New entry,11.10. : Now comes the time for choice! Nightie or pyjamas ? Ear plugs or ear phones? Chocolate or no chocolate? Mmmmm, it seems I can hear voices from Wierz Street in Brussels whispering, “Yesssssss! OK! Chocolate then ….”
But the Athens Express is not just a question of dealing with trivial dilemnas and I have been thinking about what I’ll look for during my journey – and age friendly environments will be my field of curiosity.
First of all the train. An example? Well, French trains are very women-unfriendly. The luggage rack above the seats is so high that you need to be a male basketball player to reach them. If you are an elderly person, forget it – too high for too heavy luggage.
Let’s say you have reached Paris, then the metro is just as women and elderly unfriendly. Going up the stairs, then down the stairs …. And if you are a parent (usually women) with a toddler in a stroller, then forget about the metro.
Let’s try the bus instead. Well then, be ready to fall. The bus leaves as you are not seated yet. And if there is already a stroller on the bus, then just wait for the next one. When one knows that women are the main users of public transport and that taking the bus is one of the ways to alleviate elderly peope’s solitude … then it is easy to understand why I have chosen to be a very attentive observer of how friendly our environment is for everyone.