We loved our baby backpack. Once our son was hardy enough to sit upright in it, we took it everywhere with us. He was happy with his bird’s eye perch, we were happy to have him safely contained, and everyone was happy with the extra paid of hands the backpack afforded, especially when travelling. Especially when travelling with the gear that comes with bringing your young child with you.
There was one detriment, though, that no one could have foreseen. My son had easy access to his father when he wished to express the myriad of angst-related emotions experienced by toddlers on a regular basis.
More specifically, he chose to pull his father’s hair when he was overtired, irritated, or otherwise ‘over’ whatever kind of situation he found himself in.
After one overnight flight to London, we landed in Heathrow. Everyone was tired and feeling just a little cranky, especially when we saw the throngs of fellow travelers chock-a-block in the customs lineup ahead of us. With an inward sigh, we joined the queue.
Our son decided that he had had enough.
From his spot in the backpack, he started to fuss. His fussing turned into louder protests. And then, out of frustration, he started to pull his dad’s hair to express his annoyance at being kept in this backpack, after being contained on an airplane for many hours, when all he wanted was to sleep. Or to run around. Or both. Maybe.
Mortified, we tried to quiet him. We couldn’t let him down into the lineup, packed like sardines as we were as we inched towards the front of the line.
And then, the unthinkable happened.
We got bumped. To the front of the line.
A customs officer approached us. He said “sir, I fear that you will end up bald if we do not get you through this line.” He ushered us to the front, to our great relief (and the relief of our fellow
captives passengers, to be sure).
Two minutes later, we were through customs and into the baggage area, where our son could run around a bit, finally unencumbered by the seemingly endless patience required for international travel.
We were a little sad when our son was finally too big to travel in the backpack. It was one of the best investments in gear we made as parents.
Standing in the spot of the protests that happened 25 years ago, was a powerful experience when we visited China this past summer.
Our story here on the CBC NL website shares our thoughts on power and paranoia in both ancient and modern-day China.
TODAY, at 6:30pm NT!
Tune in online at http://www.ryakuga.ca/
Support the Southern Shore and community radio, and have a listen about some of the fun things we have done in our travels!
When we travel, we anticipate the differences that we will encounter. The weather and topography will be different. The language might be all but unknown to us. And the food…well, the food is one difference we always look forward to! Sampling the cuisine of a far-off land is undeniably one of the most pleasurable things for us when we travel.
So imagine our surprise when we discovered a rather unexpected similarity: fried bread dough as a breakfast item in both China and Newfoundland.We learned about you tiao the morning of our bus trip to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, when we made an early dash from the hotel towards the bus station. Faced with several hours on a city bus with no time for a leisurely breakfast, we joined the crowd at the restaurant across the street from our hotel to check out what was on offer.
We were delighted to discover the Chinese version of the familiar-to-us toutons, shaped in stick form which meant they were easy to tuck into a bag and munch on as we crammed into the crowded bus.
While we would have welcomed the molasses that accompanies a feed of toutons back home, that would undeniably have made for a slightly messier meal on the go!