Painful Pavements

Obviously, it being 2008, after meeting Ville for the first time I Googled him. After deciding he probably wasn't Ville Forsman the Judo pro, the first thing I found was an article in a Finnish newspaper. In this short piece Ville mentions that 'It is very awkward getting around here with a pram or stroller'. Really, I thought, that's really the challenge he chose to highlight. All I can say now is: I get it. Getting around this city with a pushchair is HELL! Here are some highlights from the walk from Kabataş to the corner in Beşiktaş where we pick up Matti from the school transport. This is by no means the worst pavement experience in the city, but it is a regular one for me, so I have had time to develop real hatred for each and every wheel-halting defect. I carried Anton in a baby-carrier as long as I could, but once I was pregnant with Neve, and having bags to transport, it just didn't feel good any more.  Now of course I get to have one in the ErgoBaby and force one up these obstinate, no its more than that: spiteful,  pavements. Luckily on this occasion Ruskin is doing the pushing so I got to document some of the highlights. I realise this could be way over on the wrong side of tedious, but I want you to feel my pain.

Man helping Ruskin with pushchair.
Here the lamp-post makes the pavement too narrow so help is needed to lift a pushchair round. Luckily there is usually help to be found if you are not me. Having unintentionally developed a 'please leave me and my baby alone' expression, I usually get to do these things by my self. I guess it makes up for the lack of Body Pump classes.

Uneven pavement.
Every couple of metres there is this: decoration perhaps?  Not deep enough to drain water and if you have ever witnessed Istanbul in the rain, you will know that water run-off systems are somewhat underdeveloped.  

Defective pavements.
Need to put in new cables, pipes or drain cover? Just smash up the surrounding bricks , wedge it in and then stick some of the pieces back as best you can.

Ruskin conquering pavement obstacles.
Stuck again, all part of the experience of raising children in Istanbul.

Hill of steps.
So this is where we start the serious uphill.  As you can see you have little chance of doing this on the pavement, so its on to the road.

Hill of steps.
When the road is really busy I labour up here. You will be pleased to know that this section has several steps of that particular length that means you have to lift the pushchair completely off the ground. Especially good for pregnant women. I am starting to understand why so many people choose to have only one child.

Mended pavement.
Here Ruskin is using the road to get up the hill, luckily this does not mean we miss out on obstacles. This is how not to mend a road.

High kerbs.
If you are walking on the road, and a car comes along, you get the opportunity to negotiate these super high kerbs.

Ruskin and Ville by the road.
Ruskin rightfully showing pride at his accomplishment thus far.

Shop entrance and narrow pavement.
Pro pushdrair drivers will know that this section is about that special move where you have to balance the pushchair on one side because the pavement suddenly narrows. Failure to hold this balance is not an option as it would send pushchair and child toppling into the sunken shop entrance. Note also the random hurdle  before you begin this challenge, and the lamp-post you have to manoeuvre round as you begin it. 

Alternative route.
This is looking down on an alternative route up the hill. I tried it once.

Uneven bricks.
This isn't so much of a compensation off the council culture!

Ruskin and pushchair.
Doing well son.

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3 thoughts on “Painful Pavements

  1. I'm just thinking, if for us with a child in a pushchair this seems a bit of a challenge, somebody helping an adult in a wheelchair may be in an impossible situation (let alone an adult in a wheelchair trying to move around unassisted). Which would explain why you see so few disabled people on the streets in Istanbul.

  2. Who needs body pump classes if this is what you have to endure. As there are always silver linings to be found, surely in this case it has to be that you lose baby weight in record time! And now I know your secret to being such a Yummy mummy!!

  3. I am just not losing weight at all! I get so annoyed and exhausted doing this trip I NEED chocolate. And breastfeeding is supposed to help! I do have strong arms though. xxx


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