Holidays, Singapore

Selamat Hari Raya

((I put two videos on our Singapore Zoo page to the right!))

Tomorrow, everyone is off school for Hari Praya.  All the Muslims have been fasting during the day for this past month for Ramadan.  I guess Hari Raya marks the end of this month of fasting.  It’s a big holiday here.  Most of what I know about Ramadan, I’ve learned from Nicky!  His school has spent the most time celebrating and they get two days off for family celebrations.  Ben’s school only has one day off.

We have a new addition to our household:  Arlene has started working here.  She’s Fillipino and has been in Singapore for the last 4 years.  Although I was reluctant to live with a helper, Arlene is a very nice person who has managed to join the household with only the best impact.  It’s truly unreal to come home everyday and find the house spotless (she MOPS the floors every day), the laundry IRONED (she irons SHEETS! and UNDERWEAR!) and food cooking.  It’s absolutely the craziest thing.  She’s been trained to do all this – I am certainly not cracking any whip saying “And, MOP the floor again today!!”  The first day she was here and I started to realize what she does, I was just walking around the neighborhood in a daze.  People who have helpers and knew ours was starting were looking at me with a knowing smile and saying, “Pretty awesome, huh!”  Yes, it is!

And alls it took was one sausage and Boo loves her too….which is a great thing because with the coming of Arlene, we are taking off!  This weekend Ben, Nicky and I are joining Dave on a business trip to Hong Kong.  Ben is on Fall Break.  Next week, during days off for conferences, we are joining Dave on a trip to Kuala Lumpur.  I’m excited to see new places.  Look forward to fun stories of me trying to entertain two boys in foreign, non-english speaking countries on my own!!  Luckily, everyone around here has done these trips (usually in conjunction with a business trip as we are) and has lots of tips for me. 

Well, after tomorrow, Al Ameen should be open again.  Our Muslim restaurant was keeping odd/no hours during Ramadan.  We missed their Naan.  It did force us to branch out a bit and visit another food court where we discovered all kinds of fun foods.  As I was waiting to collect our “Take Away” food, I was really struck by how unsanitary these courts are.  I was watching cats run in and out of the cooking area, if you order rice, it’s scooped out of a bathtub size vat that’s sitting in front of the cash register (on the customer side!), all the guys cooking are sweating their faces off, and hair nets or close toed shoes? – HA!  After Dengue Fever, I can take a little food poisoning, I’m sure 🙂

Boo turns 13 tomorrow.  Happy, Happy Birthday Boo.


2 thoughts on “Selamat Hari Raya”

  1. Happy Birthday Boo! Jasper and Roxie send their regards.
    Glad to know that you have a helper at home. That is awesome and should make things much smoother. Enjoy your trip!
    Sarah and Trevor

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