Monday, August 10, 2009 ;
Happy National Day Singapore!
How did you celebrate Singapore's 44th birthday?
If you are in Singapore and in school, you would have a celebration for sure.
A friend in Sg, and her account on her blog, of their celebration in Sg. http://hedgehogcomms.blogspot.com/2009/08/happy-national-day.html
If you are already working, you have a long weekend, and probably get the chance to enjoy yourself.
If you are overseas, I would assume you tend to be more patriotic than you were back in Singapore.
As I checked several blogs, I found that the case. Except for my good friend Teck, who says there is a difference between being patriotic and loving Singapore. He loves Sg but is not patriotic. I have a mushy brain and cannot process this piece of information but I know for the past 3 years, being away has made me feel all the more for Sg.
I feel the love and longing a lot more. And when National Day arrives, we are all the more enthusiastic and united in the celebrations.
There is this family, also a young couple with their 3 young boys. They are currently in Beijing. I started reading her blog because she faced similar situations with her family in China. They had a great time at the Singapore Embassy. ANd had Hainanese CHicken rice to boot!!!!!
We had chicken rice at home too, but cooked by my mom. :-) She's here for 3 weeks to help me with marketing, cooking and caring for the kids while I frantically pack up all the stuff in the house to get ready to move home.
Too bad the embassy is in Beijing, else we'd go for the large screen NDP broadcast too. But Dh hooked up his laptop to the TV at home, so we did watch the entire webcast of the parade, mass performances and stunts by the Navy and Airforce on the big TV together.
I have pictures of the boys and Dh reading the pledge together at 8.22pm, with the whole world of Singaporeans in unison. We all wore red. In fact the boys were in red AND white. I have a video of them prancing around dancing to the Sg songs, and another clip of them marching with the marchpast during the parade segment.
But I can't upload them here as I am using the proxy and I still cannot access Facebook. argh... Some of my friends manage to, because they employ other countries' servers. Like a friend who uses the US server. But I don't know how to go about doing that.
Anyway, just 3-4 more weeks, we will be back in Sg!
We haven't bought air tickets yet. We plan to ship off our stuff then we'll know when we can go back.
Recent developments in Dh's company meant that he too, will go back with us for good. Initially, the company was still ok, and he was to continue coming back to Tianjin to oversee the operations even though he is based in Sg. But now his bosses have decided that they have been "bleeding" too much and have to wind up the business. According to his bosses, they have already lost both their homes to the banks (via mortgage) and because they defaulted on payments. Well, we know times are bad.
Dh has taken it really well, maybe because his options are still wide open. He has a lot of plans and are acting on some of them now. On my part, I just hope his bosses can slowly pay him back whatever they owe us, cos Dh did not receive last month's and this month's pay and has had to settle a lot of the company's debts over here in Tianjin on our own money first.
I have been doing my part. We recouped some from having something like a moving-out sale. My ayi can write Korean, so she put in a free ad in the Korean newspaper for me, and we had numerous callers and moms who stopped over at my place to look at our furniture, electrical appliances and kids' toys and books. 2 of them bought a lot of stuff.
One of them suddenly wanted both my bookcases and my Ikea table, plus a shelving unit in the kitchen. So we had to frantically put everything on the floor. After she left, my house looked like a war zone. Books, kitchen ware, baking supplies, toys, all over every floor surface in the apt.
She also liked both of the boys' bicycles very much. Initially I didn't want to sell cos we got them from the US and the boys loved their bikes, but Dh said this time, the shipping costs back to Sg will be borne by ourselves (not the company like from Utah to Tianjin) so we should ship as little as possible.
We finally sold ds1's bike first. Cos ds1's was already rusty and had scratches and was small for him. The lady still liked it very much cos she said she cannot find such bikes here.
Another lady wanted our ice cooler box. She kept asking me to sell. But Dh and I decided to keep that one cos that one had accompanied us on many of our road trips in USA and went on the church camp to the Tetons.... Sentimental value... hard to put a price on it.
So basically I did clear my house of a lot of bulky and big items. I sold off my beloved little oven and blender. I gave away 3 huge boxes worth of stuff to the needy villagers in Jixian (outskirts of Tianjin). I am giving away all other stuff to friends and neighbours and my ayi who appreciate and will love the stuff.
For example, the plastic storage boxes. My ayi was fawning over them, saying she never say such high quality plastic boxes. Even though I pointed out that it was "made in China" but everyone here knows that the good stuff gets exported and whatever you buy overseas that is made in China cannot be easily found in China. She took all my DVDs (those that Dh bought here), my iron, my standing fan, my plastic clothes hangers, dish rack etc etc.
Church members will have our bedding, blankets, plates, glasses, kitchen cutlery, more storage boxes, slippers and shoes.... Whatever they want. They say they feel bad rummaging about our house. I say please don't, we can't bring those stuff home, and it's enough for me to know that the stuff will be well-used and appreciated. I'll feel lots of heartache to throw them away!
Then the other difficult part of moving. I had to throw/ recycle so much of the kids' art work, craft work, projects and worksheets from school. But I did tell them, and I did take pics of them before giving to the recycling man.
There were some valuable and sentimental stuff we simply had to leave behind too. That is the tough part in moving, deciding what to keep and what to leave behind.
I'm glad that with my mom occupying the kids, I managed to accomplish a lot more. She is leaving this Friday. After that progress will be slow again. The kids seem to be especially ravenous during summer hols, so I have to keep getting them food to eat, but other than that, thankfully they now can play by themselves, although once in a while I have to go break their fights or tend to some injuries.
Dh promised that after he settles all the stuff at the factory, he will be at home to help pack too.
He has to also give away all his many pets. Do you know now they number so many??
He brought home a kitten. Cute, but really pesky and require so much time and work. Gets in the way of my packing too. I told him to please discuss with me before bringing home pets like that in future. His tarantula, praying mantis, gecko, scorpion, crickets and so on, I don't mind that much cos they are all in respective tanks and containers, and I need not care for them. The gecko and tarantula feeds very infrequently too.
But the kitten is so much of a handful, scratching furniture, jumping on the sofa, running around my feet and tripping me over when I am carrying a lot of stuff. The boys love her so much though. Although, I feel they are not ready to be responsible pet owners yet! They are learning, of course, that is good, but many times I have to remind them not to play so roughly with the kitten -- she is not a young boy like them!
So Dh has to find her a home too. For the various insects, no one would take them, so I suggested to him to take them all back to the seller (all from the same shop) and give them back to him.
Is this a mid-life crisis thingy for men? Then maybe I should be glad it is just collecting weird and troublesome pets, instead of some vintage car-collecting hobby or something more expensive or more undesirable. :-)
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow