Arriving at our table, I placed my hand on top of a plate of food. The soft cushion-like sautéed vegetables were doused in a sweet sauce that coated my fingers. After tenderly fingering my meal I clawed the table until I found a large moist towel next to my plate. Once the first course was finished I combed my plate once again to ensure each morsel had been discovered. A nearly imperceptible speck of red light from a night vision goggle hovered by our table. The waiter was ready to clear the plates.
With the exception of the music, which had the crashing finality of an end-of-the-movie song, the room was silent. Unable to see, I heavily relied on my other senses to decipher my shrouded surroundings. I listened for a crunch that came when I correctly speared my salad while my spoon became an impromptu risotto scale.
The floating dot disappeared once again and left behind chicken, potatoes, and roasted pineapples. The orchestral music ended and a female voice began speaking. In the pitch black of a basement restaurant, her speech had an apocalyptic feel. I thought of subterranean alien environments with human colonies desperate to escape but in need of fuel cells for their space crafts. How sane could such people be if they couldn’t see the light of day? However, I quickly realized one needn’t leave earth’s orbit to encounter such a scenario. Visually impaired people are perfectly functional and I felt stupid for being so naïve.
Dessert was laid before us and the flavor open to debate. As we finished, a prerecorded sound of a ticking clock began to play. When faced with the possible conclusion of a strange world, we began guessing the color and arrangement of the décor. The booth felt red and the walls aubergine. However I was unable to verify my surmise. A quiet voice to my left spoke in broken English, “Uh, finish?” We were led out in a clumsy Congo line to gather our purses from the reception room lockers.
How to get to Blind: Line 2 Konkuk University station exit #2. Turn left at the main intersection and walk straight a few blocks till you see the restaurant on you left.