Thursday, January 29, 2009


...and they got married and lived happily ever after

Mummy, what is married?

When you love someone very much you want to have a big party with them, so you get married to them.

Sophie want to get married. I'm a Princess too.

Really? Who do you want to marry?

(*thinks for a really long time) Papa - I really really love him

And anybody else?

Uhhhhh ... Wai Gong (i.e. grandfather)

So who do you want to marry?

Uhhh.. Wai Gong AND Papa

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reunion Dinner thoughts

We just all came back from Grandma's house. Stuffed with curry chicken and ngoh hiang.

For me, one of the cultural activities which really reminds me of my Chinese heritage is the Chinese New Year. When I was a really little kid we did the whole nine yards with gambling in the night and lots of food and friends in our home. As my brother is a gazillion miles off in SF right now, Chinese New Year is kind of when I miss him.

I wonder how much Alex and Sophie will understand about their Chinese ancestry. I wonder how much they will appreciate Chinese New Year. It is a part of their DNA. Like prizing academic achievement, or respecting your elders, or this crazy urge to run to be first in line for everything.

This year will be a bit somber because it is within the 100 days of my grandfather's passing. But it is the first time in a really long while that Fabien is back in Singapore for the New Year. He was working over the last 2 new years, and I came to Singapore myself. I think Singapore will still be the first place I think of when I think about home. The interesting question is where will Alex and Sophie think of as home?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another Tequila sunrise

I didn't bring a computer so I am in a hotel lobby updating this blog. My kids are asleep. It is too early for me to go to bed, so I am downstairs ordering a drink and reading my book.

I have been so dumb as to forget my camera.

Anyway, you can picture me sitting with a steak and lobster tail in front of me. Sophie stuffing her face with grilled tuna and her toes are sandy. I am sipping my sangria and watching the sun set. My older daughter's cheeky profile is in the background all orange and dark. My younger daughter is safely in the appartment with ayi. I miss my husband, and I cannot wait for him to come next week. He completes the picture.

A bunch of singers with guitars approach our table and ask if we have any requests. Sophie is entranced at the thought that people can sing for you (it is better than a CD!). She requests "Old Macdonald had a farm" and the singers sportingly oblige. Sophie sings along too and applauds enthusiaticly at the end. The singers are charmed and sing another of her requests. Sophie follows them as they go to another table. I think she must be their youngest ever groupie.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We are in Phuket

We will be in Phuket, unfortunately I will be offline for the first week even though the appartment has free wifi, because I didn't bring my computer with me. Fabien will bring it when he joins us next week.

It is all very exciting and I am scrambling around packing and making sure we are under the weight limit.

You can phone us in the appartment at : +66 (0) 76 317 932

See you in 2 weeks time. Fabien and I will be back in Singapore with our kids on 25 Jan.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Our Great Escape

Have you ever seen a baby with eyebags? Alexandra has the biggest eye-bags for a 3 month old infant I have ever seen. She doesn't get enough nap-time, partly because Sophie loves singing at 80 decibels around the house, and partly because there is a lot of drilling and welding going on in the condo constructed right next to my parent's house. Last night was particularly bad because they were welding and the flashes of light seeped through the cracks in our black out curtains and made our room look like a disco.

I spoke to my husband around midnight (he could hear the noise !) and we decided that we should bring forward and extend our holiday out of Singapore. We had to choose some place on the correct side of the January monsoon, and in a toss up between Malaysia and Thailand, we decided to go to Phuket because it is easier for my nanny to get a Thai visa (on arrival) rather than go through the Malaysian visa application process. I was joking to my husband that if protestors close the Phuket airport, we would have great excuses to phone our respective offices with.

So we are now planning our Great Escape. I have been looking at various holiday condos and villas in Phuket, and my dad made a suggestion - which I dutifully followed (not expecting anything to come of it). I wrote to the various general managers and holiday home owners by email saying I liked their villa, but I found the price a bit high, could they give me a discount considering these hard times?

And to my great surprise, I got many great offers. Perhaps it is the global recession, or perhaps it was the fact that I was asking to stay for 2 weeks, but I got up to a 30% reduction off their low season rates (despite this not being low season).

My brilliant Papa ! We will have a great holiday I think ...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A tourist in my own country

I just did something so dumb - I left Alex and Sophie's birth certificates and our mariage certificates at home in Beijing, but of course I need all those documents to do the admin things (like get the kids singapore passports and apply for citizenship for Alex). Oh well, I will just have to wait for Fab to bring them over then. Which is just as well because we need his signature and passport.

In the meanwhile....

There are so many cool things to discover with Sophie and Alex in Singapore. Like the Jacob Ballas Garden, the Singapore Art Museum, Sungei Buloh, the Zoo, the Science Centre! My kids are so easy to please though - even hanging around the swimming pool in my parent's condo is exciting for them.

I am looking for temporary stay at home moms to hang out with (hopefully with kids the same age) in Singapore. If you know anyone - pass them my way !

Saturday, January 03, 2009

We are in Singapore!!

We are here in Singapore, and it is Hot (29 degrees) and GREAT. Had a spicy yong tau foo prepared by my mommy dearest, who also cooked grilled grass fed lamb chops for Sophie. My normally vegetarian daughter ate them ALL.

The trip to Singapore was surprisingly good with the 2 kids. I got my nanny to fly one day ahead of us and bring all our luggage and set up our room in my parent's home. So I just took the 2 kids with me without any check-in luggage so we could whisk in and out of the airports. This system worked surprisingly well.

Fabien will join us later in the month, and we are for the moment just enjoying the warm weather, swimming pool and so on. My ayi is extremely impressed with Singapore. She flew in on the (supposedly cheaper) China airlines but - unbelievably got upgraded to business class - Now my office manager (who helped me book the tickets is asking whether she can work as my ayi too...)

Anyway, I got a temporary SIM card so my phone number is 81696073

CALL ME or SMS to meet up !! I am keen on seeing as many people as is humanely possible in keeping with an infant and a toddler nap schedule.