Archive for the 'Daitaoha Travels' Category

Last day of holiday

Last day in Singapore, also known as the day you try to stuff as much food as possible into your protesting stomach. We are tamchiak like that. Before we went to bed, ah Ma Whatsapped me from her room (does everyone do that because we do that a lot!) listing all the food items we had to finish off, it went something like sio bee, Lao Ban tau hway, Tai Cheong egg tarts, cheng teng, nashi pears …. 😱😱😱 Despite this list, I am still regretting not having another bowl of lor mee, maybe it’s best to stop while I have such fond memories of that first bowl.

The day started well with a mug of Toastbox kopi, for some reason I keep thinking that their kopis are very popular with Singaporeans and I should try? Anyway, it was very nice but I’m not sure that it was nicer than the ones I’ve had at kopitiams? I will miss kopis so much!

Ah Ma had nasi Padang which was very good. She let me have a few bites and everything I tasted was very tasty, she was quite pleased.

We also ordered chai tow kueh to share, I didn’t eat much of this but I remember it was good the last time I had it.

Or luak/ oyster omelette was piping hot and yummy, the oysters were fat and juicy, egg crispy, so good. I have to confess these were just shared dishes, my main was chicken rice and ah pa had curry laksa πŸ˜“.

Ah Ma asked me to take a photo of this attap chee from our ais kachang for my sis. She loves attap chee.

It was a back breaking day because Saitaoha was at her needy best (more on that later) and I ended up baby wearing her instead of the baby! My poor parents had to take turns carrying Saitaomei, I tell you, Salonpas is a must in our household. We stopped for a rest at Taka where we finally bought Tai Cheong eggtarts coz no queue. Ah Ma was like ‘aiyoh I only bought 2 eggtarts, why they package until so nice?’

Eggtarts were nice, I don’t know that they were wow though, maybe I’m used to the puff pastry egg tarts in Perth? But they were still good eggtarts.

It started pouring again late afternoon. Saitaoha fell asleep at 3pm because she was so tired after our day out. Poor kid has been walking so much (she hates being carried and doesn’t like strollers so we didn’t bring one) she has a blister on her foot. Ah Ma and I were resigned that late nap = late bedtime ‘we die loh’ she exclaimed dejectedly πŸ˜…. Anyway we still took advantage of her nap to sneak out for last minute shopping. That’s when Ah Ma and I shared a Yole, not as good as Ilao Ilao!

On our way back home, Ah Ma stopped and said ‘oh oh, what’s that ?!’ She pointed at Saitaomei’s head.

She thought it was bird crap and burst into laughter when I told her sheepishly that it was the chocolate sauce from our Yole. ‘That’s what happens when your mother is a tamchiak gui‘ she laughed. I told her that earlier in the day ah pa also noticed a grain of chicken rice on Saitaomei’s head πŸ˜“, she almost collapsed in laughter in the lift. Took out my mobile with her shaking with laughter hands and snapped this photo saying ‘quick must take photo to show your sisters’. It’s so nice to be the joke of the family 😏.

We were planning to go to our usual zhi char for Chap Goh Meh but the heavy downpour cancelled all plans for a feast. To be honest, we were so stuffed anyway. Ended up taking away some food which we had very late.

Looks messy but I had yong tao fu. I only had it around 9pm so it tasted very nice haha.

Saitaoha has been driving me mad! Her neediness and whining had reached new heights since we’ve arrived in Singapore. During the start of the holiday, I thought she was just delighted that I was going to be around 24/7 and that the novelty would soon wear off. But it’s grown worse! She refuses to let anyone else carry her or hold her hand except me, she cries if I leave the room, she insists that she wants milk if she sees me feeding Saitaomei, she cries when I am carrying Saitaomei and wants to be carried at the same time. It’s driving me mad and I keep getting so impatient with her. SIGH, I don’t know what to do. Part of me thinks I need to discipline her, another part of me is fed up with myself for telling her off. Lately she’s learned words like ‘wait’ ‘stop’ ‘sorry’, it makes me feel sad because I know she’s picked it up from me 😒.

I didn’t realise we could see the TP central shopping street lights from our window, so pretty! I love the night views of Singapore from our windows. Good bye Singapore, I will miss you, thank you for another gorgeous holidayπŸ’•.


2nd last day in Singapore

Sigh, it’s our last day in Singapore tomorrow, which means our holiday is nearly over 😭😭. I guess I shouldn’t be greedy, after all I’ve had a glorious time for close to a month, it’s time to go back to reality.

It’s funny how one’s mind starts adjusting out of holiday mode automatically now that the end is near. I have been messaging R to ask him to buy necessities in preparation for our return. I’ve also started checking Aldi specials online , I guess auntie mode is back on πŸ˜….

Breakfast of the champions this morning. I actually ordered this hoping Saitaoha would eat some but nope food strike back on. She eats best at home with food that we cook for her.

Lek tau suan, my ah ma’s version is nicer, she makes it using the instant pot!

Ah Ma had vegetarian beehoon, I tried some and it was delicious.

Ah Ma and I sneaked out to Nex during Saitaoha’s nap. Ah pa said she was very good with him when she woke up, apparently she’s only super whiny and needy when I’m around 😭. Dapaoed Tspellstrouble ‘s favourite ToriQ for our late lunch. We skipped dinner again! Sigh too much yummy food too little stomach space. I don’t think I’ll even get to have another Loh mee before we leave.

The weather cleared up so I brought the munchkin to the playground. She enjoyed herself I think, she had a really indulgent and nice holiday. We’re hoping she will settle back into her usual routine and habits when we go home.

Spotted a cat on our walk home. She was a little scared but thrilled at the same time, kept saying goodbye to the cat when we left.

I will miss our night outings when we return to Perth. There’s so much more to see and do at night in Kuching and Singapore. Ah pa wanted to bring Saitaoha to see the lights. I do love Toa Payoh central, such a great hub.

Can you spot the two ah mahs in the photo? They were having a chat in Teochew along the lines of

Ah mah A: nowadays my memory is so bad. I remember things from long long ago, but things that just happened, I forget !!

Ah mah B: Wah you too? Me also! My son always says Ma you remember everything from the old days but you can’t remember anything from today!

Sigh, I wish my parents could stay young forever.

Last night in Kuching

So my holiday in Kuching, my hometown, is finally over. We’re flying out to Singapore early in the morning then heading back to Perth in a few days.

The weeks have flown by. I have really enjoyed this retreat back home. It was exactly what I needed to reenergise my body and recharge my soul.

Both kids are asleep so my parents and I shared the last bowl of Sunny Hill pandan ice cream. I think I have successfully converted ah Ma to be a fan of this ice cream.

My parents went all out to make sure I was well rested and enjoyed my holiday. During the brief periods when Saitaoha was napping, ah pa would stay home to tend to her while ah Ma would drive us out to go shopping or food hunting. I didn’t even request to go anywhere, but she would drive to Sunny Hill even though she was unsure how to get there, because she knew I loved the pandan icecream there.

Yesterday I went to ζ‹œ my gung gung. I apologised to him for taking my parents away from mah mah but said that I knew he would understand. I told him that Mah Mah was well looked after, but in a way I wish her suffering would end because she no longer recognises us or is aware of her surroundings. I don’t know that she is happy and I can only imagine how sad my father is when he sees her in this state. During Chinese New Year, I told ah pa that Mah Mah turned her head towards me because I was holding Saitaomei and she was crying loudly. A few days later we were with Mah Mah in the garden and Saitaomei started crying. Instead of asking me whether she’s hungry or hurrying me to tend to her like ah pa usually would, he asked me to hold the crying Saitaomei nearer to Mah Mah. So I put Saitaomei on Mah Mah’s lap but Mah Mah didn’t even flicker. After a while ah pa sat back resigned and motioned me to go soothe Saitaomei ‘eh sai liao (可δ»₯δΊ†οΌ‰’ he said. My heart broke.

I said goodbye to Mah Mah this afternoon, I asked her whether she remembered how whenever I visited her during uni holidays she would hug me and say ‘Mah Mah ju lai ju eh, lu ju lai ju kwang (Mah Mah is getting shorter and you’re getting taller).’ It’s been almost a decade since my grandparents’ home was sold and they moved in with us, but I always look out for their house whenever we drive pass it. My lasting memory is of Mah Mah standing in the porch waving and shouting ‘bye bye!’ to us. We would roll down the car window and wave and shout ‘bye bye Mah Mah!!’ I wish we could return to those days.

I have savoured staying in my family home. R and I are from the same hometown, so for the past years when we’ve been home, I’ve stayed at his house.

This time there are so many things that I noticed about our house that I took for granted. Like our extra high ceilings. And lights that have been changed. And walls that seem to be of a different colour from what I remember. I asked my parents about these changes and they tell me all these little improvements were made when my sisters got married or before my brother’s wedding. I’d never noticed how much effort my parents put in to make sure our family home looked good for these occasions.

I will miss our lush and green garden with the graceful trees that are now so tall. When I was young these trees and their branches were still within arms’ reach.

I took photographs of Saitaoha on this swing. This swing means so much to us because this was where my grandparents sat every evening when they visited us. When my siblings and I were kids, this swing was our imaginary train and ship.

Ah pa’s organ which he still plays. When we were young, ah pa would play on the organ while waiting for us to get ready to go out for Sunday breakfast. We grew up with music played by my father.

I will miss our collection of books. Some so old and worn the covers are taped up. Some are new and brought back by my sisters and myself whenever we returned home from Uni.

I had a really good look at the many photos around our house this holiday. This caricature of my parents was drawn at Sanrioland during our family trip to Japan during Sakura season. Most of our family photos are taken at famous landmarks around the world. My parents brought us for family trips every year. We travelled to Europe, US, Japan, South Africa and many other countries. It was only when I was older that I realise how expensive these family trips were and how much my parents sacrificed (not to mention the work!) to ensure we could see the world.

I love these stickers on our bed frames. We bought them during our US trip to Disneyworld. When I was young, I would touch these stickers and believe that they were magic and bring us luck.

I love my family home. It’s my sanctuary. When I was struggling in Perth, I kept dreaming of my home. Some day this house will be sold, but the memories will remain. I hope my parents will eventually settle in Australia and I can help to create a home for them that will bring them as much happiness as our family home in Kuching.


I don’t know whether I should stop blogging on Dayre! At first I thought I would continue till the last day of 28 Feb but now they’ve extended the closure date for a few weeks?

I should really just bite the bullet and stop. Or else my sister will be like ‘eh we still have to save for you ok!!’

It’s our last few days in Kuching, sigh I’m going to miss home so much.

The glorious food, gosh I will miss this bak kut teh.

Their pork leg rice is so good too.

We had a good chat with the stall owners today, it’s surreal to think we’ve known them for at least 20 -30 years?? Gosh time really flies. My babies, please don’t grow up too quick. Saitaoha is already growing way too quick for me, I miss her baby days.

This kid ah, is really enjoying a holiday a bit too much. Diet totally gone out the window. She’s most comfortable when we’re back home eating home cooked food though. But glutton mummy has to indulge so err baby has to come along for the ride. Never mind, detox when we go back ok?

We finally had good news today, the five minutes phonecall in the car was nerve wrecking. I was crossing my fingers and pretending to be all cool and calm while ah Ma went ‘ya? Ya??’ on the phone. But it’s all good so hooray!

This feels like a year where we have to jump through a few hoops and obstacles to get where we want to be. I guess it’s not that bad because although it’s a longer route, we always get to our destination in the end.


I love this traditional ζ°‘ε›½ outfit that ah pa bought for Saitaoha. This Chinese New Year I’ve been having fun dressing up the kids. I am slowly getting sucked in to the joy of dressing up daughters. So many pretty and cute dresses…

This little girl is such a bad sleeper but such a sweetie pie. She’s in a sailor dress gifted by her yee yee. I think my girls are mostly dressed by their grandparents and aunties.

Saitaoha’s matching dress, also a gift from her da yee. I love this dress too.

Jiejie kissing meimei, but meimei doesn’t look impressed. Saitaoha is actually pretty good with her little sister, she comes running to me with her sister’s dummy if she hears her crying. There are times when she demand for my attention when she sees me carrying her meimei, luckily that’s not too often.

Saitaoha is really having a great time this holiday. So am I. I’m getting to spend a lot of quality time with my daughters and my parents without the stress and exhaustion. I’m starting to miss R and we’re talking a lot more online across the ocean than when we were face to face under one roof.

Tonight Saitaoha was accompanying me in the kitchen while I was warming up her milk. We both heard the sound of fireworks going off and she gasped. I carried her up in my arms and we looked out the kitchen window to see fireworks bursting in the air. For the next minute, we just stood there admiring the pretty sparks as they fell in front of us. It was bliss and I felt so happy to be able to share that magical moment with my baby.

Gong Xi Gong Xi

The first day of the Lunar New Year is almost over. It was a different sort of εˆδΈ€ without my siblings and R, but still a memorable and good one with my girls and my parents.

Saitaoha was cranky because she slept late last night and didn’t nap much in the day. Luckily she cheered up in the afternoon after a good nap. We went to Spring to stock up on fresh milk and stopped by Sugarbun for a soft serve icecream. Due to Saitaoha’s obsession with ‘aiji’, we have been indulging her this holiday and it feels as if there are lots of heartwarming scenes of us eating icecream and soft serves on the steps of TP hub, in our TP flat, in our kuching home and all around town.

It’s going to be a quiet CNY, we’ve hardly prepared for it knowing that lots of people won’t even know my parents are home and therefore we won’t have visitors. I think the peak of our CNY visiting was over since my grandparents became unwell. We didn’t like it much then and found CNY visitors a hassle. I remember us siblings huddling behind our living room on the staircase where we would sneak CNY snacks, peer out at our parents’ visitors and gossip about them. I miss those days now.

Ending this post with a few photos of the kids.

Bak kut teh

Today we had bak kut teh for brunch, it was my most satisfying Kuching meal to date. This bak kut teh stall is special to our family because we’ve been eating their bkt since we were kids. It was our Sunday brunch go to place, sometimes we ate there so often I was even sick of it. But now it is our must go place whenever we return. Over the years they have shifted locations and at one point the uncle even retired. So glad that he got bored and ε‡Ίε±± again.

The couple that run the stall know us so well and have seen us grow up. I wonder how they feel now that they see us with our kids in tow.

We usually order two pots, one with lean meat for my ah pa, one ‘Cham Cham’ with mixed porky bits for us to share. It’s really delicious and comforting stuff.

We also always order a serving or pork leg rice, my sister especially loves their intestines, always disappointed (like today) when they don’t prepare 倧肠.

Hehe Saitaoha loved the bak kut teh too! I wonder whether this stall will still remain open and the kids will eat this growing up. Hopefully uncle won’t retire for years to come.

March 2018
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