We got home and they are done. Our blinds are finally up in the new apartment. It turned out that the building was built out of some form of freakish concrete that makes it impossible for a drill to penetrate. We hired the two guys who work in building maintenance and it's taken them three attempts. They've somehow managed to get them up without holes in the ceiling. We don't know how they did it, they just say,'Don't pull too hard on the cords when you lift them."
One day when I was working on the computer, I was left alone with the guy from Mexico who works part time at our building while he attends school here in Toronto. He was telling me about his first winter here and how it took him by suprise. "It's a force, your winters, a real force." I laughed at his story about walking to school on his first snowfall in shoes meant for a Mexican winter.
A couple days later they'd figured out how to put the blinds up and he and I were again talking. I use a wheelchair around the apartment and I had been wheeling back and forth between the office and the kitchen. He asked me if I worked far away. He knew I had a job and he had seen me take the big WheelTrans bus outside the building. So I told him that I was quite away from work.
The subject changed to the source of my work, when I explained that I worked with people with intellectual disabilities. He said, 'Ah, I know what that means.' Then he said that his sister went to school and got her BA studying how to support people with such disabilities and right now she worked with people who had 'el syndromo medico down' but he said it so fast I couldn't understand what he said. The he said, "You know, they are short, have eyes a little different and ... um ... people expect nothing of them but they are actually very smart some of them."
"Oh, Down Syndrome," I said.
Then we talked cross culture about how people, it seemed universally, couldn't see potential for disability. He was very proud of his sister. He said that she was the smart one in the family and everyone wanted her to study other things at school but she had decided that this was the work she wanted, the work she loved. "She has taught them to read and to write, she asks them what they want to learn and then she tries to teach them. Every one thinks she's loco.'
"Not me," he said proudly of her, "I think that if that's what loco means, then we all need a little loco."
Let's all be a little loco today.