Choped!

It is a relatively quiet morning on the VFF RDT campus out here in Anantapur, India 🇮🇳. Although, I did wake up to some random Indian singing. When I came out to see what it was, of course everything went quiet. Such is life...


Speaking of life, it has been happening at the speed of lightning ⛈. As I hop from time zone to time zone and meet each country’s various organizations and people, I am often so tired at the end of the day and am up too early each morning to write anything. I love writing. It gives me moments of quietness to make sense of what has happened. For me, writing brings clarity. And I wish I could’ve done more of it on this Asia tour. I will try my best to write more during my remaining time in India.


I wanted to take a few steps back this morning and share a little more about Singapore with you. Here are a few more interesting tidbits I learned about Singapore:


1. My friend took me to a huge food market center. Unlike the ones in China and Taiwan, they are clean and orderly. Just to give you an idea of how orderly and decent the Singaporeans are, when reserving a table, all you need to do is put down a pack of tissues or your business card or whatever you have to “chope”. This process of reserving a seat with a pack of tissues is called to “chope”. My friend who works in the US Embassy in Singapore gave me multiple packs of tissues “to chope” before we went to the food market.


2. I hardly saw any homeless people here. The one or two I did see I wasn’t sure were even homeless people.


3. Going through airport security was super easy. They wanted to take my personal wheelchair and bring an airport wheelchair for me to use, but when I told them I needed it until I got to my seat on the plane, they did not argue and planned accordingly.


4. On this trip, I discovered there is a new kind of spoken English. Just like there is British English and American English, there is also Singaporean English. It sounds vastly different from the latter two and I am proud to be introduced to it.


Next I am going to share my experience of living in the ABC Hostel in the Bugis neighborhood of Singapore with you. My wheelchair user friends, please know that the vast majority of the hostels you book on hostelworld.come are not wheelchair accessible even though they are marked so. I have no idea what their “wheelchair accessible” criteria is nor how they come to prove these descriptions are accurate from the hostels. ABC Hostel was not wheelchair accessible by any stretch of the imagination: a) The ramp went right up to the entrance door, so the door is on a slope. In addition, you have to press a button to get beeped in, but that button is too high up to reach. b) the bathroom has a step going into it and it is sopping wet inside. c)the shower 🚿 also has a step going into it. d) there is eight people to a room and the walkways are narrow. Conditions for hostels labeled as “wheelchair accessible” are often like this.


Hence, if you truly need a fully functioning wheelchair accessible hostel, call and email them for pictures and any other details you may require. If Singapore, one of the most wheelchair accessible country in the world, can have hostels that are labeled wheelchair accessible like this. You can imagine how the others have been.

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