Caversham Wildlife Park

Caversham Wildlife Park is located inside Whiteman Park. Expect to spend at least 3 hours in here. Parking is free. Nearby, you will find the Motor Museum of Western Australia, the Tractor Museum and the Whiteman Park Children’s Forest. We did not go to any of these because the kids were knocked out after looking at the animals. Also if you google, the exhibits in the automobile museums are all behind barricades. I doubt I can keep the kids’ hands away from the vehicles and thus we had to give them a miss.

We arrived in time to catch the penguin feeding. However, there were only 2 penguins in the enclosure. This little one is very cute and loves to pose. It ain’t too hungry though and the fish went to the seagulls instead.

Northern Blue Tongue skink

So chubby and so cuddly

The animal show is very informative and should not be missed. It’s the highlight of our visit.

She pushed her joey into the pouch when she saw us taking an interest in it.

Ez, the timid, managed to overcome his fear and stroke the kangaroo! It was very difficult for him but he did it. Lè meimei in the other hand had no qualms about touching them.

Brickman Wonders of the World – LEGO Bricks Exhibition

Venue: The Annexe, Science Centre Singapore

Duration: 25 March till 3 July 2022

Time: 10am to 8pm (Last entry @ 6.30pm)

Tickets are not available on-site. All visitors are required to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets required for 2 year olds and above. Get your tickets here.

LEGO is messy. LEGO requires discipline. LEGO is expensive. LEGO doesn’t go well with feet. Naturally, I was a little skeptical when the hub asked if we wanted to go for this LEGO exhibition at the Science Centre. Tickets priced at $23 per pax is not cheap. Especially when kids and Lego just don’t go well together if it’s a strictly hands-off-all-exhibits.

Fret not, parents of young children with restless hands. The majority of the exhibits may be off limits to little hands but the staff will not breathe down your necks nor raise their voice at the little ones. Rather, they very nicely engaged the children with titbits of information about each structure while redirecting their focus (and hands) by asking the kids to look out for things which frankly not many little ones have the patience to look that closely at unless challenged. Another plus point is that 1 million LEGO bricks (probably lesser with each passing day) were placed at designated master builder zones for us to try our hands at fixing our very own creations.

This master builder zone is perfect for younger children as it’s Duplo!

Build your own pyramids and place them along side the Great Pyramids of Giza. The Duplo Golden Gate Bridge will not look complete without your input. Create vehicles and watch them cruise down the Arc De Triomphe. Try your hand at constructing a mini statue of David, a very solid structure which requires at least 7 adults to shift. Add corals to the Great Barrier Reef and there’s a free-to-create corner at the very end of exhibition for those who still can’t get enough of LEGO and want to leave your mark here.

Us. Created by a spatially challenged me.

Keep your eyes peel for Eddie, the explorer, who had been strategically placed at most of the exhibits. Find and count Eddie to stand a chance to win a LEGO Education SG50 Building My SG Commemorative set.

Eddie in the loo. He will be in a brown outfit with a brown backpack and at times spotted with a magnifying glass.

Below are some of my personal favourites!

Mark Curnow spent 320 hours to complete this replica of Saint Basil’s Cathedral (Russia). Look out for Ninja Turtle here!
Ryugyong Hotel (Pyongyang), never completed, sparkling on the outside but merely an incomplete ruin beyond its beautiful facade
The attention to details made Titanic the heaviest exhibit here. Spot the chicken drumstick dinner, the crying figurines and the sinking piano.
Arc De Triomphe
Statue of David in its full glory
Replicate the classic shot by angling your palm/body against The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Time stands still at The Big Ben
The actual Mona Lisa is terribly small unlike this replica.
The Flying Scotsman was constructed using a whopping 164611 bricks because its cylindrical body requires the smaller bricks.
Spot Elvis resting behind the Hollywood Sign replica
Took this photo of the extremely complicated Tokyo Subway map just because I missed Japan too much. This is huge. You won’t miss it.

All in all, I am glad we made the trip to the West even though petrol cost is a bitch. Because of Covid, traveling plans had been shelved for far too long. Immersing oneself among the world famous landmarks without a valid passport is totally my kind of cheap thrill. I hope you will have a great time too!

A good lunch / dinner place recommendation is a halal establishment, XW Western Grill at JEM, a stone’s throw away from Science Centre. Main course starts from $12.90 and comes with All-You-Can-Eat salad bar dishes. Drinks are huge but not bottomless. The only catch, kids are required to order a main as well. But to be fair, their kids meal is reasonably priced. We usually order their meatball set for the kids.

The woes of a partially vaccinated individual

9 October 2021. A very sad day because more bad news were announced by PM Lee at noon (pun intended). Unvaccinated people are no longer allowed to enter shopping malls from 13 October in a bid to protect them and to reduce the strains on the healthcare service.

When worded in such a reasonable manner, it made sense amidst the landscape of increasing cases every day. 3000+ cases a day with more than 5 deaths daily is nothing to joke about. It is understandable why the movements of the unvaccinated must be curtailed to protect the population at large.

What if I didn’t choose to remain unvaccinated? Though only a very small proportion of people experienced serious adverse effects after their first jab, I happened to be one of these unlucky ones. Long story short, I got to experience being in a wheelchair with all eyes on me at the vaccination centre and even got to tour the A&E department at SKH for the first time in my life.

Yes, the government said alternative vaccines will be offered to those who experienced adverse reactions to mRNA. Unfortunately, I also happened to be one of those who got lost in the system. It became a case where MOH did not know that I was allergic to the first dose while the vaccination centre claimed that I had been flagged and deemed unsuitable for the second one. I continued to be in limbo because somehow my case got lost.

Calls to MOH long before this current wave went unanswered. Their hotline is so hot that even sheer determination to hang on to the line didn’t get me through to an operator. They do have an option to request for a call-back. However, their staff who manned this call-back line must be so overwhelmed that they will hang up just after 1 ring! There was once I couldn’t even get to the accept call button in time even though I had my phone in my hand. After so much time on the phone, they had mastered the art of fastest finger in fulfilling their role to call without actually talking to anyone. It’s really a privilege to finally get on the line with someone. I thought I struck lottery. So should you ever receive a call from 68336088, do not hesitate! For it’s MOH doing their 1 ring wonder.

MOH told me to go back to the vaccination centre because they did not have any record of my allergy. I went back to the vaccination centre on 2 separate occasions over the next 3 weeks but the staff at the centre remained adamant that MOH already had my details. I just need to wait for them to get back to me.

Alternatively, the doctor at vaccination centre suggested that I contact the clinics on MOH list offering Sinovac to get my 2nd jab. Sounds manageable. I called the clinics but they said they have no stock. There’s also no wait list because they do not know when stock will arrive. In September, the news reported that a new batch of Sinovac had arrived. But said clinics cannot take my case because I belonged to the category of people with an adverse reaction after the first dose, I will have to wait for MOH to get back to me. I can only have my vaccination done at designated clinics. Great. I just have to get through to MOH somehow. And the Delta wave hit Singapore.

I know MOH is still swamped. Anyone who could read the news knew that people who needed to get hold of MOH far more urgently than me couldn’t get through. It’s okay. I will continue to wait. Maybe one day I will get lucky… Afterall, I can get into any mall 10 days after getting Covid but I need more than a month from the day I am offered an alternative to complete my 2 doses of Sinovac before I can step into the mall. Will I be lucky enough? Only time will tell if I can live with Covid.

What to pack for a quarantine stint: Surviving that free staycay

Because you will never know when you are lucky enough to be called up for quarantine, it’s advisable to take a couple of minutes to think about where you had last seen some of your travel items. Afterall, it’s been almost 1.5 years since that last trip.

The moment you were allowed to get off the designated transport vehicle, you would be ushered into the hotel lobby. At Hotel Boss, there were about 4 tables with chairs spaced widely apart.

The check-in process was very fast. You got to declare any food allergies/preferences for your free bento sets. Thereafter, there’s a luggage check. Cigarettes and scissors are not allowed. They will be confiscated but returned upon checkout. I didn’t bring scissors and had no need for one in my stay. The staff also didn’t open my luggage after I told him all my things would fall out. He just took a cursory glance at my tote bag.

The lifts are locked. Certis staff hold the key to operate the lifts. Subsequently, when you go for your swab tests, a Certis staff will accompany you to the 3rd floor, a swab centre in the car park. There’s a room card for the electricity but this card doesn’t open your room door so don’t even try to venture out of the door. Because the door will close and you will be locked out. For the PCR test, bring along your IC and a tissue because … that stick draws tears…

Such a depressing sight
The only fresh air you get during quarantine

#1: Pen and IC

Your Identification Card is important. You have to produce it during the hotel check-in, the check-out as well as when you are taking your PCR tests. Bring along a pen as well and keep it handy. You will have stuff to sign and I doubt you want to use one that had been handled by numerous people.

#2: Dettol disinfecting wipes

Pack this in your hand carry bag. You shouldn’t have to dig around in your luggage for it before you clean the surfaces in the room. Sounds like I am a hygiene-obsessed OCD freak but when you had to walk through a very intimidating lobby where everyone was in PPE, you just knew you have to take this more seriously. Don’t forget to wipe the door handles, the bar fridge, remote control and the phone.

#3: Multi-plug and charging cables

Pack in your charging cables for laptop, handphone, iPad, watch and anything else for whatever gadgets you brought along. You will need a HDMI cable to link gadget to TV. A multi-plug is very handy. Consider bringing one.

#4: Laundry needs

Take some time to ponder about your laundry needs and pack accordingly. Though the hotel provides free laundry service (3 items/day), I am not sure how the clothes will be (mis)handled. So if you are fussy, bring clothes that you are about to throw, disposable underwear and also a quick dry towel (if you do not intend to use the ones provided by the hotel). Decalthon has one that folds small and dries fast which is important because things don’t dry well in enclosed space. I brought along a jacket and track pants (not the best time to catch a cold) as well as a pillow case. I packed extra T-shirts because I was going to have Zoom lessons. But in reality, I had my jacket on most of the time. So your students will never realize that you haven’t changed in days. Pack realistically. Definitely no chance to hold a fashion show.

#5: Cutlery and whatsnot

Disposable forks and spoons are provided for every meal but they are flimsy and unsealed. Bring along your own cutlery, water bottle (to store chilled water in the fridge) and a traveller’s mug which keeps hot drinks warm for a longer period. I packed my own tea as well. Very basic stuff (a couple of sachets of 3-in-1coffee and tea) were provided but they won’t be coming around to top up. I also had an old Tupperware to store leftover food in the fridge.

#6: Toiletries and dishwashing liquid

Toiletries are provided. The hotel provided 2 tubes of shampoo and shower gel each, 4 sets of disposable toothbrush and 4 shower caps. It would be a good idea to pack your favourite shower gel and shampoo (life in quarantine is already very sad so pamper yourself) in travel size bottles. The idea is to bring enough for the numerous showers you will have daily. You will need dishwashing liquid to wash your cutlery if you are bringing your own. The food they served can be quite oily. Bring along a good pair of disposable bedroom slippers too. You can’t risk a slip and fall situation when you are all alone. Carpet or non carpeted, the floor is still quite dirty.

#Optional items: Work stuff, diffuser, novel and food

I actually brought along assessment books, Math workbook & textbook, small manipulatives and a file with all the worksheets I might need. Let’s just say that you need to be very driven in order to complete all the work you perceived can be completed. A diffuser works wonders when you are home sick. It can also remove food odours and uplift your mood. If the bento sets ain’t up to your palate, there’s always Food Panda and Grab Food. Compare the cost of delivery. Most of the time, Food Panda is cheaper. But Grab Food has a food delivery subscription plan at $7.99 per month. You get $4 off delivery with min $18 spent. I had Turkish food, Italian food, G7 frog porridge, Mentaiko salmon sushi, Korean food and drinks from Machi Machi (Jay Chou’s endorsed bubble tea brand).

Breakfast is served around 7ish, lunch at around 11am and dinner at around 5pm. The server rings your doorbell before dropping off your meals on the stool except for breakfast. The food when delivered is usually warm but at times you just don’t feel like eating them immediately. The space between the cabinet and top of your bar fridge is very useful in keeping your food warm.

Life in quarantine can be very depressing. Treat yourself to something nice when the going gets tough. Did I mention that the Turkish food nearby is yummy?! Hummus and Moutabbal can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. G7 frog porridge offers islandwide delivery over $60. You can WhatsApp your order to +65 8666 0234, prices shown on their website is subjected to GST. Try the Oolan tea with cream cheese foam & mochi and the chocolate latte with panna cotta from Machi Machi. Squisoto’s seafood stew and gnocchi with truffle were also awesome. There’s also lots of Korean food and Indian food around. I wanted to try butter chicken and Kim Dae Mun but never found the chance because the bento sets at Hotel Boss were actually not bad even though it might not look appetizing enough.

Ordered in

If you are reading this while in quarantine, hang in there! This too shall pass.

The Free Staycay Part 1

On 3rd August, I received news of the inevitable. Hushed whispers, lots of WhatsApp messages and frantic packing followed. I was a close contact of a confirmed case. LOA was issued and I had to work from home in the days that followed.

I know. The ministers said we are moving into the endemic phase. But when it happens to you, all hell breaks loose and with so many things to internalize, it’s hard not to be flustered. And then the waiting game started.

I received a phone call from MOH that evening. They were pretty efficient. Thereafter, an sms arrived, instructing me to download the Homer app. This app has to be left running in the background 24/7. One is required to take a selfie and report symptoms, if any, thrice a day at designated timings.

Tip #1: Dig out a power bank

Battery life is compromised with the Homer app running in the background. No one will be impressed when they found you offline because of a batttery drain.

The following day (4 Aug), I received a phone call from Certis at 6.39am. The caller reiterated that I was on QO. She enquired about my family situation and my choice of serving my QO at home or at a dedicated facility. My mind was still hazy from sleep or the lack of but I managed to put together a few questions to ask her.

Tip #2: Spam calls or not

So how do we differentiate such genuine calls from those spams? For one, it’s a local number and not a handphone number. It also doesn’t have a + prefix. Finally, the caller addressed me by my full name and stated where my close contact occurred.

After that, it was business as usual. Lessons must go on afterall. I’m really thankful to my boss who shared all her materials and slides with me. All I had to do was to modify them for my classes. Definitely not in the mood and home was not exactly conducive with 2 kids under 5 who had to be on AA because of my QO. Without a doubt, the FHBL stints had prepared my kids for when I needed to lock myself in the room. While zooming, Ez was contented to shout out answers to my questions for the class from outside the room. While I was providing wait time to “What’s 17 – 9?”, Ez was outside shouting, “8”… “8”… “8, mummy” x 10 times. Faint…. At times like this, having a purpose (conducting lessons) was a respite from all the negative thoughts that surfaced repeatedly. Normalcy in uncertainties.

The wait for the transfer was excruciating. Despite numerous calls and repeated explanations of my home situation to different operators, no one came to swab nor transfer me to a quarantine facility. I told the kids that I would be leaving them for a few days since the 3rd. But with each passing day, they became more convinced that I was going to stay at home, that I might not have to leave since no one came for me. The ‘maybes’ and the ‘not knowing when’ made it all worse for everyone.

Tip #3: Ask for the name of the operator/caller

With so many cases on QO, your pleas and info are just 1 of too many. It was a case of all talk and no actions for me. I was advised to get the names of those I spoke to in order to spur someone into action. That way, I could be sure the info I provided and my requests were actually entered into the system and not lost in phone relays.

Utterly grateful to my SLs who stepped in to help me speed up the process. I didn’t have to jump through as many hoops after their intervention. So on 6 Aug, things started happening after being in limbo. A swabber finally arrived at my doorstep!!! If you are worrying about giving your neighbours a heart attack when they see a swarm of PPE descending on your doorstep, fret not. It was very discreet. Only 1 person arrived. He could either be holding a plastic bag or pushing a small trolley bag. The best thing is he only puts on his gears at your doorstep. Of course, it will be a completely different scenario should they be coming for you because you are a confirmed case.

The hub and the kids were given the ART test. I had the honour of trying out both the ART and PCR. The ART has to be done first as it takes a while. Ez bravely volunteered to be swabbed first. Then it was Lè Meimei’s turn. She was crying at first but calmed down after the swabber talked to her. He patiently explained the procedure to her while doing the swab.

Tip #4: Hunt down the ICs and Birth Certs

The swabber requires the ICs of the adults and the birth certs for the kids for info such as the date of birth, full name and BC number. So if these items are scattered everywhere, go look for them before the arrival of the swabber.

Less than 10 minutes after the swabber left, I received a phone call. The caller identified himself as my officially appointed swabber and he’s on his way to my place. I was like WHAT?!?! Then who’s the guy who just left?! That first guy appeared on my doorstep without a call. I was too happy to see him and obviously didn’t adhere to my Tip #3 to verify his identity. Long story short, we didn’t have to be swabbed again. Thank god for that because at that point, my nostrils were still screaming in agony.

Just when I had given up hope that I would be transferred to the hotel that day, I received a call from the driver at 6.40pm. He told me he would be picking me up at 7.30pm. A mad rush to stuff all the things I took out of my luggage back in, changed and then settled down with Ez and Lè meimei. They were each clutching a storybook for me to read, their bedtime story for that day. My heart broke a little seeing their faces. Ez hugged me so tight and he’s not the sort who will auto hug me. At that time, Lè meimei was still smiling and quite happy. Each of them were given a favourite soft toy of mine to hug in my absence and at that point, both soft toys were squashed by their little hands.

The driver called at 7.27pm. He had arrived. Time to leave. And the crying began. I left the house with Ez crying and Lè meimei sobbing. My mask was wet by the time I reached the lift. Lè meimei’s Mummmmmmyyyy cries broke my heart. I got into the car in sniffles. Explained to the driver so he wouldn’t get too alarmed. He reassured me that he knew I ain’t C+ because those passengers were transported by another team. Good to note this. At least, the person sitting in the seat before me wasn’t a confirmed case. He tried to hold a conversation but I didn’t participate much. Because #1, I wasn’t in the mood. #2, the windows were down, we were on the expressway and could hardly hear a thing. #3, he kept turning his head to look at me whenever I replied which was too dangerous in my opinion. I just wanted to get to the hotel in 1 piece. It was better to let him concentrate on the road ahead while I replied all the messages that came in fast and furious.

Then I arrived at Hotel Boss. The entrance to the drop off point was barricaded. The person in charge of the barrier took out his phone to check the car plate number. The driver was ordered to stop at the drop off point. We had to remain in the car while the driver rattled off my name and particulars to a guy in full PPE. My name when given to the driver was misspelt. 😩

Tip #5: Lock your luggage

I realised that the driver looked into my hand carry tote bag. He actually commented when I got down his car that I’m bringing very few cup noodles. One of the least he had seen so far. Luckily, my luggage was locked and I had my bag which contained my wallet, laptop and iPad with me. The tote bag only contained 3 cup noodles and 2 packs of snacks. He might just be nosy but I don’t think anyone should take the chance. Also you know you can order Grab food right? The reception will get someone to bring it to a stool outside your room. No need to bring an entire grocery store.

Review: Jiak Mookata

Do you know that you can have Mookata in the comfort of your home? First time eat mookata sweat-free because we can turn on the aircon so very shiok plus you get to sit on nicer chairs. The seller even promised that you wouldn’t need to wash their pan. A quick rinse will suffice and they will work their magic when they collect the pan and stove back the following day. Read on to find out about this gem.

Jiak ho liao tonight

I knew of Jiak Mookata from Facebook. One of those Foodie group that recommends good eats. Then awaited with abated breath for their reply on FB because they can only take 35 orders a day and this is one hot weekend because it’s Father’s Day. Thankfully, their reply was relatively fast and my order was confirmed.

Jiak Mookata has 2 sets. One at $68 (2-4 pax) and the other at $88 (4-6 pax). It comes with the mookata pan, stove and 2 gas canisters. And FREE delivery! They are located in Bedok but can deliver islandwide FOC. Where to find such offer? We ordered both sets. Bigger meat portions for the $88 set and it comes with 2 crayfish.

Everyone loves their mozzarella bacon wraps. The fishball with roe is the same as HDL. The $68 set cones with 2 packs of mama noodles and the $88 set has 3 packs. Though the meat portions are not very big BUT they were very well marinated and cut to bite size. Even the vermicelli tasted awesome because of their soup. Each set comes with a pack of soup and you have to dilute with water. We only used 1 pack for 2 pots the entire dinner and still find them a tad salty. I didn’t feel thirsty after drinking the soup but the hub did. I secretly wonder if it’s cuz he ate too many hotdogs. If you are meat lovers like us, you may need to prepare a little extra meat on your own to supplement the set BUT otherwise the portions are pretty generous. Did I mention the chili? Each set comes with 2 types of chilli in relatively big tubs. Yup. Jiak Mookata is very generous.

Laid out the items as per their sets
The sparkling pan tells us how much love is put in to make our mookata happen.
Combined some items to save space
Celebrating the arrival of Baby JOYY and Father’s Day

All in all, we had a yummilicious meal that hits the spot, satisfying our mookata cravings. It’s affordable with lots of variety. We didn’t stay too far away but even if you do, the islandwide free delivery makes this meal even more worthwhile. Lots of effort is put in by the team to pack the food. You can really feel their love and pride for what they do. However, we do wish that there’s a way to reduce plastic waste as a lot of containers were used in this one meal. My mum washed every single one of them just so we could reuse them.

For Mother’s Day this year, we made reservations for Mookata only to have to cancel because Heightened Alert took place that weekend. Thank you Jiak Mookata for making this happen on Father’s Day!

Review: The Book of Two Ways Jodi Picoult

Once you live long enough, everyone will surely have some form of regrets. Things you wished you could do over. Be it the wish to study more diligently, to have a different career choice or even the regrets of not buying enough during a shopping spree.

What is your greatest regret then?

The recurring theme in this book is about death.I Death is not something that is easily embraced. Too often it’s avoided until it’s inevitable. Few people really feel comfortable to think about death let alone discuss about it.

The main protagonist was an up-and-coming Egyptologist but because of the impending death of a family member, she left Egypt and returned to Boston. A series of events and new responsibilities upon her return kept her grounded in US and she abandoned her dreams of finishing her PhD. 15 years passed. She retrained to be a death doula whose primary responsibility is to help the terminally ill make their final transition.

While helping a client with her final preparations, she was forced to think about the life she left behind 15 years ago. The what-ifs. She made a major decision to return to Egypt, her first love, upending the life that she had grown into. Forcing the people she loved to be hurt while pursuing a different ending with her first love.

A romance story weaved with history of Ancient Egypt, coupled with elements of death and quantum physics (parallel universe) made this book too complex and painful to finish. Jodi Picoult’s books were never complete without tears. This book is not an exception. Personally, I feel that the ending is too draggy but it’s still a good book with plenty to ponder about. Love, responsibilities, death and anguish. You will have to read this to be a judge of its value.

Neheh djet – Forever and ever

Car seat shopping at Mummy’s Market Showroom

Ez had outgrown his Costco Scenera Next after CB ended. We could no longer buckle him in! How on earth did that happen in just 2 months?!

I asked for suggestions for a new car seat that can fit him for a long(er) time. He’s already 20kg but not tall enough to go on one of those booster seat just yet. But it’s quite difficult to decide if the available options can fit him nicely.

We chanced upon an advert in one of the mummy group about a showroom that offers mummies and mummies-to-be a chance to see see look look and touch feel to our heart’s content. The catch, they are very popular and must FFF (fastest finger first) to secure a slot. When we knew about this, the next available slot was already 2 weeks later).

UV sterilizers so sleek now!
Live demo of prams
These bring back fond memories of sleepless nights

We eventually found a car seat from Babytrend that met Ez’s requirements and thus his approval. It’s red like Lè meimei’s one, can be used till 12 years old, comes with 2 cup holders and it’s only $129 (What a bargain!!!) I really liked the Graco brand which was cushiony and spacious but too bad Ez did not like the colour. For those who wants a car seat that can be used from infant till way older, do check the Graco one out.

Post CB: New Norms at Happy Fish Swim School

It’s been slightly more than 3 months since we last attended a swim class. Back in March, we opted not to stop our swim lessons even when there was a surge in local cases. But then Circuit Breaker (CB) happened.

The kids missed their swimming lessons a lot during CB and though we have a bathtub at home, it just wasn’t the same. In the end, we bought a water play ‘pool’ just for them to frolic in the water.

Fast forward to 3 months later, the government finally announced the resumption of swim classes. We couldn’t wait to get back into the pool but of course there were people who tried to persuade us to wait and see. As a result, we were slightly apprehensive. It’s been months since we last swam and surely the kids had forgotten everything they learnt. We ain’t sure about the new safe reopening measures of the swim school and the condition of the pool as well after so many months.

The kids woke up at 7am and bugged us to get out of the house. To say they were very excited was an understatement.

We had been informed previously that we would only be admitted 15minutes prior to the start of the class so we timed our arrival. Only 1 parent is allowed to enter with each student.

There was the usual temperature taking and Safe Entry declaration. But the staff was pretty efficient and there wasn’t a long queue. One thing the staff must take note of is the way they sanitized our hands. The girl who admitted us was spraying the sanitizer at the eye level of the kids. Very close to Lè meimei’s eyes. Many sanitizers on the market have high alcohol content of at least 60%. This can cause a chemical burn bad enough to result in serious damage to the cornea.

Otherwise, the staff had obviously been hard at work in creating a safe environment for the little happy fishes. They had rearranged the layout slightly to adhere to the social distancing measures.

Benches with alternate seating
More space between changing tables
Sanitized lockers
Dividers between tubs
Time limit set for shower rooms
Bath tub placed in each cubicle
Face shield for coaches
Designated lanes clearly marked out

The pool looks very inviting because the existing mucky water had been drained, the floor scrubbed and repainted and all the non slip mats lining the walkway replaced.

Previously, the pool was segregated into 7 smaller ones. 6 concurrent classes and an area set aside as practice pool. The practice pool is now removed, with only 5 concurrent classes and the boundaries for each class widened. A lane had been set aside for each class for the coach. Instead of 6 pax per class, there’s only 4 students now. Each pair of parent-child must be at opposite ends during the lesson to minimize contact.

With all these measures in place, the swim school is made as safe as possible. As parents, we really appreciate the efforts put in by Happy Fish in ensuring a safe return to the pool. If you are still holing up at home, unsure of whether it’s okay to resume swim class, I hope the measures implemented by the swim school had reassured you. Covid 19 is here to stay for a while. Life has to go on.

Welcome to the new norms.

Papaya Leaf Juice Recipe

This is probably the most bitter drink I had ever tasted. Why drink papaya leaf juice? It is a treatment for dengue. Dengue patients will experience a drastic drop in their platelet count, blood cannot clot in the absence of platelet and this may result in internal bleeding.

Papayas are good for us and the enzyme found in its leaves promotes the production of platelets.

People say 良药苦口, let’s hope that this juice will really help to bring up your platelet count.


  • 5 stalks of papaya leaves
  • Rock sugar
  • Honey
  • 450ml of water


  • Wash the leaves thoroughly.
  • Cut the leaves into smaller lengths.
  • Add the leaves to the boiling water and continue to boil on low flame for 20 minutes.
  • Blend the leaves using a handheld blender.
  • Strain the mixture.
  • Add rock sugar and honey according to your preference. I used a generous portion because this concoction is really bitter.
  • Stir well and store in a food storage container.
  • Drink this juice twice a day, 25ml each time.
  • I hope you will recover soon.