sight. Here’s some pictures I took. The processes are in the caption below so take note of the caption.
Reflections: I was born with my sense of sight. I have seen most of the common items in the household and have a good sense of how it looks like. I am sure all of you who can see, when you close your eyes, you can still form a clear picture of a knife in your mind, knowing that there’s the thinner and thicker portion as well as the handle and the sharper portion. Is your knife silver? Perhaps with a commonly black handle? I am sure 80% of us will see such a knife in our minds.
BUT, how about people who are born blind? They have never seen a knife before, nor will they ever fully experience colors. I wonder if they, too, are able to form images in their minds. If yes, are these images the same as ours? I really wonder.
Reflections: Some things really don’t matter, like how big that chunk of meat that is going into your mouth, or how nice your Job looks ( compare banker and engineer. Both get pretty much the same pay, but bankers have a more highly regarded professional outlook). You will still be able to feed yourself and be full. Sometimes, our endowment becomes our our obstacle to simplicity, when life really is that simple, but we just have to make it complex because our eyes are able to see, and thus compare. Learning and training our minds to be able to decipher what really matters and what really don’t, perhaps many will lead a simpler and more carefree happier life.
Reflections: If you have noticed carefully and have been reading the captions, I mentioned things like ‘ moved my hand around the rim to see how big it is’ and ‘ I moved my fingers around the plate to see if there’s anything already spilling out’. Seeing has become to me, a word not only to describe what my eyes have shown me, but also what my hands and other sensory devises in my body can tell me. I now understand that seeing is not only done with your eyes. You see with all your five senses, your heart and your mind, you just have to learn how to accept what they tell you / figure out what they are trying to tell you.
Seeing can also be done using your memory. While I was consuming my main course, I took extra notice on which part of the plate I had taken the food from so that I know where the rest of the food are. For example, I know that I had taken a slice of meat from the bottom of my plate, so I won’t be poking my fork there again. If I had previously poked my fork into what turned out to be coleslaw, I would keep a ‘visual memory’ mapped out by my sense of touch and taste (not eyesight!) of where the coleslaw is.
I am thinking of doing this again, this time throwing a Birthday party at the venue and invite my readers, friends and family over for a group blind date. No presents on that day, just pay for the meal yourself (all the proceeds goes to the Charity organisation) and if you feel like contributing more to my birthday, contribute it to the SAVH. What do you think of this idea? Please tell me if you will come or not!
Hello! I am Qi Yun, the author and creative behind www.FlyingPistachios.com.
I can be best described as a beauty junkie, picky pot and a perpetual wanderlust. Colours, traveling and listening to people talk inspire me, triggering visions and ideas. I’m often called a walking box filled with ideas. I love working on projects that shows originality and have a chance to make this world a better place.