Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mama's Birthday

Saturday, 5th of August 2006, is Mama's birthday. However, a lot of things to do on that day caused us to be not able to celebrate her birthday on that day. In the morning, I needed to go to the apartment's management office, to report our key access cards, which were not working. I took Inka and Irza there, and on our way back, they wanted to play at the children's playground near the management office. In the end, they were having a great time playing there. The pictures can be found here.

After lunch, we went to a Sport's Day event, conducted by YWMA Kindergarten, Irza's school, to celebrate Singapore's National Day, which is on its 41st birthday this month. This event is held at the Bukit View Primary School site in Bukit Batok, and it started at... 2pm! Yes, you read it correctly, it was started at 2pm, under the hot baking sun. I don't quite understand, why they have to conduct a sports event in the afternoon, not morning or evening. The kids were really being baked under the hot sun!

Yes, there were two tents provided, one for the students and another one for visitors (parents and families). But the activities would still be conducted in the middle of the field, under the hot sun. The tent provided for the visitors were also not enough to cater for all, so some parents chose to wait and watch from the far end of the field, covered by some trees, but quite far from the centre of the activities.

The event started with all the students performing aerobics. Immediately, all the parents were surrounding the field to take pictures, causing us who sit on the visitors seats under the tent, not able to see the kids in action. Walau le! So no choice, I also had to brave the hot baking sun to find a spot to get good pictures of Irza.

There were also some race events for the students. Each class had different type of contests. For Irza and his team, they needed to run carrying a pail, loading and unloading some stuff into/from the pail, and also go under a barrier. Well, we can say it's a small scale of a triathlon. And it turned out to be that Irza's team, K1E Tazmanian, become the first winner! Congratulations! :) :)

We also met Om Haris and Tante Inong's family there, since their son Zidan also took part on the contests. And the contest Zidan's class took part is gunnysack race. After all the contests were completed, there were gift presentation ceremony for all the students who took part, and all of them together sang the "We are Singapore" song, to celebrate Singapore's 61th National Day. We left the place at around 5pm, and the kids were also very tired. So it was not possible for us to celebrate Mama's birthday on that day. More pictures during the event can be found here.

The next day, we went to Parco Bugis Junction to buy a birthday cake for Mama, as well as to have our lunch. We intended to have lunch at Seoul Garden, a Korean buffet restaurant there, however it was closed due to a private event. So we went to Ngee Ann City, and had our lunch at the Seoul Garden outlet there. It's one of our favourite restaurants, serving halal Korean-style marinated chicken and beef (bulgogi) which we cook ourselves on the grill provided in the middle of the table. They also provide steamboat for us to boil the vegetables, sausages, prawns, and many more. Tips for family with kids: come on Sundays, since kids can dine for free (one kid per one adult). The pictures can be found here.

After finishing our lunch, we went to the basement hall of Takashimaya, since it was the last day of the 10th Craziest Toy Sale. We also went to the Bengawan Solo outlet there to buy the birthday cake for Mama. During our way home, Irza was very tired and slept, and his sleep continued past evening, so we were also not able to celebrate Mama's birthday on that day.

Eventually, we managed to celebrate Mama's birthday the next day, Monday 7th of August 2006, after I came back from the office. As usual, we prepared the birthday cake with some candles to be lit. Everyone sang the "Happy Birthday" song for Mama, and then the kids helped Mama to blow the candles. The pictures can be found here.

Happy birthday, Mama. :)

[Indonesian version]

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Singapore Botanic Gardens

On a Sunday evening, 30th of July 2006, the whole family went to Singapore Botanic Gardens, on our way back home from Orchard. We entered the Botanic Gardens via the Taman Serasi Food Garden, a food court which has just renovated recently. This food court is located on a building along Cluny Road, near to the junction with Holland Road.

We walked past the food court to a newly renovated garden, just behind the food court building. From there, we continued our journey towards the Swan Lake. The lake is called Swan Lake because there are quite a lot of swans there, fed by the visitors. There's also a giant swans sculpture in the middle of the lake.

We then continued our journey towards the Symphony Lake, passing though the Bonsai Garden and the Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore's national flower. There are many people strolling around the area, having picnic and exercising. There are also some music and dance performances being held at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, which is located on the Symphony Lake itself.

We then proceeded to the Singapore Botanic Gardens' Visitor Centre, and the kids bought some ice creams from one of the kiosks there. From there, we traced our way back to the carpark. We passed the Symphony Lake again, and we went to the back side of the lake to avoid the crowds and take some pictures there, before proceeding to the Ginger Garden.

Ginger Garden is located near the Orchid Plaza, next to the National Orchid Garden. The kids love to go to Ginger Garden because of its waterfall. Well, it's just a small man-made waterfall, however the kids can play around and even go to a small cave behind the waterfall. We also took some pictures there.

From there, we then went back to the carpark at Taman Serasi and going back home. More pictures can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Saturday, August 12, 2006

NDP Preview 2006 and Tante Mela's Farewell

On Saturday, 29th of July 2006, Inka, together with her parents, went to the preview of the National Day Parade for this year. For this year, the event is being held back at the National Stadium, after being held at the Padang last year. This year will be the last year the NDP to be hosted at the National Stadium, since the stadium will be demolished this year, to make way for a new sports centre to be built at the existing site.

This is actually a "preview" of the NDP event which was held yesterday, during the National Day itself. However, this preview actually shows almost the same performances as the actual event itself. Except the president and the prime minister, which are being passed for by someone else, all the other performances are real, such as the marching band, the choir, the paratroopers, the jet fighter planes, and of course, the fireworks.

We actually have four tickets, and Irza was supposed to go as well. However, after I told him that there'll be jet fighter planes and fireworks display, he refused to go since he doesn't like very loud noises. So, only the three of us going, while Irza chose to stay at home. We parked our car at the Gateway on Beach Road, since we were not allowed to park within the National Stadium complex itself. From there, we continue our journey to the stadium using the bus services provided. After alighting from the bus, we still need to walk to the north entrance of the stadium.

The queue is quite long while entering the stadium, because although they didn't check our bags, however they are giving fun pack bags which is quite big, containing all the goodie bags for the event, including some snacks, drinks (including the Newater), a torch which looks like a Nokia handphone, a Singapore flag, a hat which is being decorated with an illuminated Singapore flag, and some baloon sticks which we can use to give applause.

The event started at around 5pm, and finished at around 8pm. Some of the performances include some trapeze artists who are being lifted by balloons, Gurmit Singh and other hosts who were sliding to the field using a rope, paratroopers, jet fighter planes flying above the stadium, and other performances in the field itself, such as marching band and soldiers performing ceremonial gun salute.

On top of that, of course, the fireworks display is the main attraction all the spectators were expecting. Inka were really enjoying her time there, especially when all the spectators were making some noise and even creating some waves around the stadium. More pictures can be found here.

To avoid the crowd while leaving the stadium, we decided to get out of the stadium prior to the end of the event. So, we watched the final fireworks display from outside the stadium, on our way back to the bus stop. It's because on the same night, we would also need to go to Tante Hany's house at Braddell, to attend the firewell party of Tante Mela and family, who are leaving for Batam the next day.

The bus took us back to the Gateway carpark, and then we proceeded to Braddell. We reached Braddell at around 9pm, and fortunately, there were still some friends hung out there and there's still some food left ;) including some of the famous Braddell satay, which were grilled at the last minute for us. :)

Inka then joined their friends there and play. Some of them, who were still around that night, are Kakak Fira and Adam, who are leaving for Batam the next day, Abang Dzaky, Athaya and Alita, Aily and Algo, Dandy, and of course, the host, Hanan and Haifa. Surprisingly, all the children could still stay put and hang out until late night, and we only left Braddell at around 10:30pm. More pictures can be found here.

The next day, I and my wife went to Harbourfront Centre, to say goodbye to Om Ambar and Tante Mela and family, who are leaving Singapore for Batam. Unfortunately, Inka and Irza chose to stay at home and didn't want to go along, although there were quite a lot of their friends also coming to Harbourfront and saying goodbye to Kakak Fira and Adam. More pictures of the children at Harbourfront (without Inka and Irza, unfortunately) can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quicklink: Photos of the Week - 3

Some pictures taken at:

[Indonesian version]

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Art Museum and Small Birthday Party

After attending the BTPS Fun Day, I and Irza went t.. umm... near Bras Basah area. The first destinati.. umm.... target *phew!!* is the NTUC building, where I can get my birthday gift given by NTUC (thanks NTUC!). :) After leaving the NTUC building, I saw the Art Museum just beside the building, and after reading my friend's experience with her kids in a museum, I felt like wanna take Irza visiting a museum as well. Thus, we went there. :)

This museum is using an aged building which have since been ren... umm.. refurbished. :) Actually, there's an entrance fee visiting the museum, but we were given free entrance that day. :) There are galleries at the 1st and 2nd level, as well as in the bulding's 2 wings. Myself wasn't really agree if it's called a "museum", since all the paintings displayed are made by painters at the present. Unf.. umm... sadly, we weren't permitted taking pictures inside the galleries. The pictures are here.

We then went near Bugis, and having cakes and ice creams during tea time at Delifrance. The pictures are here.

Same day itself, my wife has actually updated the kids that my birthday was the next day. Nevertheless, the D-day itself, we didn't plan anything in celebrating the birthday, and my kids was a bit disapp.. umm... dissatisfied. :) As a result, we decided that we shall celebrate the birthday the day after (24 July 2006). Well, it's better be late than never, right? :)

The next day, after werk (hahaha, maksa! - red), I went West Mall buying a Swensen's ice cream cake. And there we are, celebrating my birthday, with all the kids' happy faces while they (helped me) blew the candles and cut the cake....

The pictures are here.

[Bahasa language]