We could either walk....
..or take the bus...
We chose the bus. I've walked it before, but it's like 6 miles each way, and takes a while. Plus, at some point, I'd have to stop to nurse my baybee in the middle of the street (which is totally acceptable here) and draw a crowd. I can not stop when I am out with my kids. If I do, I literally have Chinese people with their cameras out snapping pictures & video or hovering over them making silly faces and clicking noises. I'm pretty sure Sal just thinks that everyone does this all over the world, but I can assure him, this is most definitely NOT normal. How do you teach stranger danger to a kid who has grown up with people all up in his business?
Anyways, back to the bus...
Barbara is more adventurous than I have been, and has ridden the bus before. She made note of which bus numbers go where, along with the number of stops to a particular destination. We decided to give it a go with two kids and my umbrella stroller in tow.
Sal had a blast. He smiled ear to ear and didn't fuss at all. He was particularly excited about the no smoking sign and no doggies sign he saw above his head. He also proudly paid our fare with his "mun-nee" when we boarded the bus. It cost 2 yuan per adult, which is approximately 32 cents. Kids ride free.
We got off at the mall we had intended to go to, but learned that our beloved H&M was closed and had moved to a new location--down the road. We set out on foot this time, off roading the umbrella stroller, but ultimately finding our way.
We did a little retail therapy in H&M (but came out empty handed!) and stopped at Starbucks so I could get a water and nurse Carla before catching the bus home. Sal got treated to a chocolate muffin (hello sugar high!) and was the best bus rider on our way home, hanging on tight to the overhead handles.
The rest of the afternoon he kept reminding me that he "ride da bus" today. To say it was the highlight of his day is an understatement.
I live for this boy's smiles and laughter.