Connect with us
Advertise Here on Stickboy Bangkok

Opinion

Blind Man In Bangkok

Published

on

I first started writing this piece back in June 2015 and as often happens, I never found the time or inspiration to go back to it, until seeing a few Tweets in the past week about how tough Bangkok is for the disabled.

The issue is a hot topic right now due to the legal battle with the BTS by a group of people who are wheelchair-bound to have all stations fitted with lifts allowing easy access to the network.

Being disabled goes much further than being stuck on four wheels, which is what many first think when they hear the word.

Blind Man In Bangkok

In my home country I am legally blind. I have roughly 8% the vision of a fully sighted person. I don’t use a guide dog, although entitled to one back in Jockland, no white stick either and don’t require braille to read.

There are several problems with my peepers including oculocutaneous albinism, OCA2.

Oculocutaneous Albinism

The most common type of albinism, is caused by mutation of the P gene. People with OCA2 generally have more pigment and better vision than those with OCA1, but cannot tan like some with OCA1b. A little pigment can develop in freckles or moles. People with OCA2 usually have fair skin but often not as pale as OCA1, and pale blonde to golden, strawberry blonde, or even brown hair, and most commonly blue eyes. [Source: Wikipedia]

The fun stuff doesn’t end there as I also have congenital idiopathic nystagmus.

Congenital Idiopathic Nystagmus

Children are born with this condition. This is what Congenital means. Idiopathic is a medical word used when nobody understands the cause of a condition. Congenital Idiopathic Nystagmus may occur by chance but it often runs in families. One parent may be affected and other children may also be born with the condition.

And that old saying things come in three’s is spot on when it comes to my mince pies as we have some Astigmatism to top it all off.

That’s Stickboy. Or as my mates back home call me, Stevie.

The vast majority of people who meet me have no idea that I’m as blind as a bat and that comes from years of adapting to a condition I was born with. I’m not allowed to drive or do certain jobs but beyond that I just get on with life and do my best not to let my poor eyesight get in the way of what I want to do.

What I can and cannot see is a nightmare to describe and there’s no easy examples to give.

Now I’m not writing this looking for sympathy – that’s the last thing I want and you can stick it where the sun don’t shine if it crosses your mind. I just thought I’d share what it’s like to live in Bangkok from the point of view, or lack of so to speak, from someone who is partially blind, or “visually impaired” for the PC plonkers out there.

cluttered streets

So what’s it like to live in Bangkok as a “blind man”? Well, not much different to anywhere else really.

I bet I’m not the only one who has busted their ankle on a dodgy footpath, which is probably the #1 hazard for me. I’ve went over on it a few times and been holed up for weeks after tripping on a broken pavement.

Avoiding getting hit by a motorbike on a footpath isn’t as bad as you might think as I usually hear the motorsai madmen coming before I can see them.

Dodging around hot pots and pans filled with fat always has me walking slower as does the rain. Mix both and I’m looking for an alternative route or a tuk tuk.

Getting around Bangkok is easy despite not being able to drive, however, when I stayed down in Phuket for a short period it was a nightmare due to the lack of public transport and ripoff taxis.

I can’t read Thai as the nature of the language with far less spacing like English plus the tone marks etc make it impossible in normal daily use such as a reading a newspaper or book, street signs, menus and such.

I’m unable to read many signs or menus in English anyway so again, not much difference there but frustrating at times as it would be handy.

street signs

One recurring problem I face is people thinking I’m an ignorant twat.

Only last month I walked past one friend who called me over for a chat only for him to tell me four other friends were sat behind us not 3 meters away. Embarrassed doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. On the other hand it’s a great excuse when I do see someone I’d rather avoid. 555+

Bangkok is a crowded place and that means I’m not gonna see you in a crowd or somewhere with lots of movement. Walking down the street my attention is on where I’m walking, not on those around me.

At night or in a bar this becomes ten fold and this is when I’m out most as I avoid going during the day like the plague to keep myself out the sun. Ten minutes and I’m burning like bread stuck in the toaster. I do go out in daylight hours, just not very often and most times I’ll wear a long sleeved shirt.

I’m sure others with poor eyesight “see” things differently to me when it comes to living here but it’s all about your outlook in life – I get on with it and make the best of the hand I was dealt. I could be sat back in Scotland taking government hand outs, feeling sorry for myself and living a life full of doom and gloom.

F**K that.

Stickboy aka Sticky Boy aka Mike McKay aka Mike McKwai, Wild Mike, Magic Mike, Mr Mike, and a fair few more best forgotten, is a party animal with hollow legs who loves music, current affairs, beer, food, causing trouble on Twitter, and making the most of life without worrying too much about what people think or say about his antics. You can send him stuff here - stickboybkk@gmail.com

Continue Reading
Advertisement Stickboy
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

Tales From The Front: Sunday Dinner On A Saturday Night

Published

on

Stickboy, Fatface, and The Keeper are sat in a British pub on lower Sukhumvit on a Saturday night…

A gathering of the clan earlier in the evening for some birthday beers meant Stickboy’s belly needed filling before meeting back up with everyone who had gone in different directions ahead of the cake cutting ceremony at Lighthouse sometime around 10pm.

Somchai The Dog had popped in for a couple of shandies but was looking like a burst couch and was having none of it ordering takeout before disappearing into the dark Bang Na bound on the BTS.

The other half of the Dangerous Duo, Digiman, wasn’t ready for home just yet but had no interest in food.

The Keeper orders quesadillas while smooth-talking his missus, girlfriend or gik – maybe all three – and wasn’t paying attention to much as Fatface orders Chips & Curry sauce for Stickboy.

sunday roast on a saturday night

The food arrives, everyone digs in, more beer is ordered to wash down the grub as all four eat what’s sat on the table.

The Keeper is still on the phone like an old sweetie wife and starts making space on the table with his free hand when a waitress arrives over his shoulder with another plate of food.

He clears a space in front of Fatface and Stickboy who look at each other thinking that’s an odd place to put a roast dinner they both think The Keeper has ordered for himself.

He ends his call and tucks into the roast pork telling everyone to help themselves which they do.

Chips are in the gravy, potatoes are in the curry sauce and the plate is emptying at a fair pace as four mouths feast on the Sunday dinner.

More than halfway through the food a member of the service staff appears and starts talking to The Keeper with Fatface joining in.

Something is amiss.

“Hey Stickboy, did you order the pork roast?”, enquires The Keeper.

“No mate, I thought you did.”

In his best Shaggy voice, he fires back, “It wasn’t me”.

It turns out some poor bloke sat at the bar was sitting patiently waiting on his dinner the staff had wrongly delivered that the four scavengers had all but demolished each of them thinking someone else at the table fancied a Sunday dinner on a Saturday night.

sunday roast on a saturday night

The four grubbers thought this was hilarious and all just shrugged their shoulders laughing having told the service staff to take it away… until Stickboy’s bin arrived with a Roast Pork Loin at 295 baht on it.

He wasn’t laughing any more.

Had it not been for the fact his mates own the pub he’d likely have upset the waitresses with a few choice words having been billed for something he didn’t order with zero conversation between staff and customer over what was a genuine mistake on the part of everyone involved.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Trump, #Thighland And Dinesh The Dick

Published

on

Thighland

I don’t care much for America, its president or politics but when my Twitter timeline is drowning in Trump making a tit of himself by pronouncing Thailand as Thighland then I’m interested.

I’ve no idea what Don was waffling on about when he mentioned Thighland and Vietnam or how chummy he was with their leaders and it’s not that important.

Nor is Trump making a clown of himself anything new from what I recall of him from years back when he faced opposition to his golf course in Scotland, the man is an idiot.

Here’s Scottish radio presenter Robin Galloway pranking him on a call.



Anyway, back to #Thighland…



Okay, he did correct himself straight away but come on, this is the head honcho of Arm-erica. You’d think he could manage to pronounce Thailand properly, yeah?

Well, apparently he did according to some dick called Dinesh who made a complete fool of himself to his 1.2 million Twitter followers and everyone else who pointed out to him that he was wrong.

dinesh 1

Really?

dinesh 2

“Tai-land” is the crude lingo of people who have never been to “Thighland”… including generations of Thais?

Notice how he retweets himself – does he think the more he repeats himself and the more people read it that makes him correct?

Remember, this cockwomble has 1.2 million followers.

dinesh 3

Err, nope.

dinesh 4

dinesh 5

Oh, is Dinesh the dick doing a spot of back peddling here?

dinesh 6

Of course he isn’t

A guy like this could never admit he got it wrong. Even if he was arguing black was white.

Thousands of Thai people replied to his Tweets correcting him and he chose to ignore each and every one of them instead he decided to belittle others who pointed out his mistake.

Finally, here’s the man himself from 2002.


Dinish is now a fully-fledged member of the #TwitterTossers club.

Hat Tip to femalefaust who was behind unearthing Dinesh The Dick pronouncing “Thailand” as “Thailand” and not “#Thighland”.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Easy Does It This Weekend

Published

on

Puffed Out

This weekend is a 4-day holiday in Thailand and normally I’d work through it and take some time off afterwards but with things so quiet on all fronts I decided to join the masses and take a couple of days off.

Updates will resume once I have slept myself silly and recharged my batteries.

I don’t plan on doing much of anything or going anywhere so I will still add a few updates on social media to pass the time as they don’t require much brainpower or thinking.

Whatever you are doing, be it the beach or boozing, maybe both, enjoy yourself and have fun.

See you on the other side.

Continue Reading

Trending