The Big Issue : Edition 480
10 THEBIGISSUE20MAR–2APR2015 LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT YOUR SAY ‘Your Say’ submissions must be 100 words or less, contain the writer’s full name and home address, and may be edited for clarity or space. Have Your Say about The Big Issue: • email firstname.lastname@example.org • post The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 • facebook The Big Issue Australia • twitter @thebigissue • website thebigissue.org.au/your-say/ I have to use a wheelchair to get around. This can sometimes be hard for me to face, but it doesn’t stop me! I like to go to museums, movies, to see exhibitions and I use the bus to go to the hospital. A big thanks to everyone and all the bus drivers for all their help over the years; I appreciate everything you have done, it makes a big difference to my life! I know everyone has a schedule to stick to, but they should realise that I’m sometimes slow, need time, enough access and understanding. It can be frustrating when I try to get on the bus quickly. Everyone looks at me when I get on, and it makes me nervous. While writing this, my support worker observed, “It seems a lot like parallel parking. Like trying to park the car with such precision and with everyone behind you watching and impatiently waiting on your fourth attempt.” It can be hard, especially when people won’t help or are rude. I regularly get great compliments from bus drivers. They have said I am an excellent driver, which is always nice to hear! Some people don’t move when I try and position my wheelchair in the seating area and sometimes the seats are down and in the way. It is hard to see my stop and I don’t know when I need to get off. I rely on my support worker and the bus driver to help. It is very difficult to turn around in a small area – especially when the bus is full of people – and to get off the bus before the doors shut. I have had to call out to the bus driver to wait for me to get off – that was embarrassing! I’m just letting other people know what it’s like to be in my situation. My solution would be to just let me have time. We can all get to where we all want to go happily. I am now experienced in taking public transport. This enables me to become independent and I love it! Alison Wolski, Kallangur, Qld Being alone in a crowd must be the scariest feeling. Yet, thousands of people around the world are walking SPECIAL TREATM ENT I was pulling out my purse to purchase The Big Issue from a vendor outside Melbourne Central Station when my water bottle slipped from my bag and broke on the footpath. After I’d collected the pieces, I took out money to pay, but the vendor said, “Put your money away, love. Manager’s special. You need a new bottle.” Thank you and your compassionate heart – I will now become your regular customer. Brenda McKinty, Burwood East, Vic Brenda wins a copy of Hozier’s self-titled album (see story on p17). The first line in the story titled ‘Shelf Life’ by Chloe Walker (Ed#478) was: “We need more bookshelves”. Oh! I do despair when I hear my husband say those exact words. John’s passion is BOOKS. Every time we go to an op shop a radar goes off and he disappears to the nearest pile of books. Our spare bedroom now has one complete wall of books. Rods that once hung in the double wardrobe have now been removed and replaced with shelves. You guessed it! For more books. I guess the sentiment, “You don’t get rid of books” is something that I will just have to learn to live with. Denise Tarrant, Happy Valley, SA alone on the streets, every day. Not only do The Big Issue vendors combat their own feelings of social isolation, but they also help loners from being invisible. The Big Issue vendors will talk when no one else bothers with words. Loneliness is a big issue on a global scale. Linda Nathaniel, Riverview, NSW FACEBOOK FRIENDS Wynda Evans I buy a regular copy from a lovely man in Wangaratta. Good Job! Great Read! That would be Will! –Ed Lyn Aberdein I look forward to getting The Big Issue. It’s a pity it is not sold in the suburbs, (I’m sure lots of people would buy it); seems like the vendors only sell in the city or close by. Having said that even if it was sold here I prob would still get it delivered. Love getting mail that is not bills! The Big Issue is sold in some suburbs around the country. But, if it’s not available near you, like Lyn, you can always sign up for a subscription. Visit thebigissue.org.au for details. –Ed Netti Gray Before I moved to rural Victoria two years ago I used to get my copy of The Big Issue from Marcus in Degraves St precinct and also chat every time I walked past. So it was very lovely to read of his cheeky coining of a new word “Fantabulous’ in the latest issue 478. There was no photo, but I instantly remembered his face and banter. What a fab Saturday morning memory!