COVID-19’s Impact On Jewel Changi Airport in 14 Pictures

This spot usually attracts A LOT of people who want to get pictures taken with the Rain Vortex in the background. Today, it’s easy to get a clear shot.

After reading reports about how traveler numbers are down and how retailers at our beloved airport are struggling, I thought I’ll make a trip down and see for myself. After all, there’s FREE ENTRY to the Canopy Park now and I thought clocking 10,000 steps would be a piece of cake here. So here are some pictures which *might* make you think / believe that visitor numbers have dropped drastically:

FREE entry to the Canopy Park! (Actually I secretly think it should just be free all day, everyday lah)

Some people surrounding a robot that’s handing out FREE bottles of water and candy, as if they are wondering whether they need to sanitise their hands first. After I grab a bottle, the others follow suit.

The Apple store. I think there was a talk / class going on, but there was just 1 interested participant already seated. The rest of the people are mostly their own staff.

Not a soul in Bengawan Solo – I was surprised:

~

And here are some pictures that suggest otherwise:

A&W still attracts a queue, albeit a much shorter one.

Rich & Good Cake Shop was almost sold out at around 12.45pm.

And just look at that LONG queue outside Shake Shack – no virus is gonna keep these people from the burgers they love:

There are a number of eateries offering tempting lunchtime promotions, so it’s probably true that businesses at Jewel are struggling (and therefore are trying to draw the crowd back in). Though I wonder how many of their diners are actually people who work at Changi Airport, versus those who work elsewhere or who are travelers flying in/out of Singapore.

Arteastiq was tempting:

Jack’s Place has a $9.90 Healthier Choice Lunch Set:

Shang Social is offering great value indeed:

MY LUNCH:

I picked Four Seasons Restaurant, yup, the company that’s known for its durian products…

When I entered the restaurant, there was only ONE table which was occupied. So essentially that couple would have felt like they’d booked the entire place if I hadn’t walked in. Haha! 😀 Anyway, I think it’s because the restaurant is located in a corner that people don’t usually walk to so it attracts fewer diners. But next to them is Dian Xiao Er, and further ahead in a prominent location is Toastbox.

There’s no ice cream today, sadly, but they offered free flow of green bean soup. The free flow drink is actually some fruit punch (?) which I thought tasted nasty.

However, the Curry Chicken with Rice tasted a lot better than it looked. Served steaming hot, the curry is delicious with the right balance of lemak and spice.

Free cookies, cordial and green bean soup

What I really loved was their durian cookie! OMG. It looks like a regular butter cookie. But boy, is it fragrant. And it’s melt-in-your-mouth. AND it’s eat-all-you-can! I’m surprised they don’t mention cookies in their promotional poster and when the staff tell you about the $9.90 nett lunch set. The mains and the cookies are what you should come here for. The beverage and dessert are a lousy second.

The cookies so impressed me that I think I ate 5 (of the big ones) and then bought a Fave voucher for 40 of their durian cream puffs, which cost just $13.80 in all, so each puff costs just 35cents. 😀 You’ve got to get that Fave voucher while it’s still available! You can redeem it at their other outlets too, if Jewel is too far for you.

~

Four Seasons is at B2-228 of Jewel Changi.

After 17 Years, I Find My Former JC Econs Tutor Working In A Tau Huay Shop

This blogpost is purely for me to record this precious moment. I can barely wrap my head around what happened this afternoon. My darling and I had some time to kill before going to pick up my order of cookies at Crunchy Teeth. And we stopped by an estate (I’m trying hard not to reveal my teacher’s whereabouts) to chill and perhaps get a drink or an ice cream. I spot this random tau huay shop and suggested that we have tau huay. The advertisement outside says they have a tangyuan and beancurd combo. So we step inside and I make a comment about the interesting seats.

And while my darling’s making small talk with the guy behind the counter, whom I barely take notice of, I count out the coins in my handbag ‘cos there are so many and I want to clear them all if possible. The kind gentleman says it’s not a problem to pay $7.40 using those coins. I look up at him and find him strangely familiar. But for the life of me, I could not instantly recall where I’ve seen him before.

Is he a retired Mediacorp actor, like Xie Shaoguang? ‘Cos this face looks very familiar, like one I probably see almost daily, such as on TV.

Then I suddenly switch from speaking in Mandarin to English and say “Excuse me, are you Mr ____ ____?” When he confirms that he is, OMG, I think I started gushing about what an awesome Econs tutor he is, blah blah blah.

And it’s true!

I went to SRJC for the ‘first 3 months’ and he was my Econs tutor. Fabulous teacher. During his lessons, it’s like lightbulbs just turn on in my head. I easily topped the entire cohort (yup, beating even those science and math geeks) in Econs. Somehow the school has regular updates on which students from which classes are getting the best grades in whichever subjects.

[Edit: Of the many things that Mr E taught me about Econs, I remember very little. But one phrase always remains in my mind: “The faintest ink is better than the best memory.” He was always happy, full of cheer (like my pal Jimmy Chua) and I don’t remember him screaming at us or getting upset. If he wanted you to write something down, he’ll tell you why: the faintest ink is better than the best memory. And somehow you cannot argue with that. That one phrase alone has been so very useful to me.]

Even the subject H.O.D looked for me one day after assembly and said she’s expecting me to take the ‘S’ paper for Economics at the ‘A’ Levels.

And even though I was an 8-pointer for the ‘O’ levels, and should have picked another JC (*ahem* sorry ah), I stayed on in SR.

Unfortunately, I got another teacher for Econs this time. And my grades were rather lacklustre from then on.

So whomever said “All schools are good schools” is actually right. What comes next should be “But not all teachers are good teachers”. Put simply, some teachers don’t have the aptitude nor the attitude for the job.

My other Econs tutor was a married female probably in her late 30s or early 40s. Teaching was purely a job for her, or more like a chore. There was barely any passion. And I remember till this day how she said to my classmate, who had probably missed out a key point or an important part of a question, “Your eyes so big, still can’t see ah?” Unnecessary personal attack right there.

But I was so young then. And did not know how to kick up a fuss or at least beg to be in a class taught by Mr E. If I had done so back then, I’d probably have done the ‘S’ paper for Econs, majored in Economics at NUS, and then worked at MAS, I think.

Talk about the road not taken.

And yes, I really do think that some teachers are truly unsuitable for the profession. Another real-life example: Back in GMSS, I was in a class known as Faith 4-4, which is basically the 4th ‘best’ class in the Express stream, or the 3rd ‘worst’ class, depending on how you look at things (glass half full or empty, ya?)

The teacher for Faith 4-1 (best class) taught us Geography. I remember the day she came into class and declared that she’s not teaching us that day. And we can jolly well do whatever we’d like till the time’s up. She had decided we were hopeless and did not want to waste her time on us. Perhaps she’d rather work on her lesson plans for her precious Faith 4-1 class. Again, I was too dumb to take this up with the teacher or better still, the principal of the school.

Another teacher taught us that if we want something badly enough, we’ll be able to get it. I believed her. And decided that even though some teachers may have given up on our class, I’d STILL like to be the top student of our school for the ‘O’ Levels.

And would you believe it? I did it.

I wish someone had taken a videocam and recorded the expression on my Geog teacher’s face when she found out the Top Student was not from her form class but from the despised Faith 4-4.

That would truly be priceless.

So I have such mixed feelings about meeting my wonderfully talented Economics teacher from JC. Gratitude for 3 months of amazing classes. Relief that the guy’s still alive (maybe he’s 60-ish now, ‘cos he said he retired a while ago). Curiosity about why he’s working in a tau huay shop instead of teaching as he’s such a gem of an Econs tutor (but somehow I can’t find the right questions to ask). And wonder, mostly, about why after all of 17 years I suddenly meet him on such a random day in January 2020, in a random tau huay shop I’ve never visited, in an estate I don’t usually go to.

And he doesn’t even work at this particular outlet usually. But as he’s a part-timer, he got allocated this outlet today for some reason.

My former teacher said that our meeting was a “blessing”. Indeed, it must be divine intervention. I don’t even know why and how this happened. But I’m thankful.

10/10 Gift Ideas From Naiise Iconic @ Jewel Changi Airport

Located at #02-205/206 of Jewel Changi Airport is Naiise Iconic. You’ll find it right next to Starbucks! 😉 This homegrown design and lifestyle retailer’s newest retail concept covers some 9,500sqft over 2 storeys, with SG’s first in-store Gift Bar and a Launchpad which lets designers get feedback from potential customers before launching their products! Since it’s 10.10 and I spent a whole 2 hours in this store (it’s big and has a cafe!), this post has 10 (or so) gift ideas which I hope you and your gift recipient(s) will love!

#1: For the friend who loves inviting you over for food

He/she will absolutely LURVVE serving up food and drinks on this super pretty Photo Phactory tray. The gorgeous prints in a riot of colors have to be appreciated up close so pop by Naiise Iconic to check them out! Just $120:

#2: For the shopaholic who loves Ion

I love how wonderful Ion smells and have always wanted to bottle that scent and take it home. Now I can! This room freshener is going at just $78! You’ll certainly find a scent you love. Otherwise just grab the one (not pictured) that’s for Taitais! 😆

#3: For the kiddo who must not run out of outfits to wear (for IG)

Get reversible kidswear from Maison Q! This one costs just $69! I love the prints and the material so I’d say it’s worth every cent!

#4: For the friend who abhors branded goods

I really LOVE the Prata / Prada one. OMG. Would have bought the SuperChiobu / Superdry one if not for the extreme levels of BHB-ness. Prices for the range of tees are around $30 – $35.

#5: For the tee tea lover

Those rock sugar wands are SO PRETTY! And cost just $5.35 each! And you may also want to grab a box or tin of Kele’s famous pineapple tarts. I got a tin of their pineapple balls – will update this post after I’ve tasted them.

#6: For the friend who loves the environment

Tropikai’s $45 set of cutlery and straws will likely delight any eco warrior. Include an uber-cute Kopi-O-Gau canvas tote ($25.90) which will elicit smiles too!

#7: For the animal lover

I can only say that some dogs have fancier bowls than humans! 😅 Do grab some of those sÊn Natural lipsticks too – apparently they are even safe (for humans) to eat!

#8: For the foodie friend

I’ve never even seen those Papapeng chips with the hae bee hiam dips ($8) till I encountered them just now at Naiise Iconic. Got a box to try and 1 to give away. So watch out for it on my FB page. 🙂 Likewise, the Kaya Merlion Chocolates ($13) and (fat) White Rabbit Candy Socks ($15) seem like such cute gifts!

Update: The Papapeng chips were a disappointment. The dip was leaking through even before it was out of the box. As for taste, I’d rate it 1/5.

#9: For the friend in transition from pen-and-paper to digital (i.e. ME)

Here’s one notebook for which you’ll never run out of pages. Write – Scan – Send – Erase – Reuse! Costs around $58+.

#10: For the friend from Literature class

So tempted to get myself that Lor Mee-O and Juliet pink pouch($9.90)! Also, for those who’d like a mystery book – ooh the suspense! – get one at $32.

I know I’ve reached 10 but there are a few more items I love and have to share with you:

“Parking Coupon” Tissue Holders (front and back view) $9.90

Meykrs Cushions

I could not resist the small pineapple tart coin pouch so I got it! 😂

And these are so fragrant:

This crayon de parfum is probably great for people who want to bring a scent with them but don’t want a glass bottle which could break when dropped accidentally.

~

I think I’ll be taking pals to Naiise Iconic when they visit SG. It’s full of great ideas for gifts. Do take some time to chat with the staff too. I found out that the gorgeous wooden Merlion shingle door feature was done by an Uncle called Ah Huat, using wood from fallen trees in SG thus giving them a new lease of life! Great as a photowall too!

The SALE is on till 13th Oct! Go grab your faves in store or online before they are sold out!

With over 200 brands, 70% of which are local, what better place to shop and #SupportLocalSG ? 😉 And you won’t even have to go elsewhere to get your presents gift-wrapped! The gift bar has everything you need… and more!

I got a present gift-wrapped here. I’ll share about it in another post since this is such a long one already. Also, I think Naiise Iconic is not just the best place to purchase SG-themed souvenirs at the airport but also a good place to chill and learn something new. More details in the next post. Stay tuned. 🙂

~

For online shopping, head to www.naiise.com where you’ll find an even bigger selection. The Naiise Iconic store is at #02-205 of Jewel Changi Airport. The other Naiise stores are at:

I12 Katong

112 East Coast Road
I12 Katong, #01-31/32
Singapore 428802
11am-10pm daily

Wisma Atria

35 Orchard Road
Wisma Atria, #03-24 to 29
Singapore 238877
11am – 10pm daily

Suntec City

3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City West Wing
#02-334/335
Singapore 038983
11am – 10pm daily

Sesame Street Run 2019

I attended the press conference for the launch of the first Sesame Street Run in Singapore this week. 10am on a Wednesday morning meant there weren’t many guests from the media. Instead, there were LOTS OF preschoolers from a centre called Learning Kidz (yes, spelt with a ‘z’ @_@). I was a little shocked at the sheer number of tiny kiddos (only some shown in the picture below) so my reaction was similar to that of the lady on the screen: WOAH! But I have to say that it’s brilliant. The kids are free to attend this presscon on a weekday morning and they LURRRRVE Sesame Street! 😀 If you’re a fan of Sesame Street too, then this Run is not to be missed!

Just a few of the kiddos who were present at the event:

The emcee also went around giving them high 5s – so cute! And though it seems like the words behind him read ‘Pub Service Centre’, I assure you there was no alcohol served. It was actually Public Service Centre, I believe. 😀

He also made sure they committed to memory the date for the run: 17 November 2019.

I heard that Tampines’ residents get a special Oscar tier while the rest of us can use our PAssion card and get 8% discount. We’ll get to celebrate 50 years of Sesame Street and run together with our favorite characters (mine’s Cookie Monster). At the Run, you’ll pass a letter of the alphabet every 200m or so (snap a selfie!), there’ll be bubble foam, and the fun doesn’t end at the Finish line. Collect your limited edition medal then go enjoy some carnival games, step into a special ‘globe’ in which even a family of 4 can be inside for a photo. There’ll be stage activities, a movie corner, and lots of photo ops – Big Bird’s Nest, Hooper’s Store, etc – together with a crafts corner where you can make a sock puppet. What I’d probably find most irresistible would be the merchandise: get Sesame Street notebooks, mugs, apparel and more! And finally, pen your wishes at the Wishes Wall since it’s Sesame Street’s 50th birthday!

We got to meet Grover, Count Von Count and Abby Cadabby but not Elmo and the rest of the gang, who’ll only be at the Run 😉

Singapore’s the 2nd leg of the Sesame Street Run Tour. It was held first in the Philippines and by the looks of it, they had a blast:

I think the shirts are so colorful and really very attractive. And the merch are definitely worth collecting.

You can pick the 5km run, or even go for the 3km or 1km leisure run if you have grandparents and young children with you. Sign up over at: https://www.sesamestreetrun.com/

What I’d Do If I Happen To Win $8M From Toto

My pal, who’s over 70 years old, asked me today what I’d do if I won in tonight’s Toto draw. It’s a staggering sum of $8million. I couldn’t give him a good answer as I haven’t really thought about it. Yes, I know I should buy a ticket at $1. Why not? But what exactly would I do with the money if I actually win? I think most people buy lottery tickets hoping to win. But no one really EXPECTS to win. So in the unlikely event that they do win, they’ll then think really hard (or not at all) about how to spend the money. First, I’ve just done a quick check online about taxes on lottery winnings and apparently, IRAS categorizes them as “windfalls” and not earned income and therefore winners won’t get taxed based on their winnings. Sweet.

First things first, I’d keep $1m safe and locked away. Maybe in a fixed deposit account. So even if I foolishly squander away the rest of the money, I’ll still be a millionaire. 😀

Then half of the remainder would be saved / invested while the other half would be given away.

Come to think of it, giving away money can also cause quite a headache. Who do you give to? Which charities will make the best use of the money? How to give without wanting to hound them for details on how every dollar is used? Instead of giving say 1 million dollars to 1 charity, I’d probably give $50,000 each to 70 different entities. Exactly which ones, I haven’t decided, obviously. But I know the Cat Welfare Society will be one. And the Handicaps Welfare Association another. As for the rest, I’ll decide after I win. 😀

And I’d be happy to help settle the medical bills for friends, of course. 😉 Mr L, you shouldn’t even have to ask.

As for the saving and investing bit, please don’t think it weird when I say I want to purchase a car. 😀 I’ve never owned a car personally but I think a vehicle is an asset if you pick the right one. A small and reliable Toyota or Honda car will do. ‘Small’ is better ‘cos it makes parking in tight spaces on our tiny island a breeze. I’d probably even be a GrabHitch driver just for the fun of it. 🙂 Plus I’ll get a few other things for work, which I won’t share right now.

And I know someone who’ll help me make great investment decisions so I think the money would be in safe hands, and would ‘grow’. With the returns from the investments, I’d like to book a First Class seat on a Singapore Airlines flight. It’ll be my first. And I don’t even care where it’s going! 😀 And I’ll treat my pals to a meal or two at Waku Ghin (since Steven highly recommends it). Mom and Dad and Sis and everyone else I call ‘family’ are welcome to state items on their bucket lists and I’ll do my best to help them accomplish each one. 😀

Come to think of it, I don’t think $8M would truly be life-changing. Just about everyone I know has a roof over their heads, three meals or more a day, money to catch a movie or indulge in bubble tea. And no one is really struggling to put food on the table, or send kids to school or be in so severe a debt situation as to consider selling organs. In fact, most of the people I hang out with are really satisfied with their jobs or businesses.

I may want to set up a tuition agency as I have a pal who is a fantastic English tutor and I’d like to also provide free lessons for students from underprivileged families. I may also set up a school or centre of sorts for young adults with autism, and it may even have boarding facilities so if parents need to go overseas for a business trip, for instance, their children will be in good hands and be able to continue to learn, work and grow in confidence. Now I think $8M really isn’t enough. There is so much that can / should be done, and when people find out you have that money, you’ll be inundated with offers / unsolicited opinions on how to spend said money.

So I have to conclude that should I win, I’ll have to keep it a secret. If there are medical bills to help pay for, they’ll be done anonymously. And if I have no choice but to let some people know then I’ll require them to take an oath of secrecy. Haha! Yup! I think the best advice for anyone who has just won the lottery is to not tell a soul. You don’t want relatives to suddenly show up on your doorstep, “friends” to be hounding you day and night and you certainly won’t want people to be upset because you haven’t planned to give them any money. Wasn’t there a female hawker who landed a windfall at a casino and publicly announced she was giving every cent away to charity? I’m guessing winners end up with a lot of stress because once people know you have that windfall, they’ll all come wanting a slice of the pie. Good grief.

After writing all the above, I’m glad I’ve decided that before doing anything with any windfall sum, a portion is to be locked up. No matter what happens, there’ll still be $1M in the bank. 😀

What would YOU do with $8M? 🙂

Kids Will Love The Spider-Man Far From Home Adventure @ Serangoon NEX

Who knew Spider-Man (wait… Spider-Boy) likes marshmallows? 😀 Every time there’s a Spiderman-related movie or event, a blogger pal’s going to be there with his kids in costume. Super cute, really! And yes, I’d brought them marshmallows and hopefully their mother’s not going to be upset *ahem* about the sugary treat for her kids. And while there were kids like them who were jumping about and having a whale of a time, there were other children who are wheelchair users and donning the ‘Make-A-Wish Foundation’ tees. I know of the existence of the Foundation and I’m sure you’ve heard of it too, but truth be told, I haven’t given them much thought recently. That said, what the Foundation does is to help fulfill the wishes of kids with life-threatening medical conditions. It’s truly a brilliant cause and I’m glad NEX is doing its part to remind us about the good work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and letting us contribute towards the cause too.

make a wish

All proceeds go to Make-A-Wish and NEX is matching them dollar-for-dollar. That’s remarkable, isn’t it? Do visit the Make-A-Wish website and look at some of the wishes that have been granted. So far, there have been over 1400 wishes granted. 🙂 It’s truly sobering. There’s a wish from Shane, age 4, who has acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – “I wish for a day out”. His condition makes him highly susceptible to germs so the surprise planned for him was really lovely. Go read about it. 🙂

For your kid’s day out, NEX is offering photo opportunities and also fun games:

spiderman serangoon nex

I think kids are better at this Nerf Blaster thing. I fired three shots… at nothing. And my darling was laughing at me, pointing out the truly obvious fact that the 10-point target was huge, and yet I’d missed. (@_@)

I think it’s because I wasn’t sitting down while taking those shots? 😀

spiderman kiddos

When you’re done with the Nerf blasters, go conquer the web obstacle game too. 😉

There’s also a GIF photobooth where you can get a fun shot with Spider-Man in 3D.

spiderman far from home serangoon nex

Spider-Man himself also swung by for a special appearance yesterday. I’m sure the kiddos were thrilled.

serangoon next spiderman

Do drop by NEX before this week is over. You’ll certainly enjoy the many photo opportunities. And don’t forget to show some love to the Make-A-Wish folks. 🙂 *Psst there’s also a super cool Spider-Man travel organizer you can redeem when you shop at NEX. Look out for the posters within the mall. 🙂

AIA Glow Festival: Not To Be Missed! :)

Last Saturday, I woke up bright and early to head to Sentosa (which is something I don’t usually do LOL) and thankfully, my pal was free and could accompany me to yoga at the AIA Glow Festival. The Celebrity Mass Yoga Session we signed up for was ‘High Energy Fusion Yoga (HEFY) with Laura Kasperzak, from 930am to 1030am. Best 1 hour I’ve experienced in recent times! 😀 And I don’t even know who this celebrity, Laura, is! We had planned to stay for the 5km Run which would happen at 4pm but after a leisurely lunch, I think we felt ready to go home. More on that later…

Besides the mega tent you see above (which is not rainproof, by the way, as it had too many holes), there were other smaller tents for the various yoga sessions. Looks gorgeous early in the morning, but when the sun is at its most brutal, and the small tents can’t contain all those eager yogis, and people have to do their downward dog poses out in the sun, gosh, that’s extreme.

The AIA Glow Festival is for people who take their yoga practice REALLY seriously.

And I have to say that the ground’s not quite even so if the headstand looks crooked to you, it’s no one’s fault.

I was also super excited about the Healthy Dim Sum Masterclass conducted by an Asian dude from London. For just $10, you get to enjoy the class (make your own dimsum and eat it all!), and walk home with a hardcover cook book.

We made Fish Siu Mai with steamed mackerel, and Healthy Har Gau in a chili broth. I’ll probably do a post on that later so watch out for it. 🙂

Ginormous coloring boards so you can color to your heart’s content…

Clarins was offering free ICED coconut water if you’d simply snap a pic and post about them on IG. I happily did it twice! 😀 The weather was too hot, forgive me.

Nena Nature was also giving out little vials of essential oils:

But these folks probably need sunblock or lots of aloe vera gel after doing their yoga out in the sun…

I was not as interested in the other yoga sessions as I was about the FOOD. There were probably only 2 or 3 stalls which really drew the crowds, while the other stallholders could only watch in envy, I guess.

I went for the JUJU bowls as it’s the stall located closest to the sheltered area where there were tables and benches set out for us and also singers performing ‘live’.

This melting mess cost me $8 but it’s ok. I’ve paid $8 for lousy popcorn at other events before. 😀

And oh! Lots of hot people everywhere at a yoga festival…

Next time I’m attending AIA’s Glow Festival:

  1. I’ll bring a large towel instead of a yoga mat which is so bulky!
  2. I’ll wear a wide brimmed hat too.
  3. I’ll ice some beverages at home and then bring them to the festival where they can slowly (or rapidly) ‘defrost’ throughout the day.

The Day I Found Out Meow Meow Is Actually Miu Miu (@_@)

Punggol Community Cat

Imagine my surprise at finding the cat (whom I affectionately call Meow) following alongside a lady walking through the carpark at my block. Meow was so excited that at some point, she was even prancing about like a pony or puppy, whichever you prefer. Following them on my bicycle, I could not help but ask the lady if she’s feeding the cats at this block, and she said ‘yes’. She called my Meow ‘Miu Miu’ and the bigger cat ‘Boy Boy’. Actually I have no idea about their genders ‘cos it seems awkward to go check. But this older lady has no qualms with checking them out. And as she’s been feeding them for more than 4 months now, the cats are very familiar with her.

In the picture above, you see the cat food I gave the two cats. It’s fish right out of a tin, and smells delicious. So they happily tucked in. The other lady usually mixes wet and dry food (kibbles), I think. And she also provides a large bowl of water for the kitties.

Punggol Community Cat Feeder

Interestingly enough, she’s returning to Indonesia for a holiday soon, and she asked if I would feed the cats in her absence. I happily agreed, of course.

If you haven’t already guessed, the lady’s a maid / helper / FDW. I walked away from this encounter feeling a renewed respect for FDWs. And I can’t help but wonder what it says about us as Singaporeans when we depend on FDWs to take care of our elderly parents, our young, and even our community cats!

Recently, there’s a news report about an Indonesian maid who received a 7-year jail sentence for causing the death of her employer’s baby girl. Some netizens reacted badly, thinking the 7-year sentence was insufficient because the helper had essentially killed the baby with what she did. However, I think that based on the circumstances, it was inevitable something would happen to the poor child, because the parents had relegated all responsibility to an overworked (and possibly, arguably, underpaid) person who is not the child’s biological parent.

“[The maid] would wake up at 6am and sleep at midnight, but had to wake up again at 2am to 3am to prepare milk and feed Richelle.”

Because of the parents’ giving all responsibility to the maid, a life was lost (needlessly) and another has to be incarcerated. *SIGH*

I think us Singaporeans should do more in terms of caring for our parents, our own offspring, and even animals in our communities. While it may be convenient, and possibly even (relatively) inexpensive, to hire a maid, there are certain duties we should not shirk.

The Great Moscow Circus: Seriously Underpriced Tickets Even Before Discounts!

great moscow circus review

Not a crime scene. This performance involves trampolines. 😀

The only reason I’m putting together this blogpost at midnight, after watching The Great Moscow Circus at the Big Top Tent beside MBS, is because it blew me away. Yes, sure, I’ve seen some of those acts before (motorbikes in a metal cage, balancing, juggling, etc) yet there were some elements new to me, and most of the time I’m just shaking my head and inwardly going “No, no, no, don’t do that!” ‘cos some of those death-defying stunts are CRAZY…

Such as this one…

It’s always moving and yet the dude gets out from the (relative) safety of the hamster wheel-like compartment, heads to the top and STARTS SKIPPING (yes, that’s a skipping rope he’s holding). *no, I can’t watch, please don’t fall*

great moscow circus singapore

Thankfully, no performer fell from a great height. Sure, there were some misses here and there but overall, it was an enjoyable evening. Many thanks to my pal, Steven, for inviting me to join his family for this circus event. 😀 You can go check out his blog for his take on the evening.

The funniest thing that happened to me was when I (really) thought the show was over after the crazy ‘hamster-wheel’ routine. But there was actually a break of 15 minutes and there were yet more surprising performances to come.

Tonight I even splurged on cotton candy and popcorn ($8 each!) to share with the kiddos. 😀 I guess you can use the substantial savings from the ticket purchase for this weekend and spend it on merchandise and food at the circus! There’s 25% discount for this weekend, and usually there’s 15% discount for PAssion Card members. Head over to Sistic for the full details: https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cgmc1218

HDB Farming: Growing Organic Tomatoes At The Rooftop Garden :D

hdb farming tomatoes

I secretly want to bring everyone I know to the rooftop garden and show them the tomatoes I’ve grown FROM SEED! But they probably won’t be impressed. 😀 It’s taken so many months before the plant bore fruit that I’ve lost count. Finally I have golf ball sized tomatoes ripening and it’s making my heart sing. 😀 I’ve been like a paranoid mother checking the leaves to see if insects (read: pests) are setting up their homes, pruning the plant, weeding, etc. I do also think the soil has been ‘fertilized’ with my sweat because it’s always a sweaty affair when I am at the rooftop garden and the sun’s beaming down on me. Finally, my baby’s all grown up and I have 8 tomatoes! 😀

Some are still green, but the size is pretty good.

Growing tomatoes in Singapore

I’ve wrapped up the redder ones in newspaper so the birds and insects won’t notice and attack them. I’ve read somewhere on the Internet that birds will peck at the tomatoes because they want to drink what’s inside; they’re just thirsty. I’m not taking any chances. So it’s newspaper PLUS netting!

And I’ve always had to combat the pest issue. Because no pesticides are used, there’s everything from white flies to grasshoppers to what I just found today… some black ladybird-like creatures and their eggs on the underside of one leaf:

Pests attacking tomato plant

~

It’s been quite a journey. I’ve seen a neighbor give up on her tomato plant because it wasn’t bearing fruit (perhaps more patience was required). And my plant has grown so tall, it’s even taller than me now! Just imagine that!

From growing tomatoes myself, I’ve learnt that the leaves are so fragrant. I think I’ll be able to identify a tomato plant in future just by smell alone. 🙂 And if you’re wondering what I’m thinking of growing next; it’s my favorite veggie: eggplant a.k.a brinjal.

And I’m so amazed at the power of just one seed. The seeds are so tiny you’ll probably need a tweezer to pick them up yet they can grow into ginormous plants and bear big fruit. And whenever I feel this level of amazement, I think there’s zero possibility that there’s no God. This kind of beauty can only happen by design, not by default.

~

Click to read about my earlier crops:

Okra

Kailan

Caixin