Heard about these parenting taboos?

Dear Boys,

The world we live in is full of myths, taboos and other old wives’ tales on how things should be or should not be done. For me, I asked a group of friends over Facebook, and they came up with some really original ones.

Erena

  • “Don’t consume mutton if preggers . Like the baby might get epilepsy or fits in future.”
  • “They kept saying to drink Soya milk and bird nest so that the baby will become really fair .”
  • ” Like if u take chicken feet , your feet will become really strong . Does it work that way ?

Agnes

  • “Also k not consume too much bird nest, or else the baby would prone to asthma or coughing.”
Flo
  • “Avoid colas too during lactation…it will affect the infant. Real story not mine tho!”

Jason

  • “Leaving bits of rice in your rice bowl after a meal will cause your future spouse to have lots of acne and pockmarks.”
  • “bad luck to open an umbrella indoors.”
  • “Shaving a baby’s head and eyebrows will ensure that the hair will grow back thick and luscious.”

Yvonne

  • “One old myth: During pregnancy, don’t sweep the bed floor right underneath the bed… Baby will have lots of hair… Seriously I worry about those who believed this… Hygiene and cleanliness are more important…”

Gracia

  • “Never look at ugly people or monkeys and dogs during pregnancy. Heard from old folks”

Dawn

  • “Always comment n say how you like your baby’s facial features to be during pregnancy period n the truth will happen.”

Matthew

  • “Never paint or Knock your wall during pregnancy? Don’t try ya..”
  • “Never use scissor on the bed during pregnancy “
  • “Never fix wiring , ( I did ), then seriously Elias had his umbilical cord haywired. “

Samantha

  • “Don’t tickle the baby’s feet or he/she will be afraid to walk”
  • “Don’t say “wah baby you are getting heavy”. Will induce jealousy from the evil spirits”

Melody

  • “When baby suck his/her toe, u r he/she is going to have a bro/sis soon.. lol”

Olivia

  • “Don’t use anything sharp to cut on the bed when pregnant….. If not, the child will have cleft lips”
  • “Never wash hair and have the fan blowing on oneself within the first month after one has given birth, or you will have wind in your body (Tao Hong…lol)”

Kwee Huat Wee

  • “Do not let the young eat fish roe, otherwise they would grow up poor in their calculation.”

So there you have it, I’m sure the list is not exhaustive and in your time, you might have heard of new new ones, or some of these might stay to your time! Do add your own to this list and everyone can have a good time learning from it!

 ( Thanks to all contributors from #1303, you know who you are!)

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5 Advantages of Being Married

Dear Boys,

I’m married, of course I ‘sell’ and advocate marriage. We are all our own product ambassadors, if I’m not happily married, I won’t sell it. If I like being single, then I’ll find every damn reason there is to justify my single-ness.

Anyway here is my 5 advantages of being married.

1-You build a bigger network of extended relatives.

Humans like all organisms, are network-centric. We need to continue to grow and develop our high trust network. The easiest quickest way is to get married, suddenly all your spouse’s relatives becomes your in-laws, and obligated by the by-laws to help you, and make your aspirations successful.Think medieval times, why kings and warlords marry off their children to secure lands and power.

Who knows, your spouse might have a rich multi-billionaire uncle with a couple of million to spare for you to do business get rich?

2- You can be safe with members of the opposite gender.

Sometimes you need to work with really smart people and really beautiful people to do really smart and beautiful things, and in order to avoid mixing pleasure with business; your wedding band, spouse photo in your wallet, are ideal shields against such unwanted solicitation, attractions and distractions.

Sure some singles out there consider married individuals as fair game or even premium, then you need to hold true to your marriage oath ‘forsaking all others’. If you don’t, then you are just another two timing scum.

3- You get economies of scale

Sometimes, produce and products are better consumed in large quantities. A quart of ice-cream, shared, are calories halved. You can also go into restaurants and order 2 different items off the menu and then share, so that both gets a varied taste of the eatery.

Or if you’re too full to eat, you can always get your significant other to finish off the meal.

4-You can do crazy stupid things, without the fear of being seen as crazy and stupid

Who says only singles do crazy stupid things? Married folks can also do crazier, stupider things, all without having to seek attention. You’re married, you no longer have to seek attention, you do crazy stupid things, because you simply love doing crazy stupid things, without having to get anyone’s acceptance, other than that of your spouse.

5- You get instant maturity.

This is not funny. Choosing to spend the rest of your life with just one person, when there are more than 6 billion other alternative human beings; that takes courage or sheer idiocy (or both). And living with another human being by choice, warts and all takes a certain level of perspective, personal growth and growing up.

Taking care of another person for life, and having another person taking care of you for life is not a joke. There are responsibilities beyond that of an individual in the single-hood realm. When you tell people you are married, you get instantly upgraded up the social ladder, people will think that you have the maturity to be some kind of marriage expert and elevate you to be one. Your opinions will carry weight and what you say as a married person will be generally considered to be worth something.

All time high…3519

Dear Boys,

It was never thought to be an exciting thing writing a blog for the both of you, but as I evolve as a writer for this blog, I also learn, and improve on my writing. Although I want to say that the numbers is not my primary aim, I’d be a complete liar if I say it didn’t bother me a bit.

As at 8 December, Tuesday, yesterday, the viewership hit 3519. I’m really not a very numbers person, but one thing that serves as a feedback, what I write for your boys has a strong complementary vibe with the ground. Readers do relate to what I write. I can’t help but compare, that it is still a long way to go, and honestly ‘3519‘ is quite paltry, according to other blogging giants out there, who can easily hit 5 digits viewership.

Keeping up with the proverbial Jones, is always a matter of relativity, more importantly, I want to put this up as a ‘celebration’ of an achievement, life’s too short to wait and celebrate ‘big’ achievements, we need to find little nitty gritty small accolades and give ourselves pat on the back for doing well, every now and then, here and there, up and down, left and right.

writing for the both of you to read as a testament of your dad’s journey as a parent…

While I’m not out to compete for viewership, keeping to the true spirit of this blog; writing for the both of you to read as a testament of your dad’s journey as a parent; the glowing ‘3519’ do tug me to put up posts, harboring towards ‘populist’ subjects. It’s tempting, really, but deep down inside, I know if I do that, it will no longer be a blog about a dad writing for his 2 sons. Yes, I’m keeping (trying to) my ego in check. ‘LOL’

So I will soldier on, and write, nice stuffs, mundane stuffs, some day to day stuffs, not-so-nice stuffs; so at the end of the day, I sincerely do hope, the 2 most important readers in the world, find solace and relevance in these writings.

For all my other readers, thank you for the support and it is really very humbling to know that what I write, from the deep caverns of my mind, resonates with you. It gives me a conviction to continue writing, and sharing insightful nuggets about my thoughts about being a parent, parenting and how it our daily affairs affects us.

A letter to our daughter by Mark Zuckerberg

A letter to our daughter
Dear Max,
Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.
Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.
While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.
We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.
We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.
But right now, we don’t always collectively direct our resources at the biggest opportunities and problems your generation will face.
Consider disease. Today we spend about 50 times more as a society treating people who are sick than we invest in research so you won’t get sick in the first place.
Medicine has only been a real science for less than 100 years, and we’ve already seen complete cures for some diseases and good progress for others. As technology accelerates, we have a real shot at preventing, curing or managing all or most of the rest in the next 100 years.
Today, most people die from five things — heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases — and we can make faster progress on these and other problems.
Once we recognize that your generation and your children’s generation may not have to suffer from disease, we collectively have a responsibility to tilt our investments a bit more towards the future to make this reality. Your mother and I want to do our part.
Curing disease will take time. Over short periods of five or ten years, it may not seem like we’re making much of a difference. But over the long term, seeds planted now will grow, and one day, you or your children will see what we can only imagine: a world without suffering from disease.
There are so many opportunities just like this. If society focuses more of its energy on these great challenges, we will leave your generation a much better world.
• • •
Our hopes for your generation focus on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality.
Advancing human potential is about pushing the boundaries on how great a human life can be.
Can you learn and experience 100 times more than we do today?
Can our generation cure disease so you live much longer and healthier lives?
Can we connect the world so you have access to every idea, person and opportunity?
Can we harness more clean energy so you can invent things we can’t conceive of today while protecting the environment?
Can we cultivate entrepreneurship so you can build any business and solve any challenge to grow peace and prosperity?
Promoting equality is about making sure everyone has access to these opportunities — regardless of the nation, families or circumstances they are born into.
Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress.
Today we are robbed of the potential so many have to offer. The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world.
Can our generation eliminate poverty and hunger?
Can we provide everyone with basic healthcare?
Can we build inclusive and welcoming communities?
Can we nurture peaceful and understanding relationships between people of all nations?
Can we truly empower everyone — women, children, underrepresented minorities, immigrants and the unconnected?
If our generation makes the right investments, the answer to each of these questions can be yes — and hopefully within your lifetime.
• • •
This mission — advancing human potential and promoting equality — will require a new approach for all working towards these goals.
We must make long term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years. The greatest challenges require very long time horizons and cannot be solved by short term thinking.
We must engage directly with the people we serve. We can’t empower people if we don’t understand the needs and desires of their communities.
We must build technology to make change. Many institutions invest money in these challenges, but most progress comes from productivity gains through innovation.
We must participate in policy and advocacy to shape debates. Many institutions are unwilling to do this, but progress must be supported by movements to be sustainable.
We must back the strongest and most independent leaders in each field. Partnering with experts is more effective for the mission than trying to lead efforts ourselves.
We must take risks today to learn lessons for tomorrow. We’re early in our learning and many things we try won’t work, but we’ll listen and learn and keep improving.
• • •
Our experience with personalized learning, internet access, and community education and health has shaped our philosophy.
Our generation grew up in classrooms where we all learned the same things at the same pace regardless of our interests or needs.
Your generation will set goals for what you want to become — like an engineer, health worker, writer or community leader. You’ll have technology that understands how you learn best and where you need to focus. You’ll advance quickly in subjects that interest you most, and get as much help as you need in your most challenging areas. You’ll explore topics that aren’t even offered in schools today. Your teachers will also have better tools and data to help you achieve your goals.
Even better, students around the world will be able to use personalized learning tools over the internet, even if they don’t live near good schools. Of course it will take more than technology to give everyone a fair start in life, but personalized learning can be one scalable way to give all children a better education and more equal opportunity.
We’re starting to build this technology now, and the results are already promising. Not only do students perform better on tests, but they gain the skills and confidence to learn anything they want. And this journey is just beginning. The technology and teaching will rapidly improve every year you’re in school.
Your mother and I have both taught students and we’ve seen what it takes to make this work. It will take working with the strongest leaders in education to help schools around the world adopt personalized learning. It will take engaging with communities, which is why we’re starting in our San Francisco Bay Area community. It will take building new technology and trying new ideas. And it will take making mistakes and learning many lessons before achieving these goals.
But once we understand the world we can create for your generation, we have a responsibility as a society to focus our investments on the future to make this reality.
Together, we can do this. And when we do, personalized learning will not only help students in good schools, it will help provide more equal opportunity to anyone with an internet connection.
• • •
Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet.
People often think of the internet as just for entertainment or communication. But for the majority of people in the world, the internet can be a lifeline.
It provides education if you don’t live near a good school. It provides health information on how to avoid diseases or raise healthy children if you don’t live near a doctor. It provides financial services if you don’t live near a bank. It provides access to jobs and opportunities if you don’t live in a good economy.
The internet is so important that for every 10 people who gain internet access, about one person is lifted out of poverty and about one new job is created.
Yet still more than half of the world’s population — more than 4 billion people — don’t have access to the internet.
If our generation connects them, we can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. We can also help hundreds of millions of children get an education and save millions of lives by helping people avoid disease.
This is another long term effort that can be advanced by technology and partnership. It will take inventing new technology to make the internet more affordable and bring access to unconnected areas. It will take partnering with governments, non-profits and companies. It will take engaging with communities to understand what they need. Good people will have different views on the best path forward, and we will try many efforts before we succeed.
But together we can succeed and create a more equal world.
• • •
Technology can’t solve problems by itself. Building a better world starts with building strong and healthy communities.
Children have the best opportunities when they can learn. And they learn best when they’re healthy.
Health starts early — with loving family, good nutrition and a safe, stable environment.
Children who face traumatic experiences early in life often develop less healthy minds and bodies. Studies show physical changes in brain development leading to lower cognitive ability.
Your mother is a doctor and educator, and she has seen this firsthand.
If you have an unhealthy childhood, it’s difficult to reach your full potential.
If you have to wonder whether you’ll have food or rent, or worry about abuse or crime, then it’s difficult to reach your full potential.
If you fear you’ll go to prison rather than college because of the color of your skin, or that your family will be deported because of your legal status, or that you may be a victim of violence because of your religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, then it’s difficult to reach your full potential.
We need institutions that understand these issues are all connected. That’s the philosophy of the new type of school your mother is building.
By partnering with schools, health centers, parent groups and local governments, and by ensuring all children are well fed and cared for starting young, we can start to treat these inequities as connected. Only then can we collectively start to give everyone an equal opportunity.
It will take many years to fully develop this model. But it’s another example of how advancing human potential and promoting equality are tightly linked. If we want either, we must first build inclusive and healthy communities.
• • •
For your generation to live in a better world, there is so much more our generation can do.
Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges. I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work. By starting at a young age, we hope to see compounding benefits throughout our lives.
As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.
We’ll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you’ll have many questions about why and how we’re doing this.
As we become parents and enter this next chapter of our lives, we want to share our deep appreciation for everyone who makes this possible.
We can do this work only because we have a strong global community behind us. Building Facebook has created resources to improve the world for the next generation. Every member of the Facebook community is playing a part in this work.
We can make progress towards these opportunities only by standing on the shoulders of experts — our mentors, partners and many incredible people whose contributions built these fields.
And we can only focus on serving this community and this mission because we are surrounded by loving family, supportive friends and amazing colleagues. We hope you will have such deep and inspiring relationships in your life too.
Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can’t wait to see what you bring to this world.
Love,
Mom and Dad
Beautiful Kuta Beach
Beautiful Kuta Beach

Shopping!

It was a day dedicated to exploring the Kuta strip, as well as shopping, your mother’s vice. As Kuta Station Hotel is conveniently located almost smack middle of the Kuta belt, we came out, walked right all the way up to Hard Rock Hotel, exploring and munching, grabbing some touristy stuffs from Matahari. It was a hot day, and after a sun kissed day in Water Bom, we were sun kissed some more walking our beat on Kuta. There is a lot to see, and do, and everywhere, people will tout you for business. Not in a overly oppressive way, but they genuinely want to part money from your wallets, and if you are keen to, you have to bargain, aggressively. Prices can plummet from RP 120,000 to just RP 45,000. And your mum drives a hard bargain. She cuts the price until the stall owner pleaded her for profits. But that is how it works, everything transacted in good spirits and commerce.

Cheap after a hard bargain!
Cheap after a hard bargain!

There are some who are cheeky enough to ask where we are from, and wants us to give them our Singapore currency as souvenirs. ‘Yeah right.’ I told these lame jokers, I only have Rupiah with me.

We went to Kuta Beach via the main gates and are greeted by more touts, they sell everything, you need, and if you don’t stop, they can’t stop you, so we have to ignore them and walk and enjoy our stroll. The view from the beach is wonderful, the openness, the vastness of the Indian Ocean. The beach is beautiful, sans the touts, it is a place you can really sit and relax.

Kuta beach, sans the local touts
Kuta beach, sans the local touts

We walked on and shopped for more gifts, and then headed back to our hotel to deposit the goodies, before heading out again, turning left, for Lippo Mall, another shopping mall which is similar to the Discovery Mall we visited last night.

But is was not to be, Lippo Mall is much cleaner, more up market, the toilets are cleaner and they have a hypermart there, which we walked through, checking out their goods. It was a nice spacious mall with a pleasant surprise, they have a cineplex at the basement showing some nice movies.

We came out of the mall and something nice was happening at the Mall front, there were some Volkswagen streetvan selling food, and these vans can be driven on the road. The stall owners were game enough for the both of you to climb in, on board for some photographs. It was nice as we do not have such food vans in Singapore.

Food truck @ Lippo Mall
Food truck @ Lippo Mall
Food truck! Volkswagen style!
Food truck! Volkswagen style!
Food bike!
Food bike!

We took our stroll back to Discovery Mall, so that you dad can grab a sunset view of Kuta. It was a magnificent sight! We can see the sunset, along with all the sights of Kuta, the folks having fun at the beach, planes landing, the waves, the surf, you can stand and everyone is there to see the movement of the sun, slowly across the horizon, that bright red, orange spot light we called the Sun, setting. And once the sun is completely over the horizon, we can officially call it night time! Of course there are still some residual light and it is still bring before the sun really goes down.

Hindu customs at Bali
Hindu customs at Bali

It was at the beach that I asked one of the Balinese why they have offerings everywhere on the floors, at escalators, in front of shops, streets, stalls. That is where we learned that the Balinese made such offerings 3 times a day, and it is a bad thing to have stepped on them. Caution boys!

We walked back and pondered what to have for dinner, and we settled for a place just 2 hops away from our hotel, they served a decent meal of local fare and western food. We headed back to the hotel, slurping on ice cream we bought outside our hotel. It was a good way to end the day.

The sun over Kuta
The sun over Kuta

Our final Bali Day

We woke up to have our breakfast before heading to the airport for our flight at 1045hrs. Which means we have to be at the airport by 0845hrs, which means we need to be on the road by 0800hrs. Your mum has everything worked out and we got our taxi from the hotel which delivered us to the airport in less than 10 minutes in a Monday Kuta morning traffic.

Checking in is a breeze and we have that settled quickly, thereafter we proceeded to WH Smith to dispose off all our Rupiahs, your mum bought a whole lot of cooking seasonings, and other munchies, I spend the last bit on a packet of Fisherman’s Friend and a stick of bubble gum.

The place where we unloaded all our Rupiah
The place where we unloaded all our Rupiah

Until now, you boys are still harbouring hopes that the plane will get delayed by some volcanic ashes so that your holidays can be extended. Unfortunately, or fortunately, that didn’t happen and we flew back in comfort.

The flight was a very good one, on a very clear day, we can see clouds and the sea, as well as the land. Ian, you spotted a couple of cruise ships at the sea and it was truly a great day to be flying. There were clouds floating by us, like cottons. Some really massive clouds from a distance really makes you think that they are solid enough to walk on, and live in there. It sure looks like a piece of solid real estate and it is no surprise if people will think that there might be a heaven lurking in there somewhere.

We landed in Changi Airport, home sweet home and ended our Bali holidays. It is certainly an experience for us to remember!

Family shot before departure
Family shot before departure

Day 2 of Bali Trip-Kuta Station Hotel and Water Bom

The boys chilling at the front lobby
The boys chilling at the front lobby
Our sweet welcome drink from the hotel
Our sweet welcome drink from the hotel

We reached the hotel like about 9.40pm. tired after a day’s worth of running, flight delays and; our holiday hadn’t officially begun!

So at the front lobby of Kuta Station Hotel, we began the process of checking in, with all the documentation.

Your mother checking in...
Your mother checking in…

Thanks to the internet, we’ve already check out the hotel grounds, the reviews and the pictures, we liked what we saw on the net, and it was exactly that when we reached the place. The service was great, and the bellboy was a great help and extended his services to great lengths. They gave us room 3101, everything was fine except the smell.

It was an intense sewage smell that seeps out from the toilet, And there is no way we can escape that, we called the room service who came and sprayed some kind of deodorizer which neutralized the bad smell, it was a tactical move, and not long after the smell returned, the next day.

Too tired from the day’s adventure, we decide to called their room service and had our dinner outside our room, the food was great, I ordered a pizza and it tasted good! Everything was done clean, and the food was wrapped in cling film, we had no issues with the food.

Wayne's beef sausage hotdog thing.
Wayne’s beef sausage hotdog thing.
Ian with his chicken stripe thingy
Ian with his chicken stripe thingy
station pizza, its actually quite good
station pizza, its actually quite good
Wife's Balinese spread. The chillie is super spicy!
Wife’s Balinese spread. The chillie is super spicy!

Day 2: Water Bom

We woke up rather late and had our first breakfast at the hotel, but before all that we called the room service due to the smell and they came, again with the spray. Your mum took ownership of the can and we used it liberally. Really, really liberally.

At the entrance, waiting for fun to begin!
At the entrance, waiting for fun to begin!

We took the streets after a quick breakfast, for our destination fascination, Water Bom! We choose Kuta Station Hotel simply because it was just a scan 5 minutes stroll from Water Bom. Security was tight in Water Bom, as there was a compulsory bag check, which was done by a very freindly security guard.

Needless to say, you boys are very, very excited about it. We got through quickly with the admissions and headed off to fun! Out of instinct, we headed to the kiddy area, which is not a bad idea. We wanted a gazebo, and we were worried that ALL of it will be taken.

Owner for the day lah
Owner for the day lah
Gazebo number 26, best!
Gazebo number 26, best!

The very friendly staff at the locker area helped us with our woes, luckily, there are still gazebos available (actually a lot of them are not taken up) and we took her suggestion ‘number 26’ which is in my opinion, THE BEST GAZEBO IN WATER BOM. Firstly, it overlooked the entire Funtastic kiddy pool play area, and just next to us, a life guard, so it is like having a security guard for our gazebo. And it is the only lone gazebo there, the rest are clustered near the toilet and other places. The breeze is good for number 26 and all other amenities, food, top up counter, locker, toilet are all nearby. Location, Location, Location…

Funtastic play area. you boys spend the most time here.
Funtastic play area. you boys spend the most time here.
At the Funtastic kiddy play area, just outside our gazebo
At the Funtastic area, just outside our gazebo
Ian having fun
Ian having fun

We played with everything our family can play, that means some slides that Wayne’s too short to go for, we have to omit, which is the boomerang, that ride needs at least 1.2m of height for entry.

Ian at the Twin Racer.
Ian at the Twin Racer.

Wayne, you’re most game for Twin Racer, and made no hesitation. For Ian, you were rather apprehensive, but after seeing you little didi went for the ride, you decided to join the fun. Your mum called it the ‘Aladdin’s ride’ as you have to use a blue foam mat for the ride, which looks something like Aladdin’s magic carpet.

I tried the ‘toilet bowl flush’ ride and that is one of the most exhilarating ride ever!!! You step into a capsule and the bottom is a transparent piece of plastic, which acts like a trap door, it opens and you drop, near vertical down the tube, and slide, screaming down all the way. Wonderful adrenaline rush!

The only family ride we took together was the Python where all 4 of us can squeeze into the dinghy for an exciting, white water rafting style sliding down a dark tunnel, we all screamed all the way down!

‘toilet bowl flush’ ride … is one of the most exhilarating ride ever!!!

We also tried the pipeline, another ride that the little Wayne can take without hesitation, I have a feeling that you are going to grow up to become an adrenaline junkie.

And I have a feeling we will be returning to Water Bom, because there are some rides that is too high for Wayne, and we will come back and finish our unfinished ride.

The money we paid are well worth it, the food is good, your mum ordered an apple crumble and chocolate brownie, and cheese fries for you boys, it was delivered to the gazebo and they will return to collect the empty plates.

Overall, we loved Water Bom, it is fun safe and very thrilling. Very convenient, we walk out we can find food, and convenience. It is so vibrant and they really made us feel very welcomed.

Wayne with his Conetto
Wayne with his Cornetto
Ian with his Magnum
Ian with his Magnum
The food! which is very Good!
The food! which is very Good!

We ended the day around 6pm, the time the water park closes for the day. After trudging back to the hotel, we bath and cleaned up a bit, before heading out again to get dinner at Coco Bistro, at Discovery Mall. Consistent to the spirit of Balinese hospitality, we had a hearty meal whilst enjoying the good service. By then, Wayne is beyond tired and we head back to the hotel to grab our night’s rest.

After Waterbom, Wayne's too tired to walk
After Waterbom, Wayne’s too tired to walk

Our Bali Adventure-Day One, The Plane trip

3K241 departing .0715hrs, gates open!
3K241 departing .0715hrs, gates open!
Terminal 1, at about 6am in the morning
Terminal 1, at about 6am in the morning
SONY DSC
Gate C11, waiting to board our plane…

We can choose our trip, but we can’t choose our adventures.

P_20151127_165449_1_p
boarding yay!

We experiences exactly that when we depart for our Bali trip on 27 November, a warm Friday morning. We booked a cab, we took the first early flight to Bali, Jetstar 3K241, on an Airbus A320, and we were all excited about what lies ahead. The flight will be about 2 hours 40 mins tops, and we settled down with the take off, and other mundane experiences of taking an aeroplane.

Ian, your timing was impeccable when you asked your mother,’what time are we landing?’ To which your mum replied, ‘in just about 30 minutes.’ We’ve been on the air for about 2 hours and looking forward to touching down on Bali about 9 or 10 in the morning, on schedule. Cool.

‘hate to be the bearer of bad news…’

That was when the PA system came on and the captain of the plane told us, he ‘hate to be the bearer of bad news…’ (His exact words!!!) and proceed to professionally deliver it to us, due to the volcano erupting spewing volcanic ash into the atmosphere….(I was still think at this part, ok, our landing will be delayed. Which is fine. Still) … ‘We are unable to land and we will be returning to Singapore’… Yes… returning to Singapore…people in the plane was shocked in disbelief…. Not to mention an air of disappointment. The captain proceed to sum it up… ‘Safety first…’ And that was that. And to add on, the return flight would be another 2 hours…. Of on-air dismay…

Landed back in Singapore, about 11.40am
Landed back in Singapore, about 11.40am

It was no fault of anyone actually, it’s just one of those things, unexpected. While we were flying back, I was still half entertaining thoughts that ‘Hey, things might take a turn for the better and we might make another U turn and head for Bali!’ That’s me entertaining wishful thinking, but of course the reality is that, there is only so much fuel the plane hold, and once a decision is made, it is made and will not revert.

The look on your face was utterly disappointment, Wayne, I don’t know about you, Ian, because you were sitting with your mother, but from what I know from her, she said you look just as sian. Well, what to do, we are all encapsulated in an airborne flying tube, with no control over what has just happened, we cannot march into the cockpit and commandeered the plane to land in Bali, the pilot is doing his job for the safety of the entire plane. It is a sense of helplessness, that our plans for the day, or even for the whole holiday might be in jeopardy.

So your mum and I worked out our contingent, claim insurance. If we can take an afternoon flight, we would, we might lost a day, but we can still salvage the rest of the trip, and the highlight, Water Bom.

So the plane made its way back and we sat pondering our fate. The crew was very nice and tried their best to make everyone comfortable. We landed in Singapore, with the cabin crew announcing ‘Welcome to Singapore.’ There were a lot of ‘pfffft…’ And hmph!!!….’ In the air but everyone knew and understood it was not really Jetstar’s fault. It was their company’s policy on safety, and we cannot argue with them on that, better we land back in Singapore, than to have other untoward situations happen elsewhere.

DSC_0137 As it was Singapore Changi Airport, we were not short of help. We were told to proceed to Transit counter ‘C’ to check out our alternatives. As we were amongst the last to leave the plane, a queue has already formed at the counter. The Changi Airport staffs wasted no time helping us, by allowing us to help ourselves with their inexhaustive supply of Nescafe Canned coffee, Milo, bottled water, biscuits, Oreos. They helped to allay our inconveniences. The staffs were also very helpful in ‘babysitting’ the both of you while you parents handled the process. It always feels good to be home, even if we were inconvenienced.

We learned that there is another flight out for us, which will depart in 1525hrs, which means we have a little more than 2 hours to kill in the terminal, we were given meal vouchers to settle our lunch at Burger King (honestly we weren’t too starved after gobbling the biscuits and drinks), but want not waste not! We got our meals and had our tummies filled.

DSC_0145
kill time at a terminal 3 play area

We explored the terminals a bit, since this is quite a rare chance for us to have free time, we went to terminal 3 to explore and then took a sky train back, after going to our gate at C11 only to find out that the gate was empty, we panicked and your mum rushed ahead to check what happened, did we missed the flight???!

Delayed!
Delayed!

Turned out we didn’t and the gate was changed to D38, which is at the other side of the terminal. So we rushed there, only to find out the flight was delayed! Until 1705hrs, gates open only at 1605hrs. So we sat and waited again. It sure feels a bit like the Amazing Race! Without the prize money.

So much happening for Day 1! And we have not reached Bali! Eventually, we did, board the plane; the plane took off; the plane flew for the entire journey; and landed in Bali!. This time there was an euphoric cheer in the whole cabin, when they announced “Welcome to Bali!”

Our 'Lucky' SG 50 plane
Our ‘Lucky’ SG 50 plane