Well…I promised a Wellington story, so here it is. The week before my job had ended, I had time and holiday pay on my hands, so I decided to take a one day trip to Wellington on the train. I emailed my best friend Aimee (not her real name) to make sure she knew I was coming. Thankfully Aimee didn’t have Uni that day.
The taxi arrived at some ungodly hour of the morning to pick me up, and I was outside waiting for it. I didn’t want any explanations on my method of pushing myself out my front door. I was driven to the train station where there was a nice collection of people waiting for the train. There are a lot of commuters who use this train to work in Wellington. The conductor saw me on the platform and lowered the lift for me. I wheeled onto it, grabbed the bars on the side and he lifted me up. I was then led into the lounge car where I transferred into a seat by a table. Grr, the seats have rather rigid armrests, it can be annoying to transfer. Further down the trip I was joined at my table by a mother and her son (who had broken his arm and was going to have x-rays etc in Wellington, she was another commuter, and one of the regular commuters, a lady who seemed to know everyone on the train. I guess in a way it’s good we had such a variety of people on the train, because as we got closer to Wellington we ran into problems. The signals weren’t working. Most of the trains that run in Wellington weren’t moving at all, and we were moving really slowly through each of the signal sections. We got into the train station approx 2 hours late. I texted Aimee to tell her I was in Wellington. She had to take the bus into the city centre, and that wasn’t going to arrive for a while, so I had a nice amount of time in the station (so I wouldn’t get lost and so I def met up with Aimee) to amuse myself. The toilet doors in the station are incredibly heavy, and on a slope…so I tried to avoid going to the toilet while I was there.
When Aimee turned up we started walking/wheeling round Wellington. Aimee was having a flat warming that weekend and so we had to get some supplies to get ready for it. One of the places we had to go was to a costume shop. This party was a fancy dress pot luck tea party thing. Aimee was going as a Mexican and was taking nachos. Unfortunately the shop wasn’t accessible, and the street it was on had an extreme slope. I had to somehow balance on this hill in the wind waiting for Aimee to come out.
While we were outside a stationary shop some bum came and decided he was going to introduce himself. He seemed very interested in me and got really friendly…he went so far as to putting his hand on my thigh and squeezing it, asking me if I could feel it. Aimee was laughing away but I was extremely uncomfortable, I asked him to go away and thankfully he did.
We went to a food court to have some lunch. I scrounged round in my wallet and found enough money for some butter chicken. Please note that I had been having some really bad problems with depression and had just started on anti depressants. I got my nice smelling butter chicken, wheeled to our table, took a couple of bites, and simply wasn’t hungry. This is rather unusual for me. I have always enjoyed my food, especially takeaways. Takeaways were a big luxury in my family growing up, and so we never wasted them. I felt so terrible that I couldn’t eat it, and carrying chicken round in a bag on a hot day wasn’t really an option. Aimee was rather worried about me…I did have a craving for a sundae though, so Aimee bought me one on the condition that I eat it. I had been up since 5 am and had not eaten anything that day until we stopped at the food court. Not to mention all the exercise I got that morning.
We then met up with one of Aimee’s friends. She was helping to run the flat warming party. So we wheeled/walked to new world to get supplies. While in the fruit and vege department, a nice elderly lady came up to me and introduced herself. She was a part of a Christian disability support group in Wellington. She asked me if I had any problems wheeling in Wellington. I told her it was harder compared to where I live, but it’s mostly because of the hills. I guess one of the things I enjoyed about Wellington was being accepted for face value. Being accepted as a wheeler, and being able to mingle with the people there.
Aimee and her friend wanted to take a bus to the main bus terminal so they could catch their bus back to their flat. I ultimately decided I’d wheel to the bus terminal because trying to get on the bus was too big of a hassle, besides, I don’t carry round loose change. It did take me longer to wheel through the docks than I thought, but faster than if I’d been walking. Aimee and her friend got on the train. I killed time in Wellington, and then got on the train back to my city. The conductor had given one of the “hospitality staff” the task of keeping an eye on me. Part of the way back home I needed to go to the toilet. So I asked her next time I saw her if I could have my chair back. She made such a big deal of leaving me stranded at a table; I just wanted to get to the loo. Just as we were leaving Wellington I saw the most beautiful sunset. We were going past lakes, and seas and it was so beautiful. I wished I had my camera on me to take a picture of it. My camera was with my chair.