This is not actually a blog about various places I stayed, but more about the people I stayed with…
On my first day in London, I met and chatted with a girl from Vancouver. By “Chatted with” I mean we wrote back and forth on paper.
While at the hostel in Camden, I didn’t talk to, using pen & paper, with any of the other hostellers, but I did with the waitresses.
When I got to Germany, I shared a room with 3 other hearing people, who were quite talkative, but I was not included.
There were, probably, dialogues that I should have been included in; like for example: When you go out, knock and listen for a reply from within. Of course, being DeafBlind I cannot hear if someone answers my knock, so I just go right in! It doesn’t matter if the guy is on top of the girl! Just grab my thing and get out!
While in Prague, I was incredibly lonely, because I was at a Deaf association’s apartment, but the facility was closed for the long 4 day weekend, and the agency itself would not open until the following week. My host had disappeared. So for 10 days or so, I was very isolated!
Then my friend’s cousin spoiled me in Northern Italy, for 4 days it was lots of fun with constant companionship and wine and food and wine and food! The cousin was able to change my return train trip to Paris to non-stop, no changing trains, and she also reserved me a bed! More on this “Seat wars” in another blog.
When I got to Rome, I was again on my own, but I befriended a few nuns, and an English theologian, who got me a contact with a Vatican minister of some low rank. This last person was incredibly helpful, using his personal credit card to book me a hotel room in Paris, close to the airport!
When I tell people about my travels, I usually mention that Berlin was very boring, I elaborate by saying: “I probably missed all the parties!” Being DeafBlind cuts me off from people, because I cannot readily start chatting with anyone on the street! Now, I can do that quicker with technology, the iPhone note app is pretty good!
I did not meet or see any DeafBlind or Deaf people in my 6.5 weeks in Europe, aside from the Deaf host in Prague, and a few of her friends, and one other Deaf Czech woman who went to Gallaudet. I enjoyed myself in Europe, especially Paris with my girlfriend, and future wife. I loved going around Europe to learn and see history!