Archive for the ‘Singapore’ Category

h1

And then we came to the end…

January 27, 2013

We’re back in California now. After three weeks of being back in Los Gatos, it still hardly seems real.

So, I’m turning back to this blog to “wrap it up”.

Our final days in Singapore were wonderful, bittersweet and touching. We had numerous going away parties! We felt so loved and so lucky for the farewell from friends.

Ben's an enthusiastic party goer!  Here are some of our favorite neighbors - Brenton, Adrian, Alex, Nicholas, Pacific, Lanceton, Nicky Grigg

Ben’s an enthusiastic party goer! Here are some of our favorite neighbors – Brenton, Adrian, Alex, Nicholas, Pacific, Lanceton, Nicky Grigg

Here’s a couple of pictures of special friends:

Nicky Grigg - and Virginia - at the Ice Cream truck outside the back gate

So many afternoons and evenings and Saturdays and Sundays spent with Alex and his family.

So many afternoons and evenings and Saturdays and Sundays spent with Alex and his family.

Our dear friends Scott and Sarah had their new baby girl and we were so lucky to be able to visit her before we moved:
Dave and River Smiley

And in our last month at 26 Oakwood Grove, yet another stray cat took up residency. We were lucky to get Sarah (Alex’s mom) to adopt this kitty. They are the perfect family to take this cat from Ferrel to Family!

this is when Arlene and I capture the kitty to transfer him to Sarah's house.

this is when Arlene and I capture the kitty to transfer him to Sarah’s house.

And as Christmas approached, we watched our home get slowly packed away. It wasn’t too festive but we did our best:
Christmas 2012

The moving took over and we could only join in:
Ben, Alex and Davis getting packed away in our container!

In the end, it took a team of Malaysians to shut down our life:
Squeezing it all in!

And we haven’t seen our stuff since! I tried to tell my friend Sarah that “Home is where the Heart is”:
Home is where the Heart is.
She wasn’t the slightest bit touched by my sentimentality and quickly countered: “Home is where your Crap is”. Well, it’s been about 6 weeks since we’ve seen our Crap and we all agree whole heartedly now! We won’t feel at home until our crap gets here!

So, in the meantime, once our container took sail, we were lucky enough to be distracted by Ben’s baseball tournament in Bangkok. We all flew off to the 10 and Under baseball games being held at the International School of Bangkok. A more perfect distraction could not be had! The games were exciting and it was fun to experience the different cultural aspects between the teams. Ben pitched the opening game and the closing game:
Ben pitches

Getting ready to pitch

And after the tournament, we went up to Chiang Mai for one last Asian Adventure:
Ben at a waterfall in Chiang Mai

and Nicky at the waterfall

We ziplined on the world’s longest set of ziplines while in Chiang Mail:
Nicky on the ziplines.
...and Ben!

We went to some hot springs outside of Chiang Mai and discovered the local delicacy of “hot spring boiled eggs”!
the beautiful hotsprings...

buying our eggs...

boiling our eggs...

We took a wonderful bike ride out to a lake:
Chiang Mail Lake swim

They did the best they could with Christmas in Chiang Mai:
Ginger Bread house

Santa?

Once we returned to Singapore for our final time, we really just had to clean house and, the hardest part of all, say good by to Arlene.

Arlene helped me clean the mold off this leather jacket before taking it home to USA.  I asked her to try the jacket on.  I don't think she's ever worn so much clothing!

Arlene helped me clean the mold off this leather jacket before taking it home to USA. I asked her to try the jacket on. I don’t think she’s ever worn so much clothing!

We were all so sad to part ways. We’re staying in touch via Facebook but it’s not the same. Arlene was so much more than just a help around the house or a companion when Dave was gone. She was a friend and a good part of our household and family. We miss her everyday.

So, this chapter of our lives has come to an end. And, it is sad. Now that we’re back in CA and the trauma of making the move is over, it’s easy to put Singapore in the rear view mirror. But, we will never forget what we gained after our almost 5 years in Singapore: a love of Asia, a desire to travel more and more, and a strong connection with our family through our summer travels. We also made – most literally – a world of friends: starting with our friends and family from the USA who traveled around the world to visit us, to the friends we made in Singapore who now span the globe. Our time in Asia may have ended for now, but our world is forever enriched as a result. We have been fortunate.

h1

So Singapore

May 2, 2011

We walked around the Marina Bay…the newly developed Marina Bay today. It’s a spectacular and amazing place. It’s hard to believe this was a forest of cranes when we moved here…and now there’s nothing even slightly resembling a forest or any natural object but for the systematically cleaned riverways in sight.

Concrete Singapore

Concrete Singapore


Reflection

Reflection


Three Crazy Boys at Marina Bay

Three Crazy Boys at Marina Bay

We also had a chance to visit a modern art exhibit at the Old Kallang Airport today. Dave really enjoyed visiting an old airport – from the 1950s. I enjoyed some of the exhibit:

Modern Art - Ben (on right) and our friend Nicky Grigg

Modern Art - Ben (on right) and our friend Nicky Grigg


Nicky flies his kite outside the old terminal building as Dave enjoys

Nicky flies his kite outside the old terminal building as Dave enjoys

h1

Another trip to Pulau Ubin

November 8, 2010

Deepavali Bike Ride on Pulau Ubin

Posted November 5, 2010 by teammak in Bike Rides. Leave a CommentEdit

All the Kids at the Pulau Ubin Visitor CenterAll the Kids at the Pulau Ubin Visitor Center

It was doubtful at first! The crowds! The rain! But we persevered and had a wonderful day biking on Pulau Ubin.

The crowds were unprecedented! We all know the rule in Singapore: STAY HOME on public holidays!! But, for some reason we thought Pulau Ubin would be immune to the rule. It was very crowded. The Changi Point Ferry Terminal was bustling and the queue twisted round like a line for a Disney ride. But, more bumboats than ever were driving today so the line went very quick.
Here’s Natalie and Colin and a glimpse of part of the queue for the bumboat:

Crowds at the Changi Ferry TerminalCrowds at the Changi Ferry Terminal

 

Here’s our driver:

classic bum boat driver!classic bum boat driver!

 

It was amazing how smoothly the bike rental process went. Considering how “back in time” Pulau Ubin is, the little island handled the crowds well. In short time, everyone had their bikes. Here’s some of our crowd ready to go:

Ben ready to go!Ben ready to go!

AJ Ready to Go!AJ Ready to Go!

Aaannnd Hayden ready to go!Aaannnd Hayden ready to go!

 

We had a great time riding thru the jungle

Thru the jungle...Thru the jungle…

and climbing up the tower:

From atop the towerFrom atop the tower

Looking down from the tower...there's some Messicks!Looking down from the tower…there’s some Messicks!

We really enjoyed exploring the mangrove. We saw crabs, mudskippers, mangrove trees and crazy Asians counting the boards on the boardwalk!

Hayden in the mangrove swampHayden in the mangrove swamp

On the boardwalk!On the boardwalk!

And let’s not forget it was Deepavali!

happy deepavali!happy deepavali!

 

h1

2010 Singapore National Day Celebration

August 9, 2010

Today is Singapore’s 45th birthday!

And we have now lived here two full years. This is the 3rd National Day Celebration we have witnessed. This time we watched all the festivities on TV. It was quite interesting. They spared no expense!

Here is my tribute to the progress in Singapore. When we moved here in 2008, the SG skyline was all cranes. Ugly!

2008 Skyline

2008 Skyline


2010 - Today

2010 - Today

h1

Deepavali comes around again! First Grade Field trip to Little India

October 7, 2009

Starting to feel like we live here.  When you see the same celebrations from last year you know you’ve seen the full cycle of Singapore life.

Today I joined Ben and his class on a field trip to Little India.  Deepavali will be in full swing next week but Little India is gearing up now.  The lights, the decorations, the flowers, the smells, the curry!  Here are some highlights from our time there:

Ben, his teacher and classmates in Little India

Ben, his teacher and classmates in Little India

Ben and Oliver admire the giant jackfruit

Ben and Oliver admire the giant jackfruit

Ben touches a mini-swordfish!

Ben touches a mini-swordfish!

The Temple

The Temple

The Gold...!!

The Gold...!!

h1

Aidan’s Snake Dance

March 30, 2009
h1

Sign of the Times

March 5, 2009
New and Good Friend - Araceli, Melanie and Jo Ann

New and Good Friend - Araceli, Melanie and Jo Ann

 

People are leaving Singapore rapidly.   I haven’t been here long enough to know if this is a normal, seasonal outflow or if we’re infact seeing a sign of the difficult economic times in the US.  I suspect this is more of an exodus than annually experienced.

Today, my closest, everyday buddy, Melanie told me her family will ship home in June.  I’m extremely sad.  Melanie and I dropped our 4 year olds off at Pre-K every day, we exercised together daily, we play Mah-Jong weekly, our kids really enjoy each other.  Our worlds have collided in the best way possible this semester.  And, she’s a really great person.  I will miss her tremendously.

I’ve only been here three months and I have said too many good byes already.  Part of the expat life.

Below is a picture of someone’s container.  This is someone’s house packed up and ready to get put on a ship.  We see more and more of these around the neighborhood these days.

Container - filled to the gills.