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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

05 March 2013

Walk this Way

I’ve succumbed. Capitulated. Relented.
My kids and I no longer walk to school. We either take the bus or I drive. With drop-offs at two different schools with only ten minutes to spare, I just don’t have time for a leisurely stroll. It’s all rush, rush, rush.

Of course, there’s a traffic jam every single day near every single school because every single school mum in her four-wheel-drive is trying to squeeze into a parking bay. “Kids don't walk anymore; no wonder there's an obesity epidemic," laments my bus driver tells me as he waits for the lollipop lady to let him pass. "When I was a child, we used to walk two kilometres to school everyday.” I think back and reply,“You know what? So did I.” 

C1 on her way to kindy
When I lived in my Nana’s house, my cousins Wen and Sharry and I would walk to school together. “Please don’t walk so fast,” I’d plead, my little legs trying to keep up with their strides. Wen, being a good seven years older (and a good ‘big cousin’), would proceed to carry my bag all the way to school, while Sharry and I would yak-yak-yakkity-yak away. No adult supervision; just a steady stream of neighbourhood kids all winding our way to school, come rain or shine. Although burdened by our school bags bursting with books and lunchboxes, the boys would engage in a game of ‘kick-the-stone-all-the-way-to-school’ and the girls would chat about this and that, until the school gates loomed large.

And in the afternoon, we’d retrace our steps all the way back home. No need for any extra-curricular activities; the 30-minute walk home was enough to tire us out – and work up an appetite for Marie biscuits dunked in tea...

Did you walk to school as a child? Do you “chauffeur” your kids everywhere nowadays instead of walking?


  1. I loved walking to school. I lived slightly closer to school than you did, and would walk home and back during the lunch hour as well. In 9th Std, I lived with my aunt near Mount Mary church for a few months while my parents were out of the country. And oh the new routes I would find. I remember Rebecca lived somewhere out that way, Melody was near Mehboob studios... what fun memories! So nostalgic now, I'm crying. Sniff. :')

  2. Thanks Firdaus!
    I too clearly remember where so many of our St Joseph's girls lived because we all walked home. When I go back to Bandra, I still picture them living there, although most of our SJC "girls" are now married and have moved away, or even immigrated abroad.


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