It was at White City, waiting in full sight at the bus stop, holding my hand out towards the street, clearly signalling to the driver that I want to get on. The driver completely ignored me, left me standing there, didn’t open the ramp. He just drove off.
I was so furious. Sometimes anger is a good thing. I decided to follow the bus so that I could get its registration number to complain. I dashed down the pavement like crazy. At some point I passed the bus, which was stuck in traffic. The bus had to stop at the next light. So I got up to the closed door and yelled at the driver and asked him why he hadn’t picked me up. Why he couldn’t obey the law of this country. That I would report him to Transport for London. I was so angry as this was by far not the first time that drivers just didn’t let me on.
Then I thought, “I’m going to win this.” I just kept going, crossed the street ahead of the bus and got to the next bus stop just when the bus arrived after dashing in my wheelchair at a frenzied speed.
And, look! The driver deployed the ramp. Immediately. Without saying anything. I was completely exhausted after my sprint, but I was in the bus. I had won.
Yes, it took me a while. 7 years to be precise. I moved to the UK in 2006 from Germany and since then I had the idea to start a weblog in English. So after my English speaking friends pushed me for years, I decided to blog in English – finally. I love weblogs, I am not new to the blogging world. In fact I am blogging since 2004. I even won a price for my German weblog Behindertenparkplatz.
I am a journalist. I write and research about German and British politics, current affairs, media, culture, religion, disability, IT and social media. I am based in London and work for German media, in German of course.
I love flying and I am passionate about access to public transport for all, and believe everyone should be able to travel the world. I am a wheelchair user myself. I strongly hope that I will still be alive when all tube stations in London will be accessible to disabled people. At the moment only a quarter have lifts or ramps.
In 2012 I appeared in both London2012 Opening Ceremonies. I was one of the nurses dancing around a trampoline bed at the Olympics Opening Ceremony and returned a month later with my choir to sing the national anthem at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics. To be a ceremonies volunteer was one of the best things in my life so far – just topped by the decision to move to London.
Hopefully this weblog will also help me to overcome the chip on my shoulder when it comes to my English writing skills. I blame my English teacher in school who told me that I will never learn this language. I proved her wrong.
So what will I write about? Well, about my life as a German wheelchair user in London of course. About transport. About accessibility. Politics maybe. Cultural differences (I will never understand this embarrassment thing for example. I think the Germans lack a gene for embarrassment) and I will certainly tell you, why I love London so much.