A few weeks back, Ran and I met up at one of our usual haunts, Cafe (Espresso Bar) Bialik.
But there was something unusual.
Someone was sitting at an outside table and eating, wearing a blindfold. The kind you wear on airplanes.
But we weren’t on an airplane. We were perplexed.
Then we saw the sign.
The sign was about blind day. To increase awareness for the state of blind people, the coffeehouse was offering a 50% discount to anyone who agreed to eat blindfolded.
I wasn’t wearing my Sunday best. Neither was Ran.
So we decided to see what it was all about. Or rather, to not see.
Ran put his blindfold on. So did I.
I consider myself lucky to have snapped this picture.
We sat there in the darkness. It was strange. It was unsettling.
People rely so much on their sense of sight.
We moved our hands gently around the table, touching things,
Touching each other.
Not what you think.
We ordered two different shakshuka (after all, why not enjoy a 50% discount?).
The waiters were very careful when they brought the dishes. And the coffee.
We were extra careful.
While we were eating, I noticed something funny going on.
My sense of hearing had grown more acute. I could hear the distant sounds of what was going on outside the coffeehouse, the various conversations inside. Sounds took on a timbre, a significance, a meaning. A direction.
We ate slowly, carefully, deliberately. It was comforting that at the end of the experiment, we would be able to take off our blindfolds and see again.
I had many thoughts.
I thought about the fact that I had never eaten a blind meal in my life.
I thought about the fact that even when we do see, we are still to a large extent blind. After all, we cannot see what is going on beyond the periphery of our vision, what is going on behind us, and more importantly we cannot see through things. To an extent, all of us are partially blind, and yet accustomed to it.
At the end of our meal, we removed our blindfolds. It was relieving, I must admit. We had eaten carefully and hadn’t stained our clothes. Interestingly, the olives were the most elusive food of the meal.
It was a unique experience.
We felt guilty accepting the 50% discount. But we did anyway.
We did leave a large gratuity. After all, there was something of a mess to clean up.
And we came away thinking that we had shared quite an experience on our first blind date.
Published: Jul 11, 2015
Latest Revision: Jul 11, 2015
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