Flea Market And Mid Autumn Festival

The best time to go to an annual flea market is to go after it is supposed to be closing, because that is when you get fire sale prices!

After dinner, we rushed home for a Mid Autumn Festival Celebration held by my estate’s management committee. The flea market was supposed to be over, but they were still selling items.

After last year’s great book deals, I could not believe it when a stall owner wanted to sell 10 children’s magazines to me for $2. They looked great in content and condition to me so I took the whole lot and more.

discovery box magazine

They actually featured Henri Matisse’s works! He used to be a painter until his health kept him in a wheelchair. He turned to paper cuttings. I love these works.

story box elephants

story box little witches

story box magazines

There were other books, such as jigsaw puzzles and jigsaw books. She gave some free to me plus I got stickers which I could use for El’s sticker book for piano practice. Total? $8.

After that, I went to another stall and spotted Eat, Pray, Love, a book that sparked many people’s wanderlust and puns. I never had a chance to read it.

There were other children’s books, which the owner said had high frequency words. I think they were at 6 books for $2.
early readers

early readers 2

sunshine books

Gar spotted a book on elephants and he took off with it. I was so embarrassed as I told the stall holder. Anyway, I got the books and paid up.

elephant walk

The good thing about my neighbours is they care very much about education, so they spent a lot of money on books and other educational materials. Their children are older now, so they want to sell them to make way for even more books.

While I do not mind setting up a class library with my books, (some students treat my books badly though), I still cannot bear the thought of selling my books. Perhaps next time.

I really had a lot of great quality books.

books from flea market

My helper managed to get sone books for her son, perhaps also 6 for $2, and then a brand new pair of shoes for $2!!!

I got an Indian snack for El, but he didn’t eat much.

Gar went home for his dinner while I joined in the lantern walkabout for the third time with El without a lantern.

lantern walk

After that, we caught a magic show/ circus act. I think he had performed at my workplace before!

He had a floating crystal ball.


Then he spun plastic plates.

He had volunteers come up to try. El put his hand up but he did not get selected.

The magician balanced an umbrella, a knife and a trolley on his chin.

El was very visibly scared. I saw him covering his ears earlier and at that moment before the knife act, he covered his eyes.

The next act was an escape act. He could easily get his hands out from two padlocks on chains.

After that, El shouted for me, and said the show was boring and he wanted to leave.

My right leg was totally numb from the way I was sitting earlier. El told me to stay where I was and call his father to take me home. I told him I just had to wait a while.

I cannot wait for next year’s flea market.

Playing Dinosaur Charades

Somebody once mentioned her child wanted to play charades, of dinosaurs no less. I never thought that it would happen to me.

stegosaurus costume

El in his ‘Stegosaurus costume’ made by me when he was in N1.

El, the boy who loves dinosaurs, suddenly announced we were playing dinosaur charades, and started acting like a dancing chicken and said ‘pretty jaw’.

“Pretty jaw? Sounds familiar. I was just playing the brain box game with him,” I thought.

“Is it gallimimus?” I asked, taking a gamble.

“No,” he replied with a slight frown.

He then told me it was a Compsognathus.

“Compsognathus BW” by Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –

Oh. I thought he was done, when he started stomping around and roared.

Ah, this was easy, I thought.

“T-Rex,” I enthusiastically said it aloud.


“Give me some clues,” I asked, as I continued to watch the goggle box which someone just called it the idiot box the day before.

“It has a thumb,” he said.

Still clueless, so I asked what the name means.

“Ok, it means iguana tooth,” he chirped, with enthusiasm still unwavering.


“Correct. Next,” he said and got on all fours.

He moved very slowly, and as he moved his bottom, I had the impression that there was a heavy tail, perhaps one that was clubbed, and could kill predators.

“Anggkylours,” I guessed or whatever it was pronounced. It was a spiky armored dinosaur.

“Ankylosaurus, but no. It was from that family though.”

“Ankylosaurus magniventris reconstruction” by Emily Willoughby (e.deinonychus@gmail.com, http://emilywilloughby.com) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

He mumbled something which I could not recall. If you must know, I am currently writing this recount with the help of google.

He was not done. He acted again and this time round, I guessed it was a sauropod (four-legged, long neck, long tail, relatively small head in proportion) as he was on all fours. Occasionally, he looked up and stretched his neck to reach for higher branches.

Shucks, I remembered watching Dinosaur Train where they showcased different sauropods. Some kept their necks up and reached the higher branches while others kept their necks low (diplodocus), depending on the type of necks they had.

I could not think of any sauropods, and so I asked for the first letter.

“B,” he shouted.

“Erm, baryonyx,” I said, forgetting I had just seen it earlier when I was googling information on different vores.

“No! Baryonyx was a piscivore. It ate fish,” he explained.

“Erm, brac…” I muttered.

“It’s brachiosaurus,” he said after I kept trying to say it.

“Brachiosaurus DB” by Богданов dmitrchel@mail.ru – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

One more. He held his two arms up and stretched them and flapped his wings. He even said ‘rawk’, which was the sound made by the main characters in Dinosaur Train.

“Ptero… Pteranodon!” I shouted excitedly as I finally got one correct.

Charades with children was tough enough but charades about dinosaurs were even tougher! Where is he going to find a friend to play dinosaur charades with him?

Moonlight Parties

Mid-Autumn, or Zhongqiu is round the corner. I have attended two such parties while the moon is still a crescent. It sorts of defeats the purpose of ‘shang yue’, or admiring the full moon on the fifteenth day of the lunar eighth month, but it is coinciding with Teachers’ Day celebration and school holidays this year, so many have brought forward the event. It sure beats one moonlight party I had attended that was held during the seventh month.

My workplace organised a Mid-Autumn Party and I brought my two children along. They had gone there last year, so El knew what to expect.

He started painting a white lantern. There was too much water, so the water colour was pretty diluted. Despite nearly a year of art lessons, he is still not colouring well. Oh well, he said that he did not do much painting in school and in art classes.
moonlight party painting1

There had been riddles for the past few years, so he was looking forward to solving them this year. However, they had changed the format, by not hanging the riddles on the lanterns, but by hiding them in various places. He was disappointed, so I had to go and search for clues. Finally I spotted a piece of paper stuck under a ledge.

The riddle goes something like this. It has a head, a body and can travel. However, it is not human.

Immediately, he said ‘MRT train’, which probably came from me pointing out the trains constantly to Gar as we were driving. That answer was not correct, and we could not think of others. Finally, my colleague gave other clues. He finally guessed it was ‘car’. I guess his first answer was not wrong, since the answer basically is looking for a mode of transportation.

We had food, and El liked some Roti Jala, which was a kind of flour based food with egg and salt. You put the mixture into a perforated cup, and then pour it over a hot plate. It looks like a net, and then you fold it.

He tried some mooncake too, but could not finish it. I thought it was slightly dry. There were other agar agar mooncakes, which was slightly hard, but I ate a few up.
moonlight party 2014 gar

There was nothing much for Gar to do though. He was extremely sticky to me and wanted me to carry him most of the time. However, he managed to high five a few people. He lost his temper briefly and hit my colleague.
gar and me

During the Lantern Walk, we went around the premise, holding lanterns. There are paper lanterns with LED lights now, but many still used the traditional lanterns with candles to get that warm glow. My children carried an Angry Bird lantern and a Batman lantern. I had another yellow lantern but could not find it.

moonlight party gar lantern2

The highlight was the sky lantern. The first one was set off in the canteen as it was drizzling, but they decided to set the other two in the courtyard. Lest you think there were safety and environmental issues, the sky lanterns were set up like kites, so they did not fly away. The white paper seemed to be fire retardant, so it did not catch fire.

sky lantern

There was a brief scare that one could fall onto a shelter, but they managed to manoeuvre that away. The smoke was black. My student who was taking a video at the bottom felt the heat and was pretty worried.

After that, El became very sleepy and we had to go off.

The next night, my alma mater had its own Moonlight Party. My classmates had met earlier for a high tea. My husband could not get back to me early enough whether his parents could accompany him and the children for their enrichment classes, so I had to forgo that. I parked at the back gate and did not have to walk that far. El wanted to come along. I had decided to leave Gar at home.

L had left already, so El and I were on our own.

We took some pictures by the red bridge.
red bridge

el and me

I bumped into A and so we decided to walk around. I wanted to buy an Old Girls’ tee shirt, and was cajoled into thinking I was really skinny and bought the XS version. Hello? I had overrated myself. I should have gotten the S. Anyway, I love the sizing.

recycled lanterns

We went on a lantern walk, and we were reminiscing about the baby crocodiles we had in the school. El was pretty curious. The baby crocodiles were in the enclosure at the front side gate, and the moment they grew bigger, they would be transferred back to the crocodile farm, or so I think.

After that, we went to the canteen. We wanted to get some drinks, but were told to get a coupon. A told me it was Diana Ser managing the booth. I went back to take a look, and she was petite. Still looks pretty good.

The chicken wings were supposed to be legendary, but I could not really remember the food. There were a lot of stalls on both sides. The noodle stall had run out of food. A went to ask and the remaining bowl was supposed to be the uncle’s dinner. We bought some chicken wings instead.

chicken wing and noodles

After that, we bumped into J who brought her two children along with her husband, and also her sister and friend. Then Q arrived with her three children, and her sister and daughter.

Q went on and on about how tall El was, and then suddenly asked, “Where’s your elder one?” Oops, that little tiny boy is my elder one.

After some time, we decided to go back. When I asked El about his thoughts about the school, whether it was nicer than my workplace, he said he did not like my alma mater, because the food was yucky. I had only asked him whether he wanted fries.

Yucky? He was pretty loud, and I hope nobody else would get offended. Anyway, I told him this school was for girls only.

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