of no fixed subtitle
March 11, 2005
The Blind Cow
is a restaurant in Zurich staffed by sightless people, and diners eat in complete darkness to simulate blindness. It's gotten so popular that reservations must be made three months in advance.
18 years ago
I'd love to try it!
You'll poke your eye out!
" Blind" dates are a hit at the Blind Cow, and several dating agencies arrange for people to meet in the darkness of the restaurant where they can ask questions and be themselves without seeing the person opposite. Later, if they choose, they can reveal themselves in the lighted lobby.
Haha, that's great. What a neat experience that would be. I like the story about the husband-switch-joke too.
I'd really like to experience this; there's something so intimate about it.
How do they know if people leave without paying?
In other venues they would call this a darkroom.
As the close acquaintance of someone who is blind, I find this to be just the teensiest bit repugnant. /wet blanket
As the close acquaintance of someone who is blind, I find this to be just the teensiest bit repugnant.
But, would it not lead to greater awareness and understanding for the blind? I would assume, since it's mainly staffed by blind people, that they (owners, staff) are treating the issue with respect, rather than as a money making gimmick.
I should've read the whole article before posting. A quote from the founder:
Added to his goal of teaching the sighted about the sightless world, he wanted to provide jobs for blind people.
I concede the possibility; my thought, though, was for the patrons, for whom toying with experiencing blindness to see what it's like smacks of the worst kind of poseuring. To actively seek temporary blindness as a novelty, to me, somehow demeans the permanent handicap that millions suffer with. It's like tooling around in a wheelchair when one's legs are capable. I'd be embarassed to play at impairment, if none existed.
I suppose it's a question of motivation. I saw a TV news piece on this several months ago, and the customers who were interviewed gave different reasons for checking it out -- for some it was the novelty, but others saw it as a learning experience. Those who came back, though, all said that they actually quite liked the atmosphere of dining in total darkness. I suppose it's the difference between goofing around in a wheelchair and spending an extended period in one, not allowing yourself to use your legs at all, to try to get a glimpse of what it's like to be bound to a chair. Do you come away fully understanding what it is to be disabled? No, likely not, but at least you can get just a taste of that understanding, learn a little something about another kind of life.
And yet, even if one goes into that wheelchair with the best of intentions, the knowledge is always there that they can leave it anytime. With that knowledge always with them, I don't think anyone who doesn't *need* a chair can actually ever really experience what it's like to actually be confined to one, anymore than a restaurant patron can ever really experience blindness, when they know their sight will return as soon as they leave. Or, maybe I'm just a grumpy a-hole.
I must admit, I'm with you on this a bit, Fes. Plus, I really prefer to see what I'm eating in a restaurant.
MonkeyFilter: You'll poke your eye out. MonkeyFilter: learn a little something about another kind of life MonkeyFilter: Maybe I'm just a grumpy a-hole.
Hmm, I think it'd be an interesting experience on many levels. I'm supposing that the restaurant owner has his share of critics much as we monkeys have critiqued it, but obviously the non-sighted employees don't have a huge problem with it otherwise they wouldn't work there. And how bad is it that people are made to consider some disability or limitation, even if said disability or limitation is only transient for them? I feel I understand where Fes and BlueHorse are coming from. There's aspects to this that give me the heebie-jeebies. But there will always be poseurs, and shallow people. Still, the world needs a lot more empathy, that's for sure. If the issue of the visually impaired is in the more palatable form of a restaurant (pun intended), maybe more people will think about the issue than otherwise do. Granted, there are many ways for the restaurant to do it badly, but I'm more of a glass half-full kind of guy. The same could be said for "issue" films. They could be good, or they could be clying and pandering. But no matter how honest or heartfelt, once you leave the theatre, what do you do? For example, I saw
the other week. I may never go to Rwanda, and I certainly have not had to deal with anything of that magnitude of crap that real people had to deal with...and still have to deal with the aftermath. Should I not have seen it at all because I won't be living in Rwanda? Of course not. I'm glad I saw it (even though I wasn't jovial afterwards). Now, I have no doubt that some of the viewers, whether calloussed or shallow or a combination of the two saw it and had the reaction much like: "Oh, that was so sad...where shall we go for ice cream?" You can't stop shallow people from being shallow, but hopefully, you can expose them to things that clearly jut outside their narrow worldview. Likewise with this restaurant. Some people might see the whole experience as a novelty. As long as the restaurant doesn't try and franchise it, capitalizing on that angle, as I said, I think it would be an interesting experience. And I note the article looks like it came out in 2001. If the restaurant is still prospering, one could argue that it has outlasted faddishness.
BG, I actually heard a story about the restaurant on NPR yesterday morning, and went in search of something about it on the Web so I could do this post. So yes, it's definitely prospering.
The menu is a la carte, with a selection of salads, entrees and desserts. Featured are traditional German dishes such as beef in red wine, dumplings, sauerkraut, roast chicken,
and apple strudel
The only you'll have me put that entree on my fork, is in the dark...
Much thought going into this---me likes.
This is just about as demeaning to blind people as blinking is.
Yah, only if you blink FIRST.
Bravo, the disease of knowledge is spreading. Speaking of course as someone who can write his own name with his toes.