Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Eagle Has Landed

"That was a really good hug."
After a ten day (yes, that's right, ten day) school trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, Alexander is back to the great joy of his family (especially his sister). This is some of what he shared with us on the taxi ride home from the airport:
1) Thai food is good, but not as good when you have to make it yourself;
2) Spelling Alexander in sign language is not that hard;
3) Elephants are not as cuddly as you might think, actually they are quite leathery;
4) The real luxury about home is not having to prepare a bed and tent each night;
5) One can never pack enough cough strepsils or socks;
6) A head torch is fundamental. Extra batteries, even more so;
7) Organic farming, walking on stilts, water rafting and trekking with a GPS...all great. Caving (what with the spiders and all) not so much;
8) It's cold in them there mountains, "luckily I had that wooly handknit penguin hat you didn't want me to buy."
9) It's nice having a sister bake a 'welcome home' cake and keeping all Christmas activities on hold.
10) Shopping for souvenirs is fun. (I don't know how he found fuzzy sock slippers in a Thai night market, but the boy definitely knows me. I am typing this with a smile and very snug toes.)

"How do you say hi in Thai?"

"Now, let's see who's taller."

The Thai cook with his penguin hat on.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Questions That Could Arise in Italy

"Is this breakfast or lunch?"

"Should we have a different flavor every day?"

"Is that pigeon still following me?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Made in Italy

"I think my allergies are acting up..."

"No, I don't see the resemblance."

"What do you think about the dukan diet?"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Boiled Turkey in Paris

Happy Birthday, little bro!

Just like in the song, I went all the way to Paris to forget the past. I was 21 and everything that could have gone wrong, did. Then again, I was 21. When my little brother came to visit me, in late November, we walked all over the Marais, had banana splits at the Defense, chatted endlessly all over town. Julian took my mind off things, without even trying. I was staying with a French family who lived way out in the suburbs. On our way back home late that night, he commented on how dangerous the train ride was for someone traveling alone at night. When we got out at the small, deserted station and walked along the dark alleyways, he looked even more horrified. You've been doing this for two months? As I nodded, I remember thinking: "So?"
After we reached the house, we looked for the huge turkey my mother had given Julian to bring over so that we could have our own little Thanksgiving. But to our utter surprise, the turkey we hoped to roast for our delicious feast, was now in a huge pot, boiled beyond recognition. After a shocked silence, during which we wondered how anybody could even own such a big pot, we started laughing at the absurdity of it all. As quiet as humanly possible, so as not to wake up our kind, if clueless hosts, we laughed and laughed. I don't ever remember laughing so much. Not like that, barely breathing and with tears running down my eyes. It felt so good to laugh. And to know that it was still possible.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Missing School Holidays: Nostalgic or Masochistic? Your Call.

"Mom, can we check out the phone store later?"
Sometimes I find myself in a post-school holiday funk. I actually find myself missing my kids' school holidays. Not always (I'm not crazy). But there's something to be said about hanging out at a coffee shop with your kid, drinking over priced lattes and catching up on reading. Sometimes, I even get to hear what's really happening at school. Or I can finally get some help setting up my phone so that I can see the weather in the country I'm actually living in. The best part is I don't have to ask the conversation ender: "How was your day?" Because this is their day.

Alexander earning his keep on his day off from school.

If Proust's Madeleines...

If Proust's madeleines had cost as much as cherries cost in Singapore, he probably wouldn't have eaten as many and we wouldn't have that expression. Quel domage.
I especially love how it says 'offer' ends in a week. That's thoughtful. And caring. Especially since this price apparently saves you 24% from the usual price.
When calculating that each cherry costs more or less a dollar, be careful to not choke on the pit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cross Country Final or Sale at Smiggle?

"I heard everything is 50% off."

And they're off! Cross country finals at Bedok Reservoir. The kids were all great! The whistle at the starting line did remind me of why I never liked races as a child. The shaky feeling in my legs and the absolute certainty that I would be the child coming in last. And this is why I turned to books...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Humidity-Defying Runners!

"We can do it!"
Bedok Reservoir Race. The runners...hoping for a win. The parents...hoping to not die of heatstroke.
The school's first ever cross country team, coached tirelessly by Mr. Andrew, displays uncommon courage (considering the humidity), sense of adventure (there is talk of potential cobras lurking in the reservoir on the bus ride over) and team spirit (let's just follow each other) on the 2.2 km course!
Congratulations runners! And for those of you with desert marathons in your future, I say things are looking good!

P.S. One of the runners, Jessica, is mysteriously missing from the photo above. Looking for some shade? Likely...