When I was buying the flights, I mentioned that my brother Kuba is disable person, using his wheelchair and needs support at the airport.
Kuba, what did you expect at the airport?
– I was hoping that somebody will help you to move me from my wheelchair onto the chair in the plane. And I was a bit afraid that the wheelchair will not fit between the rows of chairs.
Tell us from the beginning on. How happened at the airport?
– In the first second, and we were already taken to the front of the queue. „Attention, attention, a wheelchair, make the space!“
Do you like it?
– On one hand it’s nice, of course. But why shouldn’t I wait like the others? This I can do, I’m sitting in my comfy wheelchair ;)
– Crossing the security check. Nobody luckily asked me to stand up and walk through the gate, but the wheelchair was checked really carefully. With some equipment and plasters. Do they think that a wheelchair-driver cannot have any drugs?? Probably he can ;)
After the check?
– Then they took us by different strange corridors, back doors. Somebody fastly checked the passports and… we were directly at the gate.
How did you feel?
– Ok… but… But it’s always like this. That everybody is asking questions to you, instead of me. „Can I check him?“, „Where is he flying to?“, „Does he want coffee or tea?“. Ok, in this moment I really didn’t understand English but they did not know it.
Why is it like this?
– People think that I don’t understand, that I don’t speak. The fact that I’m sitting on my wheelchair. That I am physically disable means for them that for sure mentally disabled as well. People don’t have too much (or often none) experience with disable people.
What do you do to change it?
– I’m trying my best to show them, that I am present, that I understand. I smile, at the airport in Barcelona I’m trying to say clearly: “Hola”, “Gracias” or “Adios”. When somebody asks you questions about if I want coffee or tea, I’m very happy if you don’t give an answer, if you let me talk and they can hear my answer.
Let’s go back to the airport. We landed and..?
– Nobody had to carry me in Barcelona. There was a special vehicle joining the plane („Barcelona without borders“), nice guy with a loud-speaking-dictonary in his tablet said in Polish: „Hello, how are you?“. Na…. nice!
They say that Barcelona is the most accesable city in Europe for people on wheelchairs….
– Let’s check it out!!
to be continued!
This post is also available in: Polish
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