Beneath this bowl of stars...

toddler activites, food, photos, and other orbital occurrences

sidewalks i like you,
you carry us along,
with smooth surface to glide us,
we cannot go wrong.

it makes sense to have you,
aside of the the street,
why then oh why then,
are you not there now for my feet?

for some reason sidewalks are a foreign concept here in shanghai. The street that our hotel is on has nice wide sidewalks... but its called a pedestrian street. I thought that meant no cars, but it seems to simply mean that there sidewalks for walking. These are no ordinary sidewalks either. The designers here like to make creative surfaces. Nothing is nice and flat and smooth. Every several 100 feet it changes too. It makes for very difficult stroller driving. Not only are all bumps felt in your hands (i brought the non-air tire stroller), but the bumps are often so big that the wheels get stuck and you are thrown off course.
I decided to venture onto the side streets to see if that was any better. Ha Ha Ha! On most side streets, there is no sidewalk at all... if there is, there will not be for long. It will either just abruptly end, be covered with something like polesor become bike/moped parkingor will narrow to just a few inches. That leaves me to join in the mopeds, bikes, cars, carts, and other wheeled vehicles rolling through the street at all speeds and directions. Stop lights are only a suggestion for cars. Bikes and mopeds never follow them and cars seldom do. To cross the street you look all ways (even behind you) and just go, continuing to look all directions as you walk, or run to the other side. My little walk no only took much much longer than it would have for the same distance in manhattan, but i was exhausted from the stress of walking and my hands ached from gripping the stroller so hard. Definitely not a stroller friendly town. In fact the only time i saw other strollers was at the nice little park i found, and then for a brief period in the morning after rush hour and before lunch. All the other kids are carried, walk, ride in carts with garbage or fruit, or on mopeds.


That sounds utterly terrifying. And yet I was amused by your account of dashing across the road, dodging cars, mopeds, and carts. CARTS. Because we don't have those anymore in the US. Unless you're in PA and it's Amish country.

Also, btw - love the photos!