Do you ever feel that sometimes life suddenly seems perfect, the unknown becomes exciting rather than fearsome and surprises are eagerly awaited and not nervously dreaded? Well, that is what I am feeling or experiencing, like I have climbed a big massive mountain and reached the top where I can finally rest and at the same time look down and realise the world is within my grasp.
My friend (the one I often write about – the encouraging, quirky, must try everything friend) came to take me out for my birthday, every year she plans different things; last year surprised me at home with another friend carrying specially designed Egyptian pyramid cake that had my name written on it in hieroglyphic. She knows that one of my wishes is to travel to Egypt so she granted me a wish, the year before she took me to see my favourite singer at a concert, can you see Dunia why this friend is so special, she is like a fairy that grants me what I want. Sorry, back to my birthday. So as I knew she will surprise me like every year, I was excited to learn how she could improve on the pyramid cake, but she did in a big way.
I did not know where we were going until the taxi dropped us off outside the actual place which was The Shard; Europe’s highest building, a sort of Burj Khalifa (the skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates) equivalent though not as high. It was the best surprise. You see Dunia, I have a big dream of flying across the globe on a magic carpet, so being at the top of London was the nearest thing I could get to be on top of the world, words fail to describe what I felt at the time.
Of course with any outing there is always a glitch or a situation of some sort, when we arrived at the Chinese restaurant on the 36th floor, naturally being disabled and a wheelchair user, I had to enter through the cloakroom; not ideal but I guess disabled customers are not as valued. Once we were led to our table both my friend and I just looked at one another in shock, the table was higher than my head! I could see the disappointment on my friend’s face who had gone to so much trouble to plan this surprise and it hurt me to see her frustration, I am used to such situation and have adapted myself to not expect much from people or places. I tried to reassure her that I can try reaching it and not to get upset but it was very clear that there was no chance of me reaching the table let alone eat from it.
My friend called the waitress and explained that she phoned four times to make sure the restaurant was fully disabled friendly, obviously the waitress was just static and in my personal view did not have a clue so said she will go and speak to the manager, who proved to be even more useless. The manager did not even make the effort to try or attempt to be helpful, or offer to check if any of the other restaurants in the Shard had bookings were disabled friendly, my friend got very annoyed so she said she will go and check other places in the building.
Sorry I know I stop at the most inappropriate parts but my carer has been standing in front of me waiting for a signal that she can carry me to the wheelchair then off to bed. Do forgive me but it is not nice to keep others waiting, especially when it is night time.