I noticed that while the metros here in Shanghai are wheelchair accessible, the public buses are not. In NY, public buses have platforms that can be raised and lowered to accommodate for people in wheelchairs. It didn’t happen very often, but I definitely have seen it a couple of times. The driver would lower the platform, get out of his chair, direct people who may be sitting in the seats designated for people in wheelchairs to get up and relocate, pull the seats up to make space, and help the person strap their chair into place, before returning to driving again. It’s quite a process, but I sure am glad the service is available.
Anyway, just as I was thinking about this on the bus to work today, a blind man with a dog that helps him see steps onto the bus. I think it’s a giant golden retriever. The man ends up speaking very loudly (as older people often do around here) to the bus driver. They might have been speaking in Shanghainese, either way I could not make out what they were saying to each other. After a while the man continues his way into the bus and stops at the back door. A young woman gets up from her seat and asks the guy sleeping in the two-seater closest to the blind man to move in, and directs the blind man to sit there. Everyone starts looking at the dog, because they’ve never seen one before. Just kidding, I think they were just confused to see pets on the bus. Most people just stared, but two women chatted the blind man up before they stepped off the bus. People were generally pretty nice and helpful to him, letting him know when to get off for his stop. It’s really neat that people were curious but definitely well-intentioned to help him. They weren’t afraid to talk to him and did not feel bothered by helping him.
In other news, all the children are being sponsored to go to Ocean World this Friday. I think tickets are a bit pricey for adults but I think I will go anyway if I can make it.