Tag Archives: food for thoughts

When the haze hit

We spent so much time outdoors with the boys that the haze set us back quite a bit. We were at a loss on what to do.

So it was movies, home movies and more TV programs.

It was books, enrichment books and more practice work.

It was toys, Lego, cars and opening more new gadgets.

Cabin fever was getting to us. 

The haze was such a dampener and so many activities had to be cancelled, like swimming, tennis and more.

The boys had been putting up a good fight but after 2 weeks’ of air pollution, X was showing symptoms of running nose. No amount of Manuka honey and Chinese herbs could ride us through if this persisted.

On one hand, it was sucky to have such poor quality of air and to worry about long term effects to our bodies. I recalled how a visiting counterpart asked if we ever saw blue sky in this part of the world. On the other hand, it heightened the awareness of caring for our environment. It also made us wonder how people who constantly had to live in such environments survive. 

Leveling the playing field

There was much hooha over the RI principal who talked about elitism and the RI Old Boy who stood by elitism.

I always thought the best thing the government could do was to regulate preschool education. If I might put it, there was nothing wrong with RI being a prestigious school. However, it was not the lack of diversity that created its prestige. Brilliant students had hailed from the school, creating the level of prestige.

The true cause of diversity had started many steps ahead when there were preschools with varying school fees catering to a vast segment of families. The pricing of school fees created social classes which then led to further distinction at primary school levels, not to mention the alumni, the associations and the proximity. The diversity of primary schools was lacking too.

Back to talking about preschool education, better preschools inevitably attracted better teachers who nurtured students differently from the mainstream. They were able to inspire and motivate a love for learning, not simply just creating lots of homework for preschoolers to do. Of course, it wasn’t to say there there were no good teachers at the mainstream schools. Given the economics of demand and supply, prized talents would be drawn to better paying schools, won’t they? Unless they regard teaching as social work.

While it was great that they were creating MOE kindergarten, the progress was a slow and tedious one. The results, successful or not, would only be known at a later stage.

I wondered if I would see much improvements to this preschool system in X’s time. 

What would I say some day

Life was unpredictable. 

We wouldn’t live forever and we wouldn’t know when we would be gone. Maybe I was a naturally pessimistic person or as the dialect went, I was rather kiasi. Even when I was pregnant with Z & X, I always prepped myself with a million “what ifs”. 

When I read news of wars, bombs, terrorist attacks, missing flights and natural disasters, I always worried. I wished I could be with my family for as long as I could. 

If that day ever came, I wanted my family to know that I had led a good life because of their love. I wished I could say goodbye in person.

Memories were forged on the times we laughed our hearts out, when we explored foreign cities, when you told me how much you loved my cooking, when you tucked me into bed, when I held my babies for the first time, when the tiny ones grinned, when we held their tiny hands, when they sang, when we simply spent all the time we could together, when we loved each other and our family, when we shared the same heartbeat, when we embraced every morning together, when we grew old, when we lived our dreams, when our days were written for keepsake.

Love. Contentment.

Hugs. Happiness.

Blessed. Cherished.

We lived our days as though it was our last. We always looked forward, we chose how we spent our moments and loved the ones around us.

Aftermath of the Jubilee weekend

It was nearly a week long of celebration for us. Thinking back, every weekend was a mini celebration in our own way because we always made an effort to bring the kids to the parks, places of interest and seasonal exhibitions. We did not wait till the jubilee weekend to go to places such as Gardens By the Bay, Botanic Gardens, Sentosa Cable Car or the Zoo. They were regular features in our lives. It was a poignant reminder to appreciate the peace, the beauty and the experiences our country gave us. It was also reflective that the jubilee celebrations did not cease with the end of the jubilee weekend but we could continue to enjoy the joys of the city-state country even after the parties were over.

Having travelled with the frequently with the kids and always scheduling visits to their parks and playgrounds made me realize that Singapore boasted of equally exciting and fun areas of interest. It had struck me that we always took what we had in our “backyard” for granted. 

We had brought Z to Sea Aquariums in Bangkok & Melbourne but never brought him to the ones on Sentosa.

We had brought Z to Disneyland a few times in Paris and Hongkong, Legoland in Windsor and Johor, Thomasland in UK but only took him to Universal Studio Singapore once.

We brought Z to Hyde Park in the middle of a hectic traveling schedule but seldom visited Botanic Gardens.

Someone told me that we had world class floral display at Gardens by the Bay but we had never been there.

Since this realization hit eons ago, I grew to appreciate what we had in Singapore and we had created many beautiful memories with our children at these places. 

This jubilee was a milestone in Singapore’s history and would forever be part of our past. The jubilee celebrations had been a grand dame of celebrations. There were beautiful reminisces of the past, there were free entry to many attractions, there were many parties, carnivals and exhibitions. 

Today’s Singapore, at its 50th, was an awesome place to live in. We might be small but we had nearly everything at our fingertips. All these were made possible because of our forefathers. 

Every beautiful facade was a result of someone’s hard work. 

Looking at the outstanding jubilee celebrations, we had many unsung heroes to thank for making everything run like clockwork. These were people with family and friends who had hoped for them to spend the National Day celebrations with. Yet, they spent the 4 days working tirelessly and faced tens or hundreds of thousands of people. 

We had what we could have because some people had to sacrifice to perfect the occasion. I felt very touched by the generosity of time and effort contributed by these unsung heroes. 

We had much to appreciate around us, to thank, to feel blessed about and hoped that Singaporeans would become happier, more gracious, contented & selfless with time to come. We would not take our blessings, peace and prosperity for granted, and to continue to work hard for Singapore to become a more prosperous and harmonious country.

In 50 years’ time, I hoped our children would be able to witness and celebrate SG100. Maybe Mr H and I would live to see too. 

Consumerism and the guilt

While packing Z’s drawers and toys, I realized that the primary school going boy had more than 10 new pencil cases, a handful of rulers, the swankiest colour pens, tons of brand new pencils and notebooks.

The truth was I had only bought him a customized pencil box. The rest were gifts or party favors. I would not need to buy any stationery for the boy when he started school. 

Such excessiveness. 

It made me think very hard about teaching the value of cherishing and taking care of what one have. It also made me feel very guilty and most of us probably were this guilty.

Did all the factories in the world produce too many goods for consumption? Or was it simply unequal distribution?