After the workweek of meetings and new experiences, you’d think Jingles and I would be done with adventures and hide out for the weekend. Not so.
Saturday was a Grand Day Out (to quote Wallace and Grommet). A grand morning, anyway. First, I was going to attend a Young Professionals networking group for folks with vision impairments. I’d gone to the group a few times before, and once with Jingles, but it had been a while. I basically remembered where the library was, so wasn’t too worried about finding the place. We set off bright and early. I decided, since it was cold, and had just snowed the night before, to transfer to a train that let out closer to the library. The transfer was in Downtown Brooklyn, at a station that I had been to a million times, but only once with Jingles. Even so, I figured we’d be fine. Well, it was our stop, and off the train we hopped. Jingles navigated the extra narrow platform with ease, leading me gently around many obstacles. Soon, she found an escalator, and we hopped on to transfer to the other train…Whoops…I accidentally took the wrong escalator. Crap! I knew the timing seemed a little off for finding the right one. No fault of the pup’s. So, there we were, in the hall for an exit only, not quite knowing where to go from there. Luckily, there was another guy leaving. He asked if I was okay. I told him I was trying to switch to the F train. He pointed out an alternate staircase that would lead into a lobby to get back in the station. I thanked him, and made my way down the stairs. Jingles found the turnstile, where a station attendant spotted us and asked where I was going. I told her and she gave me directions as to how to find the right place to transfer. I entered the station, but got a hint turned around. Station attendant to the rescue! She came running and pointed me to the right staircase. Once back down on the platform I had just left, I followed her direction and Jingles guided me to the elevator at the end of the platform. We accidentally hit the wrong button (almost calling the station attendant), but another individual entered the elevator just in time, and even better, thought I was holding the elevator for them! After leaving the elevator, we were in the mezzanine to transfer. Working from memory, I managed to give Jingles the right commands, and we made our way flawlessly to the right train…Great compensation for my earlier blunder.
After getting off the train, I realized I hadn’t been to this stop in forever and couldn’t remember what staircase to climb. Of course, I chose the wrong one. Upon exiting, I asked someone, and realized my mistake. Back down the steps we went, up the other side, and down the road. The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful, minus Jingles wanting to check out some scents in a scaffolding tunnel (who knows how many people and dogs have marked their territory there?). After crossing the last road,
I slowed Jingles, and creeping along, we found the right door! Victory was so sweet! Oh yeah, I totally know what I’m doing, that’s right…
Meeting was fine. Jingles slept the whole time, except to sneak a quick “hi” with another attendee before I caught her.
After the meeting, I needed to return a book to a library a few blocks away. I’d never gone this exact route, but was confident we’d find it all right. We began on the journey, a participant of the meeting caught up with me and walked with us a little ways. Of course, this was through the pee-folding tunnel. And, of course, several dogs were walking through at the same time…Needless to say, this was the perfect storm for the little distraction issues Jingles and I are working on, and she thoroughly misbehaved until my walk mate left to get a cup of coffee. *sigh* It really is like having kid sometimes lol. After that, we turned down the street and made our way to the library. Jingles remained a bit distracted, but I think this was because she had to go to the bathroom, and was maybe a wee bit stressed from our “adventures.” Eventually we found a spot to park her, and she began behaving again. I accidentally went a block farther than the library, but corrected myself, and made my way down the right block. Like I said, we hadn’t gone this route before, so we were coming from the opposite direction, and I wasn’t exactly sure how far into the block the door was. I kept telling Jingles to find the door, and she kept bringing me to floor length windows. Poor thing. Eventually I asked someone. Turns out, I was about 30 feet off the mark. Oh, well. I returned the book, and we were on our way back home. And, Jingles was absolutely amazing. She weaved through crowds like a pro, remained focused, and did not show any signs of stress. If only the chick from before had seen THIS dog. Ha. She even found the steps to the subway with no trouble in a super busy strip of street: D Awesome dog, that one. That ended our Saturday gallivant.
And the moral of the story: It may look silly, my getting lost in “familiar” places, or new subway stations, but it’s amazing how little I can pay attention when I’m whisked through on the arm of a sighted companion… Then, when alone, those moments of being lost in the familiar, are rather annoying and embarrassing …but, you know what? Experiences like that burn the layout into my mind. Well, not perfectly, but after getting turned around in a station, or up a staircase, I have a much better idea for next time, and for that I will continue to endure the momentary discomfort.