Dining in the Dark

By : Yee Jun Ming

Last evening’s ‘Dining In The Dark’ conducted by SAVH was a most interesting and fun experience.  

We were introduced about the association and then briefed about the dinner event. Then we were slowly led into a dark room and to our seat at the table where it was completely pitch black, total darkness. 

 

I was beginning to feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable from the lack of vision but told myself to calm down and relax. We realised that without sight, we were somehow talking louder. Strange. Haha.

Then I orientated myself, finding out who was seated beside me “Stop touching me, Daniel! I already told you Gabriel!”, I said giggling; and I felt around the table setting in front of me; mentally taking note about the placements of things.

We were then served a bowl of delicious mushroom soup. How did I know it was mushroom? It was luringly aromatic. Haha. I held the bowl in my hand and thought to myself ‘Ok, how are you going to do this, Gabriel? Spoon it or sip it from the bowl? Well no one would know what you do.’ Haha! So I placed the bowl down on the table and felt for my soup spoon; and I carefully spooned the soup and successfully placed it straight in my mouth. ‘Yes! I did it!’, I thought to myself. Haha. But then hearing that others are sipping their soup from the bowl, I decided to follow suit. Haha! Strange experience, without sight, I was actually able to fully enjoy the soup and taste every delicious bit of it. I finished it with much appreciation. Just as I and a few others were done with our soup, we were told that they’re going to serve bread which would go very well with the soup, ‘Damn, I just finished my soup. Guess I have to eat the bread on it’s own’, I groaned. It’s okie. Haha. 

The server cleared our empty bowls and then served our main course. I chose a tomato-based vegetarian spaghetti. Again, I felt around my plate to orientate myself and then thought to myself ‘Hmm… How do I eat this without creating a mess? I wish I chose chicken chop instead, just poke with a fork and eat it straight.’. Haha. But being vegetarian, there was no other option. However, after hearing how difficult it was for some to eat their chicken chop ( which came with coleslaw and mash), I was glad I had a simple spaghetti. Hahaha. Carefully twirling the noodles with my fork and the aid of a spoon, I ate slowly and carefully, keeping in mind not to make a mess; and constantly wiping my mouth with the napkin. ‘Glad I’m wearing black’, I thought to myself. Haha. When I thought I was done with the noodles, I used the spoon to scoop around the plate to make sure I finish the sauce too. I really wanted to show my appreciation by making an effort not to waste any food. And the funny thing was, without sight, it didn’t bother me at all if the food looked appetising or not. I just happily ate what I was given. Haha. There’s a lesson to be learned. Haven’t quite put it to words yet. Haha. 

We were told that our plates would be left at the table so we can later see how we faired. Fun. Haha. Eating in the dark felt alright by now. I placed the fork and spoon nicely on the plate and waited for dessert to be served. 

Ice-cream! We could smell strawberry-flavoured ice-cream, then some tasted chocolate. It was kinda exciting. Haha. “Mine is strawberry!”, I exclaimed gleefully. But half way through, I tasted chocolate. Haha. Then a friend said “Must be Neapolitan!”. Hahaha. And some of us decided to lick our ice-cream goblet coz no one could see us anyways. lol 

Then coffee/tea was served. Again, I carefully held the tea cup and saucer from the server and placed it next to my empty dinner plate. We were then told that sugar and creamer would be passed around and I thought to myself ‘Oh dear. How am I going to do that? Maybe I should just have my tea without sugar or creamer’. Haha. But then I thought I should challenge myself and see if I can do it with ease. So I took a sachet of creamer (no sugar for me, that’s how I like my tea. Really. Haha.), tore it open carefully and poured it in my tea. Gave it a few stirs with the teaspoon and then showly sipped and enjoyed my tea. Everything was done with extra caution and calculation. Haha. 

Oh there was water and juice which we had to pour ourselves if we wanted. We had to pass the jug around and when pouring into our glass, we were told to stick a finger in the glass to gauge how much we poured. I did it without spilling. Yaay! Haha.
When the whole dinner was done, they turned on the lights and we could all see how neat or messy everyone was. It was hilarious. Some had food and spills all over the place. Haha. But I was proud that I did well. See attached photo, not bad eh? Kekeke. 
By the way, the servers were visually impaired. Big kudos to them for being able to serve all of us without hiccups. They’re awesome! 

The whole unique experience was a very fruitful one for me. I had a great time with old and new friends. I was reminded not to take things for granted and to be more appreciative. An evening of blindness was really interesting and fun, but a lifetime of blindness is a different thing altogether. Living in a world of darkness can be rather scary and dangerous. It takes great courage and a strong and positive attitude for a blind person to live through daily. I have much admiration for them. And I feel very blessed to have all my senses working. Very grateful for the experience. 
You should all go experience it too. Do your bid for charity, for them, for yourself.

 


 

First published on The Bear Project Facebook page on July 26,2014

 


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