It’s been almost a week since I’ve been back from my trip and I apologize for not blogging about it sooner or keeping in touch with some of you. I’ve been dead tired and and not only physically but emotionally drained. :/
Let’s start with the trip shall we? Last Wednesday my friend and I drove from LA to Oakland for a show. It’s been a good ten years since I’ve been to the bay area and it’s been a while since I’ve gone on a good roadtrip so needless to say I was stoked. The drive took us about 5 1/2 hours with only two stops. I have a really bad bladder and it’s something I am embarrassed to talk about with others and I hate that when I have to go I have to go! Doctors said it’s because of the AMC and weak muscles. I’ve been on medications for it but it doesn’t really help too much. I never know when I have to go - it can come out of nowhere. And when it does I usually have about 5 minutes to get to a bathroom. It sucks not to mention extremely embarrassing when I’m traveling with friends. So 12 minutes into the drive we had to stop so I could use the restroom :/ Not fun.
Once we got back on the road I was good. We did stop 40 minutes outside of our destination to stretch and use the restroom again. I brought not only my wheelchair but my walker on this trip as well. I can’t really use my walker for long distances because I get tired but in situations where the urgent restroom visits come up the walker can prove handy and a lot quicker than putting my wheelchair together. For the most part I like to think I’m not that self conscious of myself or my disability - at least when I’m in my chair. I brush off and pay no attention to the stares and whispers. I wish I could say the same when I use my walker in public though. That’s another reason I don’t like using it out of the house. I already can’t walk that fast and I walk funny so people definitely stare. It makes me uncomfortable. On my way out of the bathroom at the 7 Eleven I walked past a long line of customers at the register. Pretty much each one of them looked at me strangely like they had never seen someone use a walker before. It sucked.
When we finally got to the hotel and into our room I was a bit dissappointed. Not only was the accessible room a lot smaller than I imagined (my wheelchair barely fit in the room!) but it was also a mess! The beds weren’t made and the bathroom was dirty. Now this wasn’t a 5 star hotel but it also wasn’t a cheap motel either. I went to the front desk to let them know and they said they could offer me another room. Only problem was the dirty room was the only accessible room in the hotel! I told them I needed that room so we had to wait 30 minutes until they cleaned it.
Once in our room we relaxed from the long drive since we had a few hours to spare before the show started. So the venue wasn’t exactly in the safest of areas and my friends had planned on drinking so it was decided we’d take a taxi to a from since the venue was only a few miles away.
If there’s anything I learned from this trip it’s that I fucking hate taxis!
I called quite a few taxi services asking for an accessible taxi for my wheelchair. Every company said they either didn’t have a wheelchair accessible taxi or they had one but it wasn’t available and I should have called a week in advance to reserve it. Then they seemed to be confused by the notion that my wheelchair wasn’t a folding (standard hospital like) chair. I told them it comes apart and can fit in the trunk but that just seemed to confuse them more. After getting nowhere I just asked for a regular taxi and decided to deal with it when they got there.
The taxi came, actually two (there were some miscommunications) and my friend and I got yelled at for calling more than one taxi service. Blah. Rude. It took a good 15 minutes to get my chair into the taxi and might I mention that while we were getting my chair into the taxi the driver had the meter running for the fare. So we got to pay $30 for a 5 minute taxi ride! Gahhh.
Once at the venue things were better. Except for the part where the taxi dropped me off in front of the venue and everyone got to watch me get out and watch my chair get put together. Just a little awkward. Anyways I was quite pleased with the accessible seating at elevators as well as the staff at the venue. Everyone was really friendly. Not only that but I was among one of the most diverse group of people in one place at one time that you could ever imagine. There was a certain comfort in the openess of everyone and the different subcultures represented. For once in my life I actually felt normal. If only the rest of the world was as open minded as those concertgoers.
The show ended and the sucky part was still to come. The taxi ride back to the hotel. Once again we had trouble getting a taxi to take my chair. When we finally found a guy things seemed good and he seemed nice enough. Of course I didn’t like the fact again that the meter was running while we were getting my chair in! As we got closer to the hotel I watched the fare go past the $30 mark (which what it had costed us to get up there) and into the $40 range - even though of course in my opinion the ride back seemed to take less time. When we got to the hotel the driver helped me take my wheelchair out of the cab. I knew I had to give him a good tip since he helped me but I was already not happy about the fare alone. I ended up giving him a $15 tip and he proceeded to complain that he wanted $20 because he had helped me get my wheelchair out. I told him that was all I had. He went on about how he saved me a lot of money because an accessible taxi would’ve cost me $75 and that he should get a $20 tip because he hurt his back in the process of lifting my wheelchair! At this point he was just pissing me off. I myself can lift my chair - even if it is barely - but I can lift it weak muscles, disability and all. It’s a light weight chair. You Mr. Taxi Man, who seems to be in your 30’s and completely able bodied are telling me I should give you more money because you hurt your back lifting a chair that weighs very little?! Yeah I knew he was trying to rip me off and take advantage of me. I was so pissed. Yeah I had more money but I wasn’t gonna give it to him after the way he was acting. And I sure as hell wasn’t gonna spend over $60 on a 5 minute taxi ride! The sad thing is I think he would’ve pushed me even more or who knows even maybe tried to rob me it it wasn’t for the fact that the hotel security was standing right there and when he seen the driver hassling me he stepped in.
I’m sure you’re asking where my friend was? Well he went to the after party and I’m a grandma and wanted to go back to the hotel. Plus we didn’t know where the location was and I didn’t wanna risk it being a place with stairs and me not being able to get it. I decided to go back to the hotel. I decided to take the cab. But after that night I will never take a fucking taxi again!
At least we got to sleep in the next morning since we had a late check out. Because of the long drive home we couldn’t do much sight seeing but we were able to stop at a record store. I love music and I love record stores. I could spend hours there just looking through everything. But in actuality I can’t spend much time at all there :( Most records are stacked high and not reachable from my wheelchair. I usually have to stand and look through what I want except I can only do this for so long because I get tired :/ It sucks.
The drive home was quiet. Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was frustration. All I know is it was the longest six hours I’ve ever spent in a car with someone.
I’m not saying the trip was bad. It definitely had it’s good parts and I’m glad I got to spend time with friend. It’s just the last half of it that kinda sucked. And did I mention that I hate taxis?!
So I was pooped for about two days after I got back so sorry to anyone who’s messaged me and I haven’t responded. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I’m super bummed I didn’t get to meet MollieMonster on my trip :( Sucks things didn’t work out. Maybe next time!
I’ve finally caught up with life and feel well rested. Things were good today, until a few hours ago. Remember the guy I went out with that ditched me with no explanation a few months back that I mentioned? Well turns out the reason he stopped seeing me was because he was dating someone else at the same time as me!!!! Even after I asked him if he was seeing other people (because I knew we weren’t exclusive) and he claimed he wasn’t and he only wanted to see me and that he planned on us being exclusive. Yeah well turns out he’s a liar and a jerk. Pissed me off and bummed me out for about an hour but I’m over it ‘cuz he’s a piece of shit liar with no balls and I feel sorry for the girl he’s with now.
Well that’s what’s going on in my life. I hate taxis. Guys are douchebags. The end.