I think it was the first time I traveled to London on my own. The assistance guy who met me at Heathrow to take me from the plane to the people I was going to meet was going on about how awful my life must be because I couldn’t see. And poor him. He was losing his sight too. I told him that at least that meant he’d get a freedom pass, allowing him to travel for free in London, taxi card and cheaper train fair. He got really pissed off and told me he’d rather have his sight.
He might not have seen any perks to being visually impaired. But I think there are a few and that it is important to address them. Especially on those days you just want to trade in your blind eyes for a working pair.
1. We have addressed this issue already. Free or cheaper transport. I can never quite join in when my friends are complaining about how much money transport cost. I am just grateful I can spend that money on shopping instead.
2. Still on the subject of travel, I’ve found that flying alone is often much more efficient than flying with a sighted person. When I fly alone, I am usually taken to the business class check-In, to the front of the economy check-in and I usually can skip long security queues and I get to board with the important people. Win win all the way. Also, when travelling on British trains, it’s usually easier for staff to put you in the first class carriage, so voila! You just got yourself a first class train journey for normal class money. Hurray, shopping!
3. Certain countries, some of which I have been to, wants you to pay a fee in immigration. Although there can be a genuine fee, such as paying for a visa on entry, a bribe fee is sometimes added if you’re unlucky. However, I’ve never had to pay that bribe money. Yet. Hurray, more shopping!
4. Blind people just get away with stuff. One of my best friends was pushing drugs back in her teens and not even when she got lost one time and got helped by a police officer was she even suspected. A reliable source who’s born and bred in Jamaica has also told me that quite a few blind people turn to drug dealing because it’s an easy way to get money and because the sighted people don’t suspect them.
5. Tourist attractions are also cheaper. I recently went to the London Dungeons and I paid 25 pounds instead of the full price which was 40. I also got a huge price reduction on a boat trip on the Thames. The cool thing about this is that the sighty you’re with will get a discount too and sometimes get in for free. Though I and my friends share the price between us if the latter is the case. Just remember, though the sighty is your child, your boyfriend or just a friend, tell the ticket people it’s your carer if they ask. Hurray, more shopping money!
6. You can get up close and personal. If you’re blind, museums will allow you to touch more things, at least replicas of old things in some cases. Zoos will let you come close to the animals that are not dangerous, with a minder of course, and I got to touch Queen Elizabeth’s throne in Winsor Castle. I wasn’t allowed to sit down, but it was pretty awesome. Tip: Call museums, zoos etc. in advance and ask what extra stuff they can offer you as a blind person. It’s worth it.
7. You have more shopping money because you save money on other stuff. So treat yourself. Sexy underwear, a new book, a perfume, running shoes, makeup, PlayStation, whatever you’re into. Because you deserve it.
So the next time you have one of those days where your visual impairment sucks, just remember that you can travel cheaper in style, not pay bribe fees, enjoy attractions for a lesser price and that you have more shopping money. And if you need more shopping money, you can deal drugs without getting discovered. Although boring people like me thinks that’s both risky and unethical and so I personally don’t recommend it.
If you can think of any more perks to being blind, feel free to leave your comments below. Surely there’s got to be more.