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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.