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.
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.
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.
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.
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?