Monday, 30 April 2012

Baby updates at 29w3d

Just had yet another prenatal check-up today. My doctor was on holiday so I was attended to by a midwife. She said baby was head down - as at this morning - with his back on my left. I like to imagine what he's doing when I feel him move :) Which is very often these days. He moves less when I'm moving, and he seems to know when I lie down (as opposed to just sitting down) and when I wake up. Very fun, especially when he rolls against my belly wall :)

Also handed in my "assignment" at the clinic today. For the whole day from Sunday 10 am to Monday 9.30 am, I peed into a paper cup and poured everything into a huge can. Had to remember to do that three times in the middle of the night too. And that huge can of pee stood between the milk can and the water bottle on the top shelf of the fridge during that time *.* Doc instructed me to keep it in the fridge *.*

Otherwise, this was a very unnecessary checkup. She made a copy of my glucose level log and handed me an order for yet another ultrasound, and sent me on my way! I could have faxed them my log, and I don't think I have time for another ultrasound cos I can't get an appointment right away plus it takes time for the results to get sent to the clinic AND my last check-up is next Monday. I shall just ignore that and leave it to Singapore..

So, anyway, after almost a week of tracking my food intake and glucose levels, I'm thankful that I can still eat white rice and pasta! Potato and white bread - and a huge mug of hot chocolate! - will spike my glucose level. Pretty sad though, cos I love them potato and white bread! I combined them when I made seafood chowder last night :) But my glucose level hit an all-time high *.*

Felt my first Braxton Hicks contraction - or at least this was the first I felt! - yesterday while I was in the toilet. At first, I just felt strange.. Can't describe it.. Anyway, the entire lower half of my belly turned rock hard! But it didn't hurt at all. Got Sito to feel it too :) And it happened again this morning as I was goro-ing in bed. Guess it's going to be a frequent occurrence from now..

Let me share an imaginary conversation with baby last week..

Baby: Mama, look at me!

*kick and punch and roll*

My whole belly was shaking. And when I whipped out my camera, he stopped. And a minute after I put down the camera, he moved again!

Repeat above n times.

mf: 很好玩 hor?!

Can't wait for real conversations with him! :)

PS: At a lecture at Kellogg this evening, I had a small water bottle resting on my belly when he kicked, and the bottle made a little jerk! :p

PS2: Note to self - don't lift my legs one by one anymore; it hurts! This will have a huge impact on how I pull leggings on and off and how I dry my calves and feet in the shower *.*

Thursday, 26 April 2012

To Holland without a passport!

Holland, MI, that is :)

Friday, 20 Apr 2012

We set off at 4 pm for Middlebury, IN, where we stayed the night at the Country Victorian B&B.

Lorie and Arnie who run the B&B had such a nice place! We could tell that they have put in a lot of effort and attention at the details that make the place so pretty and comfortable. Below are some photos I took at night and the next morning when I woke early and walked around the house.

It's an old house dating back to the late 1800s. The porch would be lovely in warmer weather!

Sito and I took the English Room on the ground floor - I'm lazy to climb stairs hoho! It has a blue theme, with decorative plates hanging all over. There's a fake fireplace that got too hot for us in the middle of the night! The bathroom was nice - with enough hooks for towels! :)

This shows C's pink Peppermint Room with a pink bathroom just outside - we loved it! And also T's Serenity Suite with a really nice sitting area - but my camera sucks!!

So anyway, we checked in pretty late at 9pm eastern time due to a jam back in Chicago and one of the few neighbourhood places still open for a decent dinner was Rulli's. They got one of our orders wrong and brought out both orders but charged only one - we were quite happy.

Sito and I watched the last bit of Aliens vs. Predators in our queen bed before we slept - it felt small as we've been sleeping in a king bed in Evanston but it was so comfortable!

Saturday, 21 Apr 2012

While waiting for breakfast to be ready, some of us sat around in the cosy living room.

Source: C

Us at the breakfast table! It was so nicely decorated with real flowers! And note the pretty cloth covers for the juice (and water, not in picture). Behind us was a table full of snacks for guests. On the other side was a little bay window which was like a gift shop, and a counter for water and hot beverages.

Source: C

Our breakfast! Fruit cocktail with whipped cream and a scone, and a quiche of sorts with crispy bacon. Very yummy and filling :)

Satisfied, we set off for our destination - Holland, MI!

But before that, we took a slight detour to drive along the Amish Heritage Trail using a map and an audio guide I downloaded onto my phone! It was mostly nature and endless country roads - yes we sang that song!

We started out from Essenhaus near our B&B. There, we saw some Amish people and a carpark for their horse buggies. I bought a small loaf of whole wheat bread! :)

Next stop was Goshen. Um, I forgot what we saw :p

The next point was Nappanee. We passed by some cows on the way there.. And we stopped at the Amish Acres where we played with some puzzles at a gift shop. The shop also sold Amish dolls - without facial features "to follow the belief of the Amish people, not to be vain and prideful".

We drove by Wakarusa where there was a Maple Syrup Festival - looked quite interesting but unfortunately, we were running late so we drove on without stopping.. Same for Elkhart..

And finally, we arrived in Holland! We walked around looking for lunch...

Source: C

.. and found it in Froggy's! They mixed up a lot of orders. And while the burgers looked quite good, my Philly cheese steak fell way short of expectation... But well, they have vinegar over fries chips! :p

Source: C

We decided to go for the Windmill Island Gardens instead of the free park. And it was a good choice! So pretty! :)

Love these tulips! Thought the black / dark violet ones were very interesting..

And the girls with the flowers! :)

C took a really nice shot of the group against the windmill using her tripod. We were almost in old Holland!

Source: C

Took a tour of the windmill. This was our guide on level four, I think... The windmill is still in use but not this year as the miller is away on maternity leave!

Finally a shot of the windmill from the front.

I had to run off to the toilet - ya, drank too much and baby was on bladder *.* - before rejoining the group at the big plot of tulips behind the windmill.

Source: C

And this is a candid shot of us leaving the area. I really like it :)

Source: C

After visiting the greenhouse and the gift shop, where I bought some Oreo cookie fudge, we set off for home via Saugatuck. The town area is really small.. We had only one aim - to find ice-cream!! Sito had a strawberry cream ice-cream. The shop also has many chocolatey sweets, like these cute "bear claws".

And then, we headed back to our car, walking along the dock. And we saw this:

Singapore Yacht Club?!

Well, there is a ghost town of Singapore just north of downtown Saugatuck. Apparently, there is nothing there now - everything was burnt down in 1871 and then buried by sand dunes! Some guy must have been to Singapore and named the town after us.. I mean, it's not some angmoh name but Singapore lor!!

Another candid shot by C - yup, it was cold...

Source: C

And so we left for home. We were supposed to have dinner in Michigan City along the way but none of us was hungry by the time we reached this Greek restaurant. So we drove on to Chicago and ended up in Sun Wah at Argyle! I'm not a big fan but surprisingly, C was rather taken with the roast duck :p

Ok, ending this post with a reminder of my spoils! Finished the bread yesterday - with peanut butter, no less - but the fudge is still in the cabinet.. I really shouldn't be having such sweet things but I figure, no harm having a tea spoon here and there! :p

So I guess this trip is the last of our trips in the US - for now anyway... We're rather tired after three consecutive weekends of activity - two for me cos I didn't go to Vegas. In any case, I'm due to fly home soon so let me be a good girl, rest at home and get packing!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Almost set for home...

Finally settled Sito's flight home! We tried to redeem air miles but his date must be too hot - no luck for many weeks and many tries so we decided to just buy a one-way flight.

So three days ago, I tried to make the booking on Cathay Pacific website but failed, probably cos we used his student credit card for quite a bit of other stuff earlier in the day. This has happened before so, fine, we tried the next day. This time, the page was loading the visa verification page when suddenly, it flashed the payment page again. Fine, I keyed in the details again and hit submit. Then the system told me it was already processing an order. Um, ok... Time to call them to confirm!

And as I was on the phone, I saw that the available fund in his credit card dropped drastically suddenly! Probably the cost of the ticket? But the airline said Sito's name wasn't in the system. As credit card payment details usually take a few days to show online, I called the bank and found that it was indeed the ticket! So I called the airline back but somehow couldn't get through - it wasn't that I was put on hold; I simply couldn't get through the 1800 number. Fine, let's wait a day to see if we get the emailed itinerary but nop, nothing appeared in my inbox. I called again but the line was still engaged so I emailed them instead.

Now, at lunch today, WSY was just telling me how a friend tried to buy an air ticket from Southwest but was told that the transaction failed. She tried three times and later found out that she was charged three times! The airline did not accept responsibility and would only give flight credits when pressed. That was just ridiculous - how could they charge a card three times for the same person on the same flight?! That got me very worried!

When I got back and saw not even an automated reply in my inbox, I called the airline again. Got through on the second try, phew! Then I was told by the machine to call another number for internet booking support. So I did that, and was told that there was a charge but there was no associated booking!! Thankfully, they acknowledged the whole thing and told me that they would release the internet charge and transferred me to make a phone reservation. I was told that the reservations department was aware of the internet charge and would only charge us later. That was smooth! Phew! But one thing is for sure - we're not going to use their rubbish internet booking again!

Anyway, check out my lunch today! Portobello sandwich with asparagus grits!

WSY and I seemed to have similar taste - we both ordered portobello sandwich and at our last lunch, we also decided on the same main course! She's due in two weeks so we had some fun looking at each other's belly haha! She isn't that much bigger than me. Does that mean I'm big or she's small? Hmmm...

But this lunch sent my glucose level through the roof! I started monitoring yesterday and my readings were all ok - max 100mg/dL - yesterday. But two hours after this lunch, I hit 147mg/dL; I'm supposed to keep it below 120mg/dL *.* Maybe it's the bun? I had fried rice for dinner and my reading for that was ok. Have to continue to monitor to see what food is bad for me and baby.. Be seeing a specialist this Saturday too..

Oh, as I was typing the airline story, baby was having fun inside. I could even see furious tappings from within! But the moment I whipped out my iPhone for a video to show Sito, he decided that he had enough fun... My 3-min video probably captured only a few taps. But soon after I resumed typing, he started playing again! And he reduced his movements again when the phone was out! Oh well, let's see if he'll cooperate later when Sito comes home...

So, with his flight settled, I can go back to focus on the big move. Oh, and Mum has settled our accommodation for May to July before our apartment is ready. So yes, all that's left for us to do is to pack the stuff we want, get rid of stuff we don't, and say bye bye to our friends and Evanston! I'm smelling Singapore already :)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Update at 28w3d

We're in the third trimester! :)

We saw baby again on Friday - he's looking rounder! :) No 3D image this time though.. That was a follow-up to check on his neck but the sonographer saw no thickness this time so yay! :) He was weighing 1106g and his heart was galloping at 153bpm! Also saw this little line on the scan printout that says my EDD could be 9 July instead of 14 July. Um, is baby somewhat bigger than expected? *.*

Baby is such a cheeky boy. When he starts to kick, I will look at my belly to catch the movement - oh yes, it's visible now! But he seems to know and stops kicking! I foresee hide-and-seek games in future hoho!

Had another check-up today. Was surprised to see a gain of only half a kg since two weeks ago cos I ate soooo much last weekend! But well, I'm not complaining.. I should really watch my weight carefully, control carbs and sugar intake from now cos of the following not-so-fun update..

So... I had a glucose test two Mondays ago. The doctor told me to just eat normally so I did. Well, I flunked it. The doctor called me the day after the test but I was away and Sito in his post-nap state did not ask. I half suspected that I flunked the glucose test already but it wasn't until Thursday that I heard it from the doc cos she wasn't in on Wednesday.

I went for the horrible three-hour test on the Tuesday after Singapore Day. I had to fast overnight for that. The clinic was quite empty when I went at opening time. But it wasn't until I asked them when it would be my turn that they finally called me in - 50 minutes after my arrival! And I could only eat three hours later - what a torture for someone used to having breakfast :(

They took four tubes of blood from me - before the drink, and one each hour after the drink. But I had five holes in my arms cos blood didn't flow once. Poor veins!

Result? FAILED!!! :( At first I was getting happy that the doctor hadn't called cos the last time, she called the day after. But well, got the call on Thursday - two tubes of blood had elevated readings, sighs... So I got a prescription today for the glucose meter and a doctor's order to see a diabetes educator some time this week.

From tomorrow, I'll have to prick "a finger I don't like" for blood when I wake, and two hours after each main meal. By the time I'm done with this 12 weeks later, all my fingers would probably have figured out that I'm a very fair person *.* Let's do some maths - 12*7*4 = 336 holes in my fingers! Better spread them out, sighs...

And they got me to do a 24-hour urine test too - took four more tubes of blood from me for that! - as a baseline in case I get pre-eclampsia as the gestational diabetes could put me at risk of that, although so far my blood pressure is still very good.

Ok, that's all for today. I'm so tired after waking very early with the summer sun, spending two hours at the clinic, chasing the train, making two trips to the pharmacy (drop and pick-up), cleaning the apartment - including going on all fours to clean the bathroom! - and making dinner with one hand as the other hand was holding on to the phone with the bank, which is another story... Anyway, hope to put up photos from our road trip soon...

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Baby shower!

The girls threw a baby shower for me and baby today!

The first time I heard of a baby shower was in Friends where Rachel had a baby shower. It was and still is a very strange concept to me that family and friends buy useful baby things for parents-to-be. And you can even set up a gift registry for it! I guess baby gifts are more useful before delivery than after, when parents would have got everything they need already. But I think we'll still have a little first month cele with the family in August - no present required :)

So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, right? The first baby shower I attended was A's last year, and I was one of the organisers for M's baby shower two months after. And now, my baby shower!

There was so much food! C made her delicious coconut and apple pudding, T prepared healthy fruit jelly (no sugar added!) and potato pie, R made an amazing chocolate pudding and ham and cheese sandwiches, and A brought some cookies. I contributed a banana walnut cake.

After some time mingling around and playing with babies, we had a movie time - C made me a slideshow! That was the sweetest thing! Really made me realise that despite such a short time together with these girls, we have had a lot of good times together.. It's not really sinking in at this moment but I think it's something that I can watch and cry in a few weeks' time...

We played a little game of pictionary - words associated with baby :) Everyone drew so well but me! I got "baby bag" and I drew a bag and a baby, and I put an arrow from baby to bag *.* I should have known cos Sito always had difficulty guessing my "draw something" :(

When it was gift time, I had a shock when I opened the first card - I saw a stack of cash! They had gone the angbao way cos they didn't want to clutter my luggage! It was very considerate and generous of them. Baby, you have your first angbao of $265 to start your first wardrobe!

The bear is from L - for me! Haha! Made from alpaca hair from alpacas in the Peruvian Andes. It's so so soft! I've named him Al-kun :)

Thanks, everyone! :)

Will add on more photos and the movie when I get them... Probably next week as we're going on a weekend road trip tomorrow!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

Just learnt that someone we know is one of the 40 plus charged for having paid sex with an underage girl.

I don't blame him for getting paid sex if it's 你情我愿, and after all, he's not married, so be it if he has needs! It's just such a pity. He was doing well in his career. Now, 一失足成千古恨... I don't think he is stupid or thinks he's above the law. Probably ignorant that below 18 is considered underage for paid sex. I mean, before this case erupted, we also didn't know!

Anyway, this is quite shocking. We feel quite sorry for him..

Had a Whatsapp chat with Kel over this. The conversation turned to the expected conduct of teachers. Two educators have been charged in the same case. Some people have commented that teachers should not engage in such "immoral activities". And just a couple of months back, a PE teacher posted photos of himself with some girls, apparently at night spots and looking decent, and the mother of a student complained about it.

But, teachers are only human, aren't they?

Kel said that the public doesn't think like me and that teachers are held to a higher standard. Well, I think the public is just hypocritical. What higher standards? It's freaking double standards la! Those who criticise, don't they go clubbing? Don't they have sex and make babies?

The more I think about this, the more indignant I feel about this whole thing. I have many friends who are teachers. Even my husband was a teacher. People have to realise that teachers have a life like everyone else. They should not be pressured to give up part of themselves to fit the publicly-accepted mould of a model teacher. I don't care if my kids' teachers pay for sex, party until dawn, buy 4D, are homosexual or smokers, so long as they teach well and don't impose their personal life on their students.

I guess what teachers - and in the same vein, public officers too - can do is to better protect themselves. Do whatever you like - just make sure it's legal. Friend whoever you like and post whatever you want on Facebook - just restrict access to selected people!

PS: I do, however, think that the principal involved in the case has behaved badly. I have no issue with paid sex but he's married! I have no sympathy for him but I feel sorry for his family.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

I *heart* Sg > NY

Our last babymoon in the US - New York!

But first, a little adventure before the trip... I was trying to check in for our outbound flights on Friday but I kept getting an invalid confirmation code response from the system. So I logged into Expedia and to my shock and horror, both our outbound and inbound flights were changed!

The change to the outbound flights was negligible - a different United flight number some seven minutes earlier. The shock was the inbound flight - 7 pm departure became 7 am departure!!

We refused to be screwed over by US Airways again! Read how they lost our baggage during our Bahamas trip here.

I skimmed through Sito's 1,000s of emails to find this email from Expedia six weeks ago asking us to call them immediately as an airline had made changes that affected us. I almost gagged; we haven't checked that email account for months!

Anyway, I called Expedia. And guess what, Expedia was sooo nice about it! A customer service rep helped us source for a better flight time, informed me that there were extra charges imposed by the (stupid - my word) airline but because it wasn't our fault, she sought approval from corporate side to waive the charges for us. I was on the phone for just over an hour, with a lot of waiting but she would constantly come back to the line, apologise for the wait and explain what we were waiting for. And when my old cordless phone died, I barely plugged in our corded phone and had time for a pee break when she called back!

I was very grateful.

And so, our trip started :)

Friday, 13 Apr 2012

Hello, New York! :)

Took us a while to get to the hotel from LaGuardia - traffic was one but we thought our driver took us for a little ride for $45...

So we rested a little in Windsor Hotel in Chinatown. It was the cheapest hotel I could find for last weekend, and the room looked so much better than in the website, phew! Although the amenities were very basic - think shampoo in a sachet. But there was free wifi! And there were plenty of food options around us!

Anyway, we had some time before our 8.45 pm dinner reservation so we headed to Century 21. Sito spent a lot of time there when he was last in NYC. I remember buying PJs there the day we arrived in NYC for Singapore Day 2007 because our hotel did not provide robes and I did not bring any PJs! But we're not the shopping type.. So we didn't stay too long.. Too excited over dinner at Peter Luger!

The restaurant is pretty near, just across the bridge over at Brooklyn. We were some 30 min early but were seated quite quickly in a little corner. The whole place was packed!

They brought us water, bread and butter, and I promptly bruised the inside of my left cheek with the crust of the bread *.*

The highlight was of course the steak! We ordered steak for two and it came on a heated plate, pink in the middle, all cut up and ready to eat! So tender and yummy! We were in heaven...

We hit the steak quite immediately so I neglected to take photos of the onions rings and creamed spinach :p The onion rings were like the Tony Roma's onion loaf but scattered, and the creamed spinach wasn't too creamy, which was good.

And we shared their big-ass dessert - Holy Cow! Fudge, nuts, ice cream, whipped cream - yup, sinful! They threw in two chocolate medallions for good measure - they're sitting in our kitchen now.

We were wondering how we could finish everything when we couldn't do so at Morton's... Then it dawned on us - we finished the whole loaf of warm onion bread at Morton's but only shared two of the eight rolls at Peter Luger! But we were still quite formidable considering that we had third-pounder burgers for lunch at Macs followed by a slice of pizza just before Century 21!

But we had had enough after dinner. Went back to rest with just a bottle of water.. Watched "Wanted" on the TV until quite late. Overall, satisfied :)

Saturday, 14 Apr 2012

Our Saturday began with super cheap dumplings at Vanessa's Dumpling House - $1 for four gyozas and $2.50 for eight boiled dumplings! Kind of satisfying even though they weren't the yummiest dumplings we'd had.

And that was to line our stomachs in case we had to queue a long time for food at...Singapore Day!

This marks the second time I was in NYC for Singapore Day! But this time, I was a participant, not an organiser, woohoo! And man, it felt good to be on the other side! :p

And a pleasant surprise - as we walked near the entrance, a lady in a crew sweater (which was interestingly blue and white this year) directed us to the express lane when she spotted my belly! Nice right? Although it didn't make a difference then as there was no queue when we arrived.

Do I look pregnant? :)

I bet I look more pregnant here! With Singa, the Courtesy Lion!

Chatted with a few ex-colleagues on the way to our first snack: black pepper crab! There was hardly any queue! And it was so good :) We downed it with 100 Plus..

Took the chance to dig through the goodie bag - here's the most important thing for black pepper crab: wet tissue! Quite funny right? Sorry, Raffles, the Prince won - it's in the history books!

And since I'm on the goodie bag, might as well go through all the items we collected that day:

The goodie bag itself - I really like it! It's like a Harrods bag :p Big enough for a laptop - reminds me of those years when I carried a Harrods bag for my laptop in addition to my purse! We're giving one to HY who didn't manage to go for the event and taking the other one back to Singapore :)

This is the picnic mat, folded...

.. and unfolded.. Big enough for two butts and our bags. The grass-facing side is mostly plain.

Limited edition EZ Link cards - we wonder if there's any money inside.. Anyway, just nice to replace my bent card and Sito's scratched one.

The other small stuff - writing materials, magnets, ponchos, a cap and even a mug from a career booth!

Oh, and we brought back laksa paste and pulut hitam - they got through security in our hand carry!

So, back to the event...

We queued some 25 min for Hill Street char kway teow and went into our third queue for rojak immediately! Quite a nice portion actually...

In any case, better not eat too much char kway teow cos just check out the lard! Sito ate a couple of pieces and I had one - all accidentally of course!

Got our rojak quite quickly - Sito had to comment that my rojak was very good, comparable to the real deal... But "my" rojak was from Prima Taste!! Grrr...

We decided to lay out our picnic mat again in front of the stage to eat and watch Barbarella - she's hilarious! My most memorable part:

Barbarella: Do you like SPGs?
Male contestant: .. Ok la...
Barberella: I also think Singaporean men so so only! Hmph!

We had Sarsi with our food. Sarsi leh! When was the last time we had that?! But kind of disappointed that there was no plain water... I even gulped down a whole can of soy bean milk by myself cos I was so thirsty!

But I couldn't get any more soy bean milk so I got ice cream soda for Sito instead - again, when was the last time we had that?! Anyway, he was alone in the queue for satay - I left for the toilet, which was surprisingly clean, smell-less, with toilet paper, wash basin and hand towels. But he managed to ask the uncle for a second plate for his pregnant wife standing over there who had to use the toilet - awww...

We went to find Fei who was queuing for cheng tng. Ajit was just a few minutes behind. So we took a photo - the troop from Kellogg! (Thanks, Sito, for covering my fat arm with your hand!)

Then we walked around the exhibits with Fei. Baby wasn't too excited at the Mindef booth, ha! But we met Sito's classmate there and had a chat. And we saw a young chap doing chin-ups in front of some female friends - high stakes haha!

Also went to the MOE booth and watched some videos for a while - it felt so good to be out of the sun and sitting on a bench! Tried to go to the career booths but that area was a green house! We were there for barely 15 seconds *.*

Then we found an old phone booth :)

And a bus stop! Made Sito pose for me :p This is the only bus stop pose, ever - not doing it in Singapore heh!

And then we saw Water Wally! So cute! Some people were holding little Wally toys but they must have run out by then...

We were wishing there was some Newater.. Really thirsty.. So we went to queue for cheng tng but it ran out - they also ran out of ice! - so we had teh tarik instead. Sito strayed into the rojak non-queue to get more rojak. Had a nice chat with TO next to the stalls..

We continued to look at the exhibits for a while before I left Sito at the HDB void deck (really!) and went to find FK near the stage - it's been such a long time!

And then, we left, just before the mambo began. It's been a great day out in the park! Warm and sunny - we both got a tan! In fact, my exposed chest is all red and hurting now! - and we met so many people. I managed to catch up, if only a little, with some NPS NPTD chaps. Good to see them again, especially those who were at the first Singapore Day with me, such bitter sweet memories!

The train did not bring us back to where we started due to rail works or something so we walked along Canal St near Soho back to our hotel, with a drink and pee stop at Macs - some non-sugary drink at last! Also wandered into a Chinese bakery - Sito got a cake and I got an egg tart. Had wanted a Portuguese egg tart but I neglected to say "Portuguese"!!!

I saved my egg tart for the next morning cos I was so hungry this morning while waiting for Sito to go out! Sito had half the cake before we went out for dinner - it was a little take-out shop called Wah Fung No. 1 Fast Food. We waited for quite a while but it was worth the wait! We had 三拼 on rice for $4.50!! They ran out of char siew so we had leftover char siew bits, which were very very nice!

But it was all very oily so we went out for dinner #2 to wash it down - wanton noodle soup for him and shrimp dumpling noodle soup for me. I also had 双皮奶, although it didn't have that 双皮...

On the way back, we went to Quickly for a bubble tea, and I saw this - 烧仙草! Last I had this was in Taiwan in 2005! Love it!

Sunday, 15 Apr 2012

We checked out of the hotel and went for dim sum at Hop Shing Restaurant. It's super old school! And I don't just refer to the roaming carts. We shared a round table with two other groups. We were also the youngest patrons there at 10.30 am. The rest averaged some 50 years old, and sipping tea and nibbling on some food while reading newspapers or magazines! They looked like they were all regulars, which made me feel shy about taking pictures... So, bear with my lengthy description..

The aunties pushing the carts just went straight from kitchen to the take-out counter, entertaining anyone along the way who shouted out for them. Yes, shouted, especially those on the opposite side of the counter.

So for the first time, we had dim sum without siew mai or har how, cos we missed shouting out for the har gow; didn't hear any "announcements" for siew mai though. After missing out on porridge twice the previous nights - once at the take-out and again at the noodle place - I finally had my century egg porridge! It had thin pork slices in it, and lots of century egg :)

Also had meaty steamed bean curd rolls, this yummy fried rice flour puff, and my first minced beef cheong fun. And of course the usual prawn cheong fun and carrot cake and super yummy char siew buns! Except that those buns were anything but usual - really, that was some seriously good char siew in the buns... But by then, Sito was so full - and still feeling sleepy and oily from last night's dinner - that I finished the last quarter of his bun :p

There was no non-Asian faces until past 11 am, when the queues began. And that was when we decided to go. The bill came up to - surprise! - just under $15 including $2 tips!

Took a walk around Chinatown to walk off some calories. Came across a number of hair salons but Sito decided he didn't want a haircut then. (And yesterday, he regretted it, bah!) Stumbled upon the shady Columbus Park where lots of old folks were playing chess or gambling - it was a scene of such peace... But the lady at the foot of the statue later waved her walking stick at me to tell me to stop taking pictures of them gambling! :p

We rested in front of the running track of a local school on our way back to the hotel. It was such a hot day, hotter than Saturday. And kids were running about. Quite nice, I thought. It's like how we used to play in the neighbourhood basketball court or playground :)

Grabbed our stuff from the hotel and hailed a cab off a busy road nearby. The cab ride was only $25 and took only 10 minutes! We were further convinced that our first cabbie took us for a ride - tmd.

So we spent some time having Baskin-Robbins at the airport :p It was a full flight and the machine asked us if we would accept money to go on a later flight. Of course not!! And thankfully, we have premier access so we could board the plane earlier and ensure a place for our suitcase in the overhead compartment - recall Bahamas again, yes. This trip was the first time we used our Star Alliance Silver benefits.

And just as well, cos on our way to our seats at the last row, I saw a woman put her two small purses up there AND close the barely-half-full compartment! And a guy on our row put in his suitcase and laptop bag which took half the space and shut the damn thing too! And all this while, there were constant announcements asking passengers to keep small items under the seat and reminding people that closed compartments were full! Such inconsiderate idiots..

Lucky for us, this should probably be the last time we took a US domestic flight. Or hopefully the last time in a long long time! We much prefer an Asian budget airline!
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