So you think you’re open-minded?

In 2002, a deaf friend came for a visit and stayed with me in Vancouver. During that time, the roll of film that I had dropped off at the drugstore a few days earlier had been printed and was ready for pick-up. (The excitement of seeing your photo prints has been taken from us since the popularization of digital cameras.) I wasted no time and dragged my guest to the drugstore. We sat on the curb out front to look through the photos, but before I opened the envelope, I warned her that the images were not for the faint of heart.

She’s one my best friends. Surely she’d approach this with an open mind, I thought.

“What the fuck?!” was her response.

Continue reading “So you think you’re open-minded?”

Confections and infections.

I was able to track Ed’s every move through WhatsApp upon his arrival in Vancouver. His first bite of Canadian food came from Tim Horton’s which is a chain fast food/coffee shop that many Canadians are somehow proud of.  Their donuts are mediocre, and their employees are always poorly trained and often are entirely befuddled when it comes to serving deaf customers.

But, a donut is still a donut. When Yann and I find ourselves at Tim Hortons, he already knows my order. When I order myself, though, the cashier usually passes out from the complexity of having to read an order off the screen of a smartphone and requires medical attention. It’s a lot to tolerate just for a glazed chocolate donut.

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Let’s get political!

Yesterday morning, I got an email about a federal election all-candidates forum on disability and accessibility happening after work near my home. Interpreters had already been arranged for this event which was also going to have real-time captioning. My best excuse for not going would have been, “I wanted to stay home, pet the cats and eat Nanaimo bars.”

So, I got to experience what most people get to experience when it comes to town hall forums: I did not have to contact anybody beforehand to inquire about accessibility. I just showed up! So, this is what it’s like for most people? Wow!

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Welcome to the Rainforest.

I have the Accuweather (short for “accursed weather”) widget on my phone, with Victoria set as the default location. When I tap on the temperature display, I can swipe left to view the current conditions in my old home city of Montréal. Around this time of the year, this action is supposed to validate my decision to run away from the frozen wasteland that surrounds the Saint Lawrence River.

Instead, it was Montréal that got to enjoy a month of balminess while I found myself  sealed inside my waterproof breathable jacket for the entirety of September, all while on vacation!

On the 14th, Yann and I welcomed a Briton to British Columbia.  Before his arrival, I told our guest, Ed, that Victoria was a lot like London. Victoria has double-decker buses, English pubs, fish n’ chips, and the Union Jack waving everywhere. You can’t walk 50 metres without seeing the Queen’s portrait somewhere.

“You’ve never been to London, how would you know?” Ed asked.

I grew up watching Mr. Bean, which obviously makes me an expert of all things London! But, let’s not focus on my misconceptions of London: Ed was about to have his preconceived ideas of Victoria ripped apart.

Continue reading “Welcome to the Rainforest.”