Sunday, November 8, 2009 ;
5:24 AM
Nov 7
Asian Civilisations Museum

[They were having a Philippines Fiesta festival, and there was free admission.]

This Sat morning started with a piano trial lesson first. Dh is working in a friend's shop now right? His friend's wife teaches piano and Dh heard she's really good with motivating kids. He then asked ds1 to try a short 30min with Ms J.

ds1 flat out refused. Said he only wants to learn piano from mommy. (I wanted to kiss him then, but we needed to persuade him...) We explained, which is truthful, that with mommy, lessons are not fixed or structured because something always crops up during the week that mommy needs to attend to. And when dd comes along, mommy will be even busier. That's why until now he is still at the basic level with a limited repertoire of piano pieces.

ds1 said he didn't mind. He preferred swimming, gym, rollerblading, table tennis.

Dh was surprisingly persistent this time. Previously, he was as relaxed as me. Perhaps because he had already talked to Ms J and it's his friend, so he really wanted ds1 to try.

I am glad I kept quiet and let Dh do his talking. Cos after the 30min FOC trial, ds1 said he would like to start piano lessons. I don't know what Ms J did, cos I was with ds2 at ground level of the condominium, playing with him in the playground and observing kids at the swim pool. So good then, Dh will start bringing ds1 for piano every Sat, it seems. As long as it doesn't add to my workload, I am totally supportive. :-)

After that we had lunch at the Concorde hotel food court, and Dh started work for the day. He had 2 clients to meet. Business seems to be rolling in now, which is great news for him, but it means less family time, of course. Since he is starting out, it is important though, so I just need to learn to spend my weekends alone with the kids.

It helps that he has always been actively playing in the orchestra and keeping in contact with all his music circle friends. They've been spreading word of mouth for him. And the first few customers he's had so far were all very satisfied with his work. I do not know much about bowmaking, bow rehairing and so on, but he does bring his creations home, and I must say they're beautiful and I cannot even imagine making something so complicated from scratch.

I've got all sorts of weird parcels coming in now (they're sent to the house via FedEx or USPS usually). There's toad skin, snakewood, ivory, silver, gold etc etc. All these are apparently used in the making of a bow. It used to be very environmentally/ animal-unfriendly in the past. Olden times, only the aristocrats could learn and play music, so they always wanted the best and most exotic of bows. Hence, the different parts of the bows are all made using fine animal/ plant parts.

Anyway, so with kids in tow, I checked the Street directory in my mil's car to see which museum I can bring the kids to. I saw the ACM was near the Concorde hotel. Guess what, the street map says ACM is at Fort Canning Park, near the Philatelic Museum we visited previously.

So ok, I parked at the same carpark at Fort Canning.

We walked and walked around the area. Substation, Peranakan Museum, Philatelic Museum... Hot scorching sun. Both ds perspiring like mad and my back with aching already. Ok, no ACM. Nevermind, ask someone.

All the 3 people we asked had no idea.

Checked the street directory again. It's the 2005 edition!!!!! **#@%^*!@^#&%&^

How come it's still in use in the car??? I always assumed people had the latest edition. Furthermore, Sg is a place that changes every few months. There are new devts all the time.

Something clicked at that time. I recall going to an Arts Fest near the Spore River long ago, maybe 2008, and I think I passed by the ACM. Don't tell me?!?!?

But I was so mad, cos I tore parking coupons from 1pm till 4.30pm already. That open air carpark was the coupon type. Grrrrrr. I wasn't about to waste 15min of my time tearing coupons nor the money involved, cos it was $1 for every 30min at that carpark. Simple math will tell you, I had torn tons and tons of coupons cos my mil's car had only 50cents coupon. So for every 15min, I had to tear 1 coupon, yup, with the year, month, date, and timing. I was ready to tear all my hair out.

Nevermind, with gritted teeth, I dragged both boys with me, and walked to Funan the IT Mall. By the time we reached Funan, I was ready to collapse. Yes, you may laugh that I am so unfit. But hey it was very very hot, and hot weather makes me faint.

So we went in for some air con, for the restroom and for a cold beverage.

When I came out again, we got lost. The tall skyscrapers all around did not allow me to look ahead to see where Victoria Theatre is. That's always my landmark for knowing where the Sg river is.

I asked many people. One lady at the bus stop. 3 taxi drivers (cos they were all in their taxis in a queue, but there were no customers)... Can you believe it? Taxi drivers, and none of them knew where the ACM is. I used English and Chinese to ask, you know. I was about to use the Malay language or Hokkien dialect already. Sigh.

Then I asked security guards, and other passers-by. No one had the slightest idea where the ACM is. Did I recall reading the Straits Times that Singaporeans seldom visit the local museums? It seems true indeed.

One security guard kindly suggested I go ask the customer service desk within Funan. Ok. I went up to the 2nd level. There were 2 very friendly well-dressed lady officers there. Both were not sure where the ACM is. But fortunately they were very helpful. They searched for a Singapore Map, and scoured the map for ACM, found it, circled it and passed the map to me. Ok, with a map, no problem.


sigh... It's still so far away. So we walked past the padang, City Hall, Victoria Concert Hall... Finally... ahhhh. I was never so glad for air conditioning in my life. Even the kids slumped down on the bench in the ACM foyer and we just sat there stupidly for 10min, recovering from the extreme humidity and heat.

Ok, fortunately from this part onwards, it was fun.

They had many activities going on. First, we headed for the River room where all the kids events are held. There were story telling sessions, craft, martial arts, and goodies.

ds1 went for the Filipino snacks. He munched and munched and I realised I hadn't snapped many photos of his toothless grin yet, so here's one.

He liked this sweet snack a lot. Can't remember the Filipino name but it's fav amongst Filipino kids. They ran out of 7D mangoes, else I love that the most. I saw empty wrappers though, so I knew they were giving those out earlier.

There was a paper craft where you can make Jeepneys and Filipino national costume cut outs. Both boys chose the Jeepney craft. Yup, but of course, vehicles are more interesting to them than clothes.

Then there was this station with 4 different stencils of Filipino symbols/ treasures. ds2 chose one and starting paint-brushing. ds1 didn't want to do this.

The boys with their Jeepneys done. The wheels can turn!

Then we viewed all the exhibits in all the galleries. Some were general Asian ones. Like this is the section on Buddhism in Thailand. ds1 tried to do the Buddha action. They were enthralled by the many hands.

There were many interesting exhibits, especially in the Philippines section. Many private and rare collections were shown but they didn't allow any photography. It'd be difficult to take good pics too, since most stuff was enclosed in glass and the lighting was not bright.

This is a sampan. I think this is Indonesian or Malaysian?? I confess I didn't read the description for many exhibits cos the kids were rushing from one to the other.

Photo op area. Actually kids and adults can also dress up in traditional costumes from the Philippines, complete with props like beautiful fans and so on. But both boys were very repulsed by the idea, even though I was trying hard to persuade them to wear the costumes. Sigh.

They were very interested in the lethal weapons used by Filipino martial arts puglists though.

There was also necklace making, which was so exquisite and beautiful. ds2 was attracted by the beautiful shiny beads and did agree to make one. But we queued for a while and then decided to move on. The queue moved too slowly cos each necklace took a long time to make and only 4 can make at one sitting.

Every activity was free, by the way. The kids also received 4 magnets with Filipino symbols on it, and a goodie bag filled with traditional Filipino games, souvenir stationery, and snacks. We also received free ice cream each. We could choose between chendol, jackfruit, mango, yam and strawberry flavours. No prizes for guessing which the kids chose. With so many exciting and exotic flavours, they chose the most predictable and usual one.

There were also worksheets for the kids to fill up but the boys didn't do that. I intend to make them do it sometime this week though. It's all about the Filipino culture.

Then there were interesting Spanish bolero dances, Tinikling bamboo dances, songs and other performances.

We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. It was worth the killing walk there and then the long walk back again. It was still so hot when we left at 4.25pm. And you know kids??

It must be the ice cream. Cos either boy always love to torture me. They love to visit the toilet to do the big business at the most inconvenient times. See, I was rushing back to meet the timing of my carpark coupon. Then ds2 squatted down halfway during our walk and needed the loo. So we had to go into Funan Mall again, to use the toilet. I don't like bringing both boys to the ladies and I don't like squeezing into one tiny cubicle with either boy and waiting with them while they finish their business. I wish they'd do all these at home but they love to do it outside.

Finally we got back to the car, and headed off to pick Dh up.
What a day, once again.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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