Since this blog essentially was started when I was severely crippled I wanted to do a little post about being a cripple and travelling.
And yes, I’m being indulgent but in this pic you can see my stick.
It was pretty much ok. I used the stick just about everyday except when there was a kind friend to lean on. I even managed to walk in Amsterdam and Brighton without the orthotic which was very good but needed it most days. Yep, it got very hot and sticky but some very good Italian socks helped relieve the stickiness.
It was good to be able to use taxis when I needed them and not to have to rely on public transport.
The trains in Italy were easy to use and frequent and people were helpful with bags and such. Same for buses and trams in Amsterdam.
Walking was ok and I walked and walked in Rome which was really easy – wide streets, plenty of room and the traffic stopped on cue. Naples was interesting and having the stick helped. Crossing the road with a nun or priest also helped. In Naples pedestrian crossings and red lights are optional in terms of stopping.
The cobbled streets were ok and boats and other means of public transport easy to get on and off within reason. The buses in Procida were a trial. Only once was I stopped and cried over for my infirmity but in general being a cripple in south Italy is not so good and I freely gave money to all the cripples begging in the streets.
Athens, alas, was hardest as the cobblestones were quite small and thus more difficult to manage, and the visit to the Acropolis (see other post) nearly did me in. Pompeii, too, was hard mostly for the cobbles and the heat.
Airports, however, were another matter. I had to take my shoes off in Bangkok and Sydney going over but not coming back, and at Heathrow I had to show them my scars and get swabbed all over. The Aussies, bless them, were least sympathetic and the English the most. The security team at Gatwick were very funny, singing all the while.
Security at every airport is entirely different and the Greeks were very interested in the amount of coffee and halva I was carrying. Airports in general are difficult as the floors are often very slippery and the concourses very long.
It’s good to be back in good ol’ NZ where I can walk sans stick, and sans orthotic. My special shoe has worn out and the plan is not to get a new one but to persist in being orthotic free so that I can make my appointment to dance in Brisbane in March and be a free woman when I work in Greece next year.
Crippled? Go for it.
I hope the punctuation in this meets the required standards.