Dunia have I mentioned to you how much I love autumn and in particular the month of October, yes, I know, few times. But seriously there are only 3 things that I love about myself: the month I was born in, my star sign, and my name. So if anyone wants to annoy me or make me angry, then all they have to do is attack one of these.
There is so much to tell you, yet I have no idea where to start, but before I get to my birthday – favourite topic-, I will begin at the start of my beloved month. I had decided as you know after the departure of my niece and nephew that I will be active and rediscover many things around me, clearly I am too cautious and a creature of habit to do this alone and by my own accord. So thank god for my great friend whom I had often written about in the past. It is hard to describe her Dunia, and no it’s not because I don’t want to share her! Honestly, no words can do her justice, and if I try to do so, then you will think she is not real or a fairy tale character, something that I sometimes wonder myself, to me she is like a fairy or magic potion that grants me so many dreams and invokes within me a different side to my personality – a more daring and adventurous one.
There was an Arabic films week at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London so we decided to go and see an Egyptian film entitled ‘Factory Girl’ which was followed by discussion with the director, Mohamed Khan. Usually when I go out I have to prepare and plan my carers time, I need to make sure they can come to get me ready at specific time then make sure they know when I return. Plus I have to regulate my ventilator usage, I get severe headaches and breathless if I don’t use ventilator after meals. Therefore, when I go out, I either eat beforehand and use ventilator or simply use ventilator for 3 or 4 hours prior to leaving my house. These few hours will build enough energy that allows me to eat outside without getting too distressed or tired.
Anyhow, that day things went smoothly, I had my ventilator time, carer was punctual and even taxi arrived promptly. Once we arrived, we decided to have a picnic in the park opposite the venue, as the film won’t start for another 40 minutes. That was my first ever experience of picnic in the park at night, it was the most beautiful night I had experienced in a while, stars shining, ducks swimming in the pond in front of us seeking our crumbs, and the warm feeling of darkness that makes you feel no one else exists apart from you and your friends. I sense you don’t think it’s a big deal? Well it may seem trivial to you but for someone who is eternally scared to try new things and anti-change, picnic at night was the best experience ever, and I actually enjoyed it more than the film and event.
The next new venture was my first ever journey on a public bus! Something that I had always feared and tried my best to avoid but I had no other choice, my friends and I had planned to attend another event, this time was at the Geographical Society for a viewing of a Palestinian documentary. On this occasion, the taxi was not so reliable, in fact, it did not turn up so we tried to hail one on the street but obviously when taxis sees that I am a wheelchair user and need a ramp, I become invisible and they drive past. As we were stuck for some time, my friend said to me ‘right, we are going to have to take the bus’, realising the look of fear on my face she suggested ‘whatever comes first we will take, so if a taxi stops then taxi will be, but if a bus comes then that is final’. Oh Dunia, I can hear the bell, sorry will finish my tale next time. Adieu!