Last night we went to Blackout Restaurant in Tel Aviv. It’s a cause restaurant run by Naagalat – an organization that serves the blind and deaf.
It’s a real experience. You enter a room that is completely dark. No cell phones, watches or bags. Nothing to distract and nothing that provides any light. You enter into the black zone, holding the shoulders of the waitress. She also tells you it’s ok to eat with your fingers.
You have the option of choosing your food or a surprise menu. I am too much of a fussy eater to do surprise. However the others chose the surprise menu and had a delightful experience guessing and smelling the food.
I noticed that I was sitting in a very crouched position — maximizing the possibility of getting the food to my mouth. But I also recognized that holding my limbs and body close felt like the safest option.
We have a blind friend and I often think how hard it must be if he cannot pick up social cues in a conversation. At one point, this being Israel, we ended up having a heated political discussion. I suddenly realized how much we rely on social cues and expressions. I have no doubt I would have understood more about peoples’ views had the lights been on.
Overall, it was a highly sensual experience. I love travel, I love experiences and I love expanding my reality. In my recent visits to Hevron, my walk through a tent city protest in Tel Aviv, and my trip to an absorption center, I have learned and experienced more about life. Next week I will be in Romania and France — counting 69 countries. I hope to live to 120 and to continue experiencing the world.
Originally published: August 25, 2011