Weekend trip to BKK

It’s the end of October and it would be another two more months before we enter 2018! Life has been so busy that it’s getting hard to keep track. Busy with what, you might ask. Busy with the kids and being in the fellowship with fellow SAHMs!

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So the highlight of October, besides celebrating the birthday of Daniel and thus another milestone, is the weekend trip to Bangkok with girlfriends! Yay! This is my first trip away from the kids and I was filled with mixed feelings, no doubt. The guilt of leaving them behind and yet at the same time, rejoicing over the fact that I could have a few days of no “mama, mama” ringing in my ears. In the end, I’m glad I went for it and thankful for the hubs who held the fort at home. It was so fun and relaxing and the 3D 2N were filled with wonderful, uplifting stories shared by the girls on how God has worked in their lives. Truly encouraging! We didn’t have to plan much because one of the ladies, S, did everything for us, from the booking of flight and hotel to planning the itinerary. Awesome!

Not a moment was wasted upon arrival and checking in to our hotel. We went straight for lunch at the recommended Baan Peung Chom before heading for dessert at After You cafe and then shopping at EmQuartier.

We had dinner at Ping’s and then a spa session at Siladon Spa, a recommended place as well.

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Our stay for the two nights was at Hua Chang Heritage Hotel which was really comfortable and accessible to the trains and malls. I’m missing the hotel already as I type.

Day 2 was basically spent at the famous Chatuchak (Zone 2) before we proceeded to Or Tor Kor Market for lunch and buying of fruits and dried goods. Hmm, when you go on a trip with mothers, tendency is that we would look for food to buy back home to cook or store in the pantry.

And then it’s more shopping for the rest of the trip. If you are a frequent visitor to BKK, you would know where to shop, won’t you? Siam Paragon, Central World, Big C, Siam Square, Platinum Mall, etc.

Thankful for this trip (have recorded the trip on Dayre). I was refreshed in the spirit though I think I need more sleep after that. Hah…

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Hong Kong Day #1

We had an early flight to catch and had to be at the airport at 5.30am for our check-in. Getting the little one up wasn’t too difficult a task and we soon saw ourselves at the airport. To be honest, I was a little anxious. Will Faith cry throughout the flight? Will I be able to handle her? What if… 

I guess it would not help much if I was to continue to allow fear to grip me and decided that I should just trust that all would be well. JH had helped to book front row seats for us on the plane and that translated to more leg room and space for the little one to roam. I mean, how do you expect a toddler to stay in a seat throughout a flight?

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We brought the stroller along just in case we would be walking distance. It’s not those super lightweight ones but still light enough to travel with.

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We took Singapore Airlines because it was a rather last-minute purchase and it would amount to almost the same pricing if we went for the budget airlines. For comfort’s sake, we decided to pay a little more.

2014-04-15 12.11.56-MOTIONFaith was all right during the flight except for the fact that she cried for a good few minutes during the take off. I made the mistake of giving her favourite biscuits while the plane was still taxiing. She almost finished the whole packet and I had to stop her from consuming during the take off. She must have experienced air pressure and cried in her discomfort. Unfortunately, she rejected both water and milk and only wanted her biscuits which in the end I relented and gave her. That appeased her. 😉

After an uneventful flight, we reached HK! The girl was visibly tired and I had to strap her in the carrier. she fell asleep almost immediately which was good for us as we gathered our luggage and proceeded to Kowloon Station via the Airport Express Train which took a mere 25 minutes or so. From there, we took a cab to our apartment along Temple Street. Surprisingly, it was not expensive to travel around in a cab!

Our apartment is 5 minutes away from the MTR and there were many eateries and shops that we could frequent. Sha and I were too tired to roam around and JH kindly offered to buy lunch for us. They were delicious and seemed like comfort food to us – Wanton noodles, Char Siew buns, beef brisket noodles, etc.

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Supreme Beef Brisket Soup
Shop C, Wing Shing Bldg, 30-40 Temple St,
Yau Ma Tei, 
2771 2681.

We took to the streets after a rest. It was to Ladies Market and it was a near walk from our apartment. I used the stroller and within minutes, Faith slept like a log. I guess she was too tired. It wasn’t all that easy to use the stroller in crowded Hong Kong. In fact, there were only fewer than ten strollers that I saw along the way. Most of the time, carriers were used by parents with young kids.

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My last trip to HK was almost ten years ago and the streets don’t seem to have changed much. How is that possible?

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One of the things that I aimed to do is to taste these local food especially the smelly toufu! It’s extremely tasty in cold weather, me thinks! With the chilli sauce, they are just heavenly. Of course, we only had the toufu since we would be meeting a friend for dinner. Better save some space for that!

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Cravings satisfied! And Faith stayed soundly asleep in the sea of crowd. Bliss for us all!

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So we had hot pot for dinner. Absolutely delightful and I forgot to take down the name and address of the restaurant.

Related post(s):
Travelling with a toddler: The packing list

Food education the Japanese way

I’m no nutritionist but I do know a little about food education, a result of growing up with a mother who cooks meals 95% of the time. It helps greatly that she dragged us along to the wet market and taught us how to spot the freshest meat and vegetables. amongst other things (like haggling with the stallholders, for example). Obviously, we were also involved in the cooking and baking process since young.  But I must qualify that we weren’t very enthusiastic then (even dreaded it) but whatever we were taught stays with us. Incredible!

So, it’s no surprise that I would start Faith early on eating well and recognising the various foods in their original state. I’m not a fan of store-bought food because they do contain preservatives and therefore not good for the little one. However, for convenience’s sake, they can be a good substitute.

I continue to be intrigued by how the Japanese and the French cultivate good eating habits in their children since young. In my humble opinion, teaching good eating habits is as tough as inculcating values in a being and it has to start from young for once he/she has a good foundation, the person will grow up distinguishing right from wrong and will (hopefully) make wise decisions along the way.

Some points on the Japanese way of eating (for own knowledge and reference):
Source: Parenting without borders

– What a baby eats is important but the attitude toward feeding a child is equally important. Eating in Japan is a communal matter and babies should NEVER eat alone. Even when the baby is too young to eat solids, he is always kept with the parents at mealtimes so that when he gets older, he eats together with them. This is a cardinal rule. To make babies feel even more like a part of the family, parents give them the same foods as everyone else. So, one can hardly see children’s menu in Japanese restaurants. From the time babies start eating, they’re eating the same things as adults, just more lightly seasoned or modified for the baby’s age.

– Presentation is important because when food is appealingly prepared and laid out, with an ideal mix of colours and textures, the baby will be more likely to eat it. I’m not sure about you but when I see those beautiful Bento boxes such as the following, I couldn’t help but be attracted to them and eat the contents.

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– In Japan, the thinking is to introduce young kids to a wide variety of tastes and textures, teach them to appreciate food, teach them never to waste and get them used to structured mealtimes and mealtime behaviour. The Japanese ate three proper meals each day and though overall portions were small, each meal was balanced and filling.

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– Snacks are not liberally given so kids do look forward to treats because they were rare and presented as a special privilege.

– It is considered a moral good to teach kids to eat properly and it is also an adult’s job to teach children the concept of gratitude for every bit of food on their plates. All children are taught to think of the animal who provided the meat, the farmer who grew the produce, the person who make and serve the food. Children are encouraged to eat everything they are served, to try everything they are given.

– A good parent helps her children to learn to eat anything, and she believes they can and will become good eaters, through high expectations, patience, beautifully crafted meals and lots of exposure to new foods.

– What make Japanese raise healthy eaters is the consistent support they get from others. Food education is woven throughout school life and kids grow their own tomatoes, eggplants and cucumbers in first grade (they have a standardised national curriculum so most kids experience the same kind of food education. By fiftth and sixth grade, children are learning cooking basics at school and lunch is an actual class in the curriculum. I like that! It’s a class to teach children where food comes from, how to enjoy a meal and how to serve others.


Pictures above are from an account of an elementary school principal who visited a Japanese school.