Saturday, May 31, 2008


"Try Walking in my shoes" is sometimes what I hear say. You just can't. But you can at least make new experiences and finally get in touch with the reality of the other one. This week I went to a dark restaurant. I explain. I noticed years ago the place near mine where I wanted to go. It's a place completely in the dark because blind people does not need light. It's a restaurant where blind people try to make you discover their world. Then you realize how It is difficult in a new environment to find your marks without vision. You need to book a long time ago to have a table at the Unsicht-bar. We talked about it for weeks with the ones I was going with, imagining the best and the worse. We were secretely hoping there would be green peas or mash potatoes just as a reminder of school when at lunch time we started to throw all this at the head of our neighbour. It simply shows that we were not at our best entering the place. Blind means you don't see except by the image you made in your head. We don't do that because we see and our vision helps us create our space. Suddenly not being able to see, forces you to make your brain works and It is much more difficult than you imagine. First you enter the place. It's not dark yet. It's a lounge where you can wait your friends to join you drinking your glass of wine (Rosé now, It's really cool weather these days). Then you have to make your choice of the menu and there is a lot of choice. Because we wanted the full package we all decided to take the 4 courses "surprise" menu. And we haven't been disapointed. When all is set, our host dedicated to our table comes to lead us to our table. Angela explains us how to manage the way. Just put your hand on my shoulder and follow me. So like a little train we all go in the dark room (no, daaaarling, not this one). Then she places us at the table and indicates where are the things and she brings soon the glasses, the wine and the water bottles. And again explains where are things. Because she is in charge and we are under her spell. "Ehhh, sorry, Angela, if I need to re-powder my noise ?" ; "Just scream my name, Baby, and I will help you". Cooooooooool. So where is the bottle of wine ? Anyone ? need your glass. Okaayyyyyyyy ... yep got it ! then the trick not to pour too much in the glass is to put your finger in the glass (nobody sees, he he he) and when your finger is wet, the level is good. Replace the bottle near me, okaaaaaaayyyyyyy, a toast ? yes certainly, don't forget to look me in the eyes and do not cross the glasses together, It's bad luck. Then the salad arrives, all fine, my fingers full of sauce, no problem because you forget quickly how to eat with accessories, Angela managing perfectly the disposition. Then the soup (lucky me It's a bowl and not a plate, so this one's easy) and the main course and dessert. Really good quality food. But we just don't know what we had. Actually we did because back to the lounge we had the possibility to ask Angela what was for the surprise dinner. And there comes the big surprise. Your vision helps you to identify what you have in your plate : you put 1 + 1 together between the image your brain receives and the name and the taste you put on it but in the case you don't see ? One sense left and you're lost. You think this is mushroom soup but in fact It's corn soup. You think you had chicken breast when you had beef tongue (one of my friend knowing that spoke about it the whole day after) and then when we thought we had a 3 chocolate mousse It was in fact chilly, cinnamon and coffee (very light I agree). We were sure about the espresso and the wine which were very good. We talked about it along with cocktails at the Neue Odessa Bar. For example in a public place your eyes wander around to look at the place and people. Your eyes catch what is attractive to you. In a dark place you can't fix anything and we discussed about our behaviour during dinner. We all disagree about the space we were, the size and shape of the table, how we were placed, what we did during 2 hours. So we all have a different way of imaging things. In the end a great new experience that I would definitely recommand.

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