Traveling around Singapore with kids #1-Shopping Carts

Disclaimer….Obviously, as I only have a toddler, I can really only address this from my limited (and still tied-to-a-stroller) perspective…

When we first started talking about the move to Singapore, my biggest concern was stroller accessibility.  How easy is it to get around Singapore with a stroller in tow?

I’ll address that another day, because what I NEVER even considered was how shopping carts might be different in Singapore.  When we were here, I gave them a cursory glance but really, how different could they be?

For starters, they’re locked together

You unlock it by paying the cart rental fee of $1S

And voila, you have a shopping cart

I’m kind of torn on how I feel about this “rental fee.”  On one hand, it does ensure that fewer carts are clogging up the (VERY SMALL) aisles.  That you only get your dollar back if you return the cart also cuts down on the number of abandoned carts littering the sidewalks.  BUT…when you don’t have a dollar coin?  Jeebus is it a pain in the ass to find someone who will either make change for you or to go buy something so you can get a dollar coin.  It’s a bigger pain in the ass with the toddler in tow.

Which leads us to the big (for me) difference.  Shopping carts here, for the most (90+%) part DO NOT HAVE SEAT BELTS.  As the mom of a squirmy toddler, this is like handing her a personal invitation to try to dive out of the cart.  Without a seat belt, the cart becomes a deathtrap waiting to happen.

I mostly try to shop in places where I need a cart (like the grocery store) without Elanor because of her short attention span, but there are times when it is unavoidable….which has either led me to the most awesome parent hack ever, or borderline child abuse.

I tied my kid to the cart with a bungee cord

It may be challenging to see, but I assure you it is there. Look parallel to her waist and you’ll see the green/yellow bungee cord stretching back.

The idea came to me in a moment of desperation.  I knew I had to take E with me, and I knew that letting her run around the grocery store unchecked was broken goods waiting to happen.  I looked at my little granny cart and inspiration struck.  I owned bungee cords for the purpose of attaching the granny cart to something–why not create MY OWN seat belt?

So I tossed one into my purse and when we got to the store, I sat her in the cart and then threaded the bungee cord around her, securing it on the sides of the cart, being careful not to put it too tight or too loose.

With my handy bungee cord I no longer have to worry about the carts being unsafe.

I’m just not sure if it’s awesome or terrible….

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5 Responses to Traveling around Singapore with kids #1-Shopping Carts

  1. Saffy says:

    As I was reading along I thought, wow I’d HAVE to tie my kid in somehow, and that’s exactly what you’ve done. MacGyver would be very proud 🙂 As for the carts and the $1 – I think it’s a great idea for the most part, it’s a case of training oneself to carry coins that’s the biggie.

  2. Ange says:

    I vote for awesome. You’ve Americanized the shopping cart – did you feel bad strapping her in back in the States? You’re protecting her from doing a nosedive out of the cart (and protecting the store from E). Win-win.

  3. mary hill says:

    You go Girl! When you were small, they didn’t have belts in the store carts. I uses to put a belt around you to keep you safe.

  4. Tina C. says:

    If it makes you feel better you could do the same sort of thing with a really big belt. But I see nothing wrong with the bungees

  5. 1. i saw locked carts at bj’s in suburban pennsylvania. it was a quarter to unlock.
    2. bungee=awesome. i bungeed the who to a sled this winter.

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