Yesterday Elizabeth had the car and we realised very late, that Hannah had a party later in the day. I had to work out our public transport options, which in this case was the bus. Despite leaving the house without my wallet, we managed to scrape together enough coins to get a day pass. The kids came well equipped with everything you would need for that type of adventure including books, a sword, a spear and various other essential items for a 10 minute bus trip. We walked from the bus through some new neighbourhoods past some cricket, played on every available oval through the summer on a Saturday.
It was a very unusual experience for the kids. When they were younger, I used to walk with them a lot. Now with our busy life, we drive almost everywhere except the local park. It reminded me how great it was to observe the world in a different way and to be thankful of having access to a car. There is always something interesting to see, nothing more so than this unexpected beauty sitting quietly waiting for her co driver on the same street where we were walking to.
After dropping Hannah off at the party Ryan and I walked back to catch the bus back. It was a major violation of his child rights and he was grumpy most of the way back. Eventually we got to our local park and Ryan played with some friends while I got Spotty, who was pleased to see me. He is still adjusting to his new house and hates to be left behind. We played at the park for half an hour and it was time to go back to get Hannah. We dutifully turned up at the bus stop at the right time and waited and waited.... The joys of public transport. The bus eventually turned up twenty minutes late as the bus driver mumbled some bus problems as a lame excuse. We got off the bus at the wrong stop and had a long walk without a street map to find the party location again. I am pretty good at that after my many years of living in places like Manila, Jakarta and Kathmandu, places where you shouldn't ask for advice, because people will not understand you and if they do, they will give you the wrong advice rather than saying they don't know for fear of offending you.
Not having a car means having to regularly consult a bus timetable and work out what options you have. Going back was more challenging trying to decipher the indecipherable map and the incomprehensible timetable with more symbols and asssumptions than an architectural drawing.
On the way back we found an unusual post box and some very large cactuses, which are very common in South Australia. We ended up getting a taxi, which luckily turned up randomly when it started to get dark and the kids were getting tired.
A fun and different Saturday afternoon and evening.