When we first got to Beijing on September 16th, 2008, we didn’t know what riding the Metro, AKA the subway system, would be like for a wheel chair user such as myself. On our second day in Beijing we decided to give it a try. My mom saw a wheelchair sign at the entrance of the station, but didn’t know how to get down the stairs. So Devin, Lacey, and a very nice random chinese man who jumped off his bike to help, carried me down two long sets of stairs to get to the wheel chair accessible elevator. We were confused. How do they expect wheelchair users to get down two sets of stairs to the elevator? We found out later. Once we got down the stairs, two subway workers met us and helped me get on the train. They asked us what station we were heading to, and they called ahead so that when we got to the next station I was greeted by more subway workers and paralympic volunteers. Then they used a wheel chair lift that was mounted to the handrail to get me to the top of stairs. I had never seen anything like this before. It was then when we realized that there was probably a lift at the first set of stairs, but we just didn’t know. Another time I used the Subway, they used a stair climber, which was fun.
I think these fancy lifts might be new to the Beijing Metro because of the olympics and paralympics. We were surprised at how helpful and prepared they were in helping me get up and down the many sets of stairs to get on and off the subway. I was shocked at how many people instantly surrounded me every time I need to get to or from a subway platform. It was like an entourage of people. At first it was scary having so may people helping me but after a few minutes I got used to it. The Kasenya train is coming, so watch out for other blog entries.
Bissky Dziadyk Family
Travelling the world as a family since 2008.
In September 2008 our family embarked on a four month journey through South East Asia. Traveling with a child who uses a wheelchair presented its challenges, but following the Mekong River through China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with a wheelchair was truly an adventure.
When we move beyond our fears and embrace our dreams, the Universe has an odd way of not only supporting us but giving us more opportunities than we ever imagined. Embarking on a journey with an open heart we can not help but be changed forever by the experience. Indeed it would be a waste to return untouched in the spiritual realm.
September: China (Beijing, Xi’an,Kunming, Yuanyang)
October: Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay) and
Laos (Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane)
November: Southern Vietnam (Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta)
December: Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampot and Sihanoukville).