Has it ever crossed your mind how it feels like not being able to see? Would you want to do some charity?
My company recently sent out a corporate mail that stated "Lunching In The Dark". I though, huh? Switch off lights and eat? So after reading on, I realized that it was a programme that Singapore Association of the Visually Handicap (SAVH) had.
Basically it's a 1-2 hours' either lunch or dinner dining in complete darkness. Sounds tough? It sure was. Here's my personal experience after attending this event.
Each of us paid $30nett for a lunch and about 50 of us were there. They had a choice between vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It wasn't a choice of meat or no meat but we considered more of the fact which was "easier" to eat. The vegetarian dish was Spaghetti in Marinara Sauce with Cheese (optional) and the non-vegetarian was Chicken Chop. I contemplated for awhile and decided that noodles should be easier in the dark compared to cutting the chicken with my knife (my chicken might end up on the floor). Out of the 50 people, only 5 of us took spaghetti. (I was like oh shit did I make a wrong choice)
When we arrived at SAVH, an SAVH staff along with 3 servers who are visually handicapped were there to brief us on where the utensils are placed and how should we pour our water etc. (details I shall not reveal so you can try it out yourself)
After the briefing, we were lead 10 by 10 each time up the staircase to the second level where the rooms were. As only 5 people had spaghetti, we were the last to go up. While I was waiting for my turn to go up, I saw one of my colleague walked out of SAVH. Out of curiosity, I asked why he left. So SAVH staff explained to me that some people just can't take it being in complete darkness. I heard he went in the room twice and gave up. That moment, my heart frozed, I was freaking out because I am too someone whom was afraid of the dark but I thought to myself, I shouldn't back out now, I should go ahead and try.
Soon it was my turn to go up along with 2 of my colleagues (thankfully I had Angeline with me, I was literally grabbing her and telling her not to ditch me while in the dark) Let me tell you, the visually handicapped server led us in the room, settled all of us down one by one on the table. Super cool, I really look up to them.
The room was in complete, I mean complete darkness. No matter how wide you try to open your eyes, you can't see anything. I freaked out for a moment but when I could hear Angeline's voice, I felt safe.
The entire lunch set includes a soup, garlic bread, plain water/juice (which you have to pour yourself), main dish, dessert and tea/coffee (served but creamier and sugar self served). For everything including the experience you only pay $30nett. All proceeds will go to SAVH in helping these visually handicaps. Doing charity at the same time while filling up your tummy, why not?
It was an experience that really made me understand how it feels to be like them. Bear in mind we only went through 2 hours whereas for them, it's a lifetime. They were really efficient, courteous and had absolutely great memory.
I highly recommend whoever that haven't heard (like me) or been there before to find a group of 10 friends together and go experience it once. Take is as a form of moral and monetary support for these awesome people. Trust me, the food was awesome. I finished everything they served me and it was delicious. I will definitely go back again to try the chicken chop.
If you are interested to find out more, click here for their direct website where you can find their reservation forms to download. Minimum for this lunching/dinnering in the dark to happen is 10pax however they can do 6 people too (but subjected to other terms and conditions which you might have to discuss with them directly). It's really an experience you must try at least once in your lifetime. After this lunch, you'd learn to appreciate what you have more.
Since everything was completely dark, I only managed to take a photo of how I fare eating without my vision, and I guess.... I did pretty well. No spills, I didn't dirty my dress and I gobbled up everything. Next challenge would the chicken chop!
Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped
47 Toa Payoh Rise