Kampong Glam Heritage Trail

El had a Malay heritage trail to go with his school. We sat right at the back of the bus, not my favourite place though.
coach 1

coach 2

Our first stop was at Istana Kampong Glam. Kampong Glam is a place specially set aside by Philip Jackson, under the Raffles Town Plan 1822 for the Bugis and Muslims, including Arabs. Sultan Hussein was given this plot of land. The Temengong was given Telok Blangah.

The guide brought us along the grounds, but did not bring us into the place itself. She showed us the gelam tree, whose spongy and fibrous bark can be used to plug boat leaks. The place was named after this tree. Beach Road used to be a beach, before the rest of the land was reclaimed.


The Sultan Mosque is the oldest mosque, with a long history. The money from the East India Company was used to build it. We were supposed to go in to visit, but it is closed to the public on Fridays. Women should be modestly dressed, if not, they have to wear a robe.
Sultan Mosque Kampong Glam
We played with some old toys, like a spinning top, or gasing which we call in Singapore. You are supposed to use a rope to wrap it, and then let it go to spin. Some parents tried but they failed to do so.

Next, we played with a tube of glue, which you can use a small stick to blow it up and play with it like a balloon. I did not really play it when I was young, so I did not know how to make it big. I failed miserably, and El was disappointed.

Some of the children played with paper balls.

After that, we walked around Arab Street to see the textiles and some perfumes without alcohol. There were a few shop houses that had graffiti art on them. I remember reading about some owners commissioning artists to paint the exterior.
perfume shop

I thought while the guide was good, the kindergarten children were too young to appreciate these. El became very bored.

I got him to check out the graffiti art on the walls around the shop houses in the area.
graffiti art

Egyptian graffiti art

art installation

El’s class only had 4 students on this trip. I only managed to speak to one parent, a PR, who shared a couple of things happening in his class. I did not know which group El was in, but she knew! She said her son actually talked about El to her. How I wish I can get El to share more about what happens in school. He has a friend!

We went to McDonalds for lunch. His friend’s mother thought El had a great appetite, but he only eats a lot when it’s McDonalds or other unhealthy food. At home, he picks at his food.


When we reached home, it started drizzling. We walked back home, and El was wearing a raincoat.

The moment he saw my helper, he declared his trip was good, because he went to McDonalds, and had nuggets and fries. He also had Emolga Pump which he liked very much. Hey, I thought we had just gone a heritage trail and this is the only thing you remembered?

Why The Pram Does Not Work For Me

There has been a huge uproar about prams recently. A journalist complained in ST about children not in the prams, children who are too big for the pram and prams that carry only bags.

I did not read the article earlier when friends started complaining about it on Facebook. However, when I read a rebuttal to the overuse of prams, I decided to read the original article. There was name-calling, which was very unprofessional. Different people have different opinions.

el in pram

I am just amazed how parents manage to get their children to remain in the stroller. Ever since they could walk, my children refuse to sit in the pram. They insist on walking, and within a short period of time, they only want to be carried. I end up having to push the stroller and carry them.

They refused to be in baby carriers, and baby carriers hurt my shoulders and back anyway.

gar baby carrier 1

What does this mean? We seldom go out. We stay at home most of the time. Our backs hurt if they insist on being carried. Carrying a child and pushing a pram cannot be done easily.

I am not exactly sure why they hate the pram. Maybe there are invisible bugs. I had used to push Gar to the library in the stroller when he was younger, but he would always come back with bites. Up till now, I have not figured out whether the bugs came from the stroller or the short trip.

I dislike using the pram actually. There is never a straight path from the carpark to the place I want to go. I will strap my child into the pram from the car, push the pram to the stairs, unbuckle him, carry him using one arm, close the pram and carry the pram in another arm.

Then, I need to open it again and strap the unwilling child again. Then I realise the lift is full. Or it does not stop on the levels I want to go. It has become a white elephant.

It is hard to navigate the pram. I had unapologetic people who ram the prams into my ankles, which made me jump in pain, and I had also accidently rammed the pram into others, apologising profusely only to be greeted with dagger stares.

That is why the pram does not work for me or my children, but that does not mean people can complain about others using the pram.

Garisms – Funny Quips from Gar

1. The Little Fireman
Hubby to me: Take the air purifier to the room.

Immediately, Gareth came running to the room with his fireman’s helmut. He heard ‘Fire’.

gar fire
2. The Big Issue
Auntie: Ah Ma
Gar: Big!
Auntie: Ah Gong?
Gar: Small
Auntie: Auntie?
Gar: Small
Auntie: Yeye?
Gar: Small
Auntie: Mama?
Gar: Small
Auntie: Gar?
Gar: Small
Auntie: Ah ma, small?
Gar: Big!

3. Going Out
I was taking El out to a play. Gar heard the word ‘out’ and immediately went to the shoe rack to show he was getting ready to go out.

4. Wet T-shirts
The moment Gar’s shirt or pants is wet, he will take them off immediately. That usually happens when water splashes onto him while he is brushing his teeth, or someone with wet hands tries to carry him. He will say, “Wet, wet!”
He was very upset when his favourite pillow case with lions was in the wash. To calm him down, I had to say “wet, wet” before he reluctantly accepted it.

5. Gar’s Very Efficient Speech I
Gar has trouble catching every word we say, so sometimes he will say the first word and the last word, or sometimes the first syllable and the last syllable.
We were putting stickers of baby animals on a book, and he had placed a sticker upside down.
Me: It’s upside down.
Gar: Up – Down
Me: No, it’s up-side-down.
Gar: Up – Down… Side!

6. Gar’s Very Efficient Speech II
Me: Elephant
Gar: El -phant

7. Gar wants to watch Qiaohu
Qiaohu is a Taiwanese children’s show to teach Mandarin and other growing up tips, a little like Sesame Street and Barney. Qiaohu is a tiger who is in preschool. Gar likes to watch it after we introduced to him recently. We watch it on our Smart TV usually, so when he wants to watch, he will take the remote control to me, and do the weight lifting hand signal, which stands for Timothy Tiger. He also tries to say Qiaohu, but it usually comes out as Xiaohu, which means little tiger.

One of the songs is ‘Wei Xian (Danger), Wei Xian, Stop!’, accompanied by hand actions – X for Wei Xian, and two hands reaching forward with palms at right angles up. He has also done that action to tell me to switch on the TV.

Now we just keep singing that song when he tries to do something dangerous.

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