Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Did You Look at a Map?"

That would be what my eight year old asked me as I realized we were on the wrong MRT train. Guess I should start at the beginning...

Marcus had been invited to a friend's house for the afternoon. Matthea had Speech Therapy at one hospital and then at another hospital a foot scanning session (story in itself). The plan was for all four of us (me and the 3 kids) to go to Speech with Matthea. Then we'd take Marcus to his friend's house via MRT (subway); then take Matthea to her foot appointment; then back to pick up Marcus before heading home. Sounded easy to me.

The MRT system here in Taipei is really great. But, to get from hospital number one to the friend's house we had to change trains twice. This doesn't sound too bad, except one must remember that changing trains means going up and down escalators with 3 children (which 2 of them are just learning how escalators work).

We got off at the first train switch. We followed the crowds up the escalator. Walked a ways, then went down another escalator. I saw a train coming to a stop and thought, "Perfect timing. We'll jump on and be there soon." About two stops later I heard the announcement for the next stop. I looked at the MRT map on the train and realized....we were going the wrong direction!

The next stop we got off. This was when my son asked the question, "Didn't you look at a map?" To which my answer was, "Well, yes briefly." Guess it wasn't well enough.

At this point I made a fast decision that a taxi would be faster. So, up another escalator or two we went and found a taxi.

Off we raced to the friend's house. We made it there a bit late, but we made it. Now, that was just half the trip. The girls and I headed to the next hospital which was another trip on the MRT.

Matthea got a free pair of tennis shoes with arch supports. She was asked to help in a research study regarding arch supports. They have a computer that scans the bottom of your foot that they are testing as part of the research. Well, my little pumpkin wouldn't even put her feet inside the bag to get the picture taken. Fortunately, they had other means to see the pressure points on her feet when she walked. We did leave with a new pair of shoes and insoles that help her stand straighter. We go back in 2 months to see if there is any change.

So, back to the MRT we went to pick up Marcus. We made it home all in one piece. Extremely tired, but in one piece. The whole plan took 5 hours. And to think I could have saved a little bit of time had I gotten on the right train.

Supper? No problem, my wonderful husband had it all taken care of. He had grilled.

Things I think I learned:
1. Stop glancing at maps and study them, especially when I'm not sure where I'm going and when I have the kids.
2. Don't plan so much in one afternoon...(I have the hardest time with this lesson, I keep repeating this mistake over and over.)