On the afternoon that Elijah and I met some friends down at the MixC mall, for lunch at Baker & Spice, we ended up walking along the coast for about three hours afterwards. It wasn’t my intention to walk all the way home, which is roughly 13 km (from May 4th Square all the way to Shiloaren, the beach near our apartment), but somehow that is what happened. Amber and her two little ones jumped onto a bus and headed back to our place. I was supposed to go with them, but Elijah was asleep and I didn’t want to wake him, take him out of his stroller, and then try to climb into the back door of the bus with him on one arm, and our jogger stroller on the other. If you have ever lived in China, you will know that the bus drivers have no mercy. Not for old people, not for kids, and not for mothers with kids. They speed off the second that the last person steps onto the bus. You have approximately 2-3 seconds to get to your seat/ standing area, and steady yourself. With a stroller and a baby, that is not easy. There are many bus routes that don’t have the oddly placed vertical pole in the back door, but this particular bus was the only one that went to our apartment, and unfortunately it had this frustrating pole. I waved goodbye to Amber, and decided to keep walking until Elijah woke up. Assuming I would catch a taxi, I didn’t think much further on it, and simply enjoyed the beautiful ocean and mountain views.
Eli eventually woke up an hour later, and I was ready to catch a taxi. That was when I realised that I have never actually caught a taxi without anyone else while out with the jogger stroller. Although it is pretty easy to fold down, it takes two hands to open the trunk of the taxi and load the stroller. Mostly because the taxi drivers keep a wide array of junk in their trunks, and it often takes some quick thinking to get the stroller to stay in. Sounds relatively easy enough, right? Well, what do I do with Elijah? He won’t sit on the backseat of the taxi because the minute I walk away he launches off the seat and tries to follow me. I can’t leave him sitting in the road, and I can’t hold him while trying to simultaneously squish the stroller into the cab. Just another “Life in China” moment!
We ended up walking all the way back to our neighbourhood. The weather was good, and we were enjoying the sights and sounds, so why not?! I called Justin when we were getting closer, and he threw on his running clothes and ran to meet us. He had been insisting on jumping in a taxi to come and pick us up, but I was really happy strolling with Elijah by the sea. Elijah seemed to enjoy it too – he looked around at everything and barely made a sound.
We made it back home just before dark.
It sure wasn’t a planned out afternoon, but it was some good exercise and a great family dinner date. We need more walks like this. Since the weather will be cooler by the end of September, we plan to do some more long walks by the ocean. Perhaps we will even attempt to walk from May 4th to Shiloaren again.