Your dad has a bunch of friends that are all dads, and I’m not sure how I got involved in these group of good people, but I think it was a a bunch of guys on a Facebook group called ‘Daddy Matters Group’ and during the more active days we talk a lot about all things in common, Dad matters. Parenting and sometimes husbandry stuffs.
While the group has quieten down a bit. we still occasionally meet up and have dinners and catch up.
Prata is the name of the game
Typically, this very much savored dish is what we dads can agree on, if all else fail, this comfort food is the go-to eats. Once we can get whoever is available and agreeable to meet, we chat over all things mundane and talked about some of the things we have done. Also relish some past memories for previous gatherings.
The 2023 Gathering
Over the years, conversation changes and we are talking about not just our kids’ schooling, behavior, good and bad. We talk about jobs and how some of us has moved on to other work and some are still in the same job after all these years.
Conversation has changed as our kids has grown up, Those with daughters are talking about their daughter’s attire. We talked about how tall our kids have grown, some have gotten into relationships. Other with sons, waiting or have gone into National Service.
No more Bloggers!
What a change, Blogging is no longer vogue! Sob! That’s how things have evolved, quickly. These days we are no longer reading blogs, or putting up blogs, the new term is ‘Influencer’, no more Bloggers, Instagrammers, and all that terminologies. It’s official, Blogging is dead!
Its a good alternative channel for me to catch up with my peers in the same ‘industry’-Daddying, and catch up with professional fathers on the latest developments in their lives.
I’m sure when the time comes for you both to become dad of your own, you will hopefully find like minded folks to have as friends for life.
Sometimes, being an instructor sucks, plain and simple. There is a lot weighing on the shoulders of the instructors, a proverbial 3 word question: “What to Teach?”
Not only that, sometimes seeing the same old folks again and again does challenge me to do something different, but what can be different? More of the same? Or same same, but different, but still the same?
It’s a People sport
That is where last Monday made me felt different. While we think that things always stays the same in the dojo, it is not always so, despite of so many decades practicing Aikido, we still bring a different level of experience to the mat every single time.
It was such a wonderful session as we all came together to learn and figure out new things. There was a spirit of exploration, learning about concepts and putting it to the test on the mat, physically connect to see if the mental map correspond with the physical world.
It’s the people that comes together, good, bad, and warts to put time, heart and soul to train, build good will on the mat.
It’s a beautiful feeling when we have been training for so many years together, and that trust is so well honed. It’s not just Aikido we are practicing, it is also putting our trust on each other on the line. While we may be less than perfect people off the mat, when we come together and put all our differences aside, really beautiful movements can happen.
This cannot be overstated nor under-estimated. Harry sensei left behind a small group of us still banding together to train. This is a very precious connection that binds us. We didn’t come together for fame nor glory, we are training in the true spirit of Aikido, for peace, friendship and harmony.
It really feels good when I give a feedback to Melvin on his Irimi-nage, and Choy chime in with his opinion, which might differs from mine, and it is still fine. It’s great to see both Choy and Melvin work on the finer points of the technique, so that we can all improve.
Like Nike’s famed slogan, Harry sensei’s mantra is simple, just turn up, and train. This has hold me in good stead, through good times and bad. Sometimes I really don’t feel like coming, especially when the attendance is low, I put all the doubts aside and just turn up.
No place in this world
This unique feeling caused me to think deep and hard, can we replicate it? Can we do more? Can we share this with more people out there? I certainly hope I can, because the world needs more goodwill and friendship, more people coming together to train and build trust, face fear and insecurity bravely. The only way we can do this is to do it together.
Recently over dinner, the 大哥 decided to mention something about the mother being overly exaggerated when it comes to giving instructions. Ian even when to say something like being treated as if ‘We are an idiot’. when his mum gives very simplistic instructions on how things are to be done.
I was kind of taken aback by the rather critical remarks. I can’t remember what was the topic we were having that leads to Ian making this comment.
Later on in the dinner, Ian remarked that his mother is agitated over something and accusing her of over-reacting. Which I can tell from the tone, is putting your mum on defense. There were some palpable escalation of tension.
That is when I stepped in and put a stop to this.
“How your mother conduct or behave is not open for discussion in this family.’
One thing for sure your mum is the best person I know. She holds no malice, no ill-will, doesn’t plot untoward schemes against anyone. She will protect the family with her life. She loved my boys and will do anything for them. She always puts her family above and before herself. She is the most giving and selfless person and she will go through hell and high water for the both of you.
So I do not allow any critical disrespectful comments whatsoever about her, at least not from her children.
Sure, she might be overly-zealous about her children. She might get frustrated when her kids cannot get simple things done and have to resort to exaggerated actions in an attempt to teach you boys the same thing for the umpteenth times. She might over-pack her lunch box for you boys, that because she do not want to see you starve, not under her watch.
The Good Son
Like I told you, Ian, your dad hadn’t been a very good son. That’s on me, but as much as I can help it, I will not allow my sons to treat their mother anything less than the best. There is still time for me to show you the right way to be a good son, so when she fails as a person, the last I want you both to do is to criticize her, you both have to hold her up, protect her, keep her safe, and never let her down. Whoever she becomes, she is still the best mother you boys will only have.
This, you both need to do so that you can be a good person, a good man, and an individual of value and virtue. Men needs to treat their women right, and the first place to start is at home, Love your Mother unconditionally and make sure she can depend on her men to stand with her, for better or for worse.
Be the Better Man
Throughout this marriage, as your mother’s husband, I have my shortcomings, tempers flared, quarrels ensued but we always find a way to make it work, sometimes find an uneasy truce, and slowly limp along. Wounds from hurt, healed to become ugly scars, we fought and become war weary of each other, that’s how marriage works, we never give up fighting, and after every fight, we go back to each other, forsaking everyone else. Sometimes it’s a bit too late for me to take back the hurtful things I say to her, all because of my insecurities and fears. Marriage is different as we both choose each other to spend our lives together, and sometimes that choice is put to test through our differences.
Being our children, is also different as you both have no choice over who to be their parents, so I need to make sure that you both make the best choice, so that the outcome can be most favorable for you and for this family. Start to treat your mum right and you will learn to treat your own wife right when you grow older to start your own family. So learn to put the woman in the household first so that our women an trust us to take care of them, and they will in turn take care of us and more.
We will always remember Monopoly as our go-to board games, and we started this game back around May 2020, where the whole world was still gripped dealing with COVID-19, and Singapore was caught in a Circuit Breaker where most of us were made to stay home. Your dad lost his job, and with nothing else to do, we huddle and play games!
Other than Monopoly, we also dabbled with Uno, as well as Scrabble, but it is Monopoly that kept us playing the longest.
Turn of Fortunes
It is really a very engaging game and your dad has the dubious record of going to jail for 4 consecutive times. The final 4th time had your mum laughing in stitches. I was just one move away from the ‘Go To Changi Prison’ spot and I swore no way in hell I’m gonna roll a ‘One’ on 2 dices, with 2 dices, with both getting ‘1’, I’d still pass it right?
It had to be that the 2 dice got stacked and the one on top turns out to be ‘1’! It just has to be this way. Off to jail I go. That means I missed collecting $200 FOUR times, $800 bucks gone, sitting in jail.
Other than this story of a lifetime, playing Monopoly also teaches us that luck, fate and fortunes changes.
For the first time Wayne play this game, you got very upset to the stage of tears when you start to lose your money to taxes, and paying us for landing in our property. There is a strong sense of pessimism and dread when things don’t go your way. It took us a while to explain that this is the rule of the ‘game’ and not everyone wins consistently, and some others, (like your dad) suffered worse fate!
I had to borrow, mortgage my property at one point in time to get myself out of financial woes. Ian, your elder brother fared much better in terms of financing and wealth.
However, as we played on, more often than not, Wayne you end up either the richest, or one of the richer ones. You own Queen Astrid Park and every time we stepped in there, we are taxed heavily to the verge of bankrupt! You also had the first hotel in the game.
Dec 2022 Monopoly
We played this game again in Dec 2022, during the school holidays and again, you seem to suffer the same detrimental outcome. This time you were older and we can explain the Law of Attraction, and see it in action. While you lament and whine about your pitfalls, the more pitfalls you seem to have.
When we tried to change your world view and see some glimmer of hope in the dice you rolled, which sometimes favours you, things seems to look up, one way or the other. It’s a strange thing, this Law of Attraction, but there is some experiential truth to it. you think yourself into the reality you want, even when things are not going your way.
Roll of the Dice
Sometimes, it is really the roll of the dice, and that is how it is, Monopoly is a good microcosm of the life at large. Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you don’t and you have to wait your turn, for things to get better. Being negative, whine, gripe, complain and sulk won’t change a thing, and staying in negativity will often cause you to miss a good turn (pun intended). We simply wallow in self-pity that even when things are looking up, we are not able to see it, because of our closed negative mindset.
Sometimes, it can be just plain dumb luck, but luck aside, which is not something we can control, but we can control how we perceive things. A simply game of Monopoly can teach us if we are going to crumble because of a bad dice roll, or are we going to keep our hopes up, keep playing and before you know it, you’re winning. well if you ever go bankrupt, just remember it is just, Monopoly.
Joel’s Ah gong did one heck of a job with his garden. He took an empty piece of land and turned it into a little oasis that everyone can enjoy.
More importantly, he has build something to be left as a legacy. All of us will leave something behind when we die, the question is the what we leave behind. As your parents the biggest legacy I have and will continue when I die is the both of you, this is the most direct form of legacy. You will continue my genes, my stories and carry on my history. you will tell you children(if you plan to have children) about my stories, and your children(if your children plan to have children) will tell their children about my stories and yours. Legacies usually goes from word of mouth to word of mouth.
Sometimes having a legacy means that you leave your work undone, for people to continue. Work can be large or small. Mr Lee Kuan Yew left us the entire country as his legacy for us to continue, that is a monumental task!. For Joel’s Grandpa, his garden will be his legacy.
It is a beautiful piece of work, and it is all him, he got the land from his Resident’s Committee, did the planting, and segregation, there is a little pond, some chilies plants, there is a small corner for cactus and it is all well spaced out. It is a simple piece of joy to walk in it and it will be a spot for everyone to enjoy! He is still working on it and every little plant and flower has been touched by his green hands.
Of course, he couldn’t have done it alone. But if he hadn’t started something, then other people can’t follow. His garden draws fellow gardeners there, to help him, and also to work and make the garden nicer.
And gardening is a never-ending job, if you do it well, it can go on and on. There are constant challenges, in making sure the plants are watered, pests, kept at bay. When the plants bear fruits, you can distribute it to the community. when plants whiter and die, you grow new ones. and when Joel’s Grandpa dies, his garden will continue and someone has to take over the task. To keep up the good work. and when people look at how magnificent the garden is, they will remember the person who first bring about its fruition.
We will also remember him, because he has given us place that we can enjoy.
At the onset the school is already risking alienating themselves from the local heartland population.
There is a new kid on the block in the junior college (JC) industry. The new JC will be called Eunoia JC.
There are 18 other JCs in Singapore are simply called;
Anderson JC, Anglo Chinese JC, Catholic JC, Hwa Chong Institution JC, Innova JC, Jurong JC, Meridian JC, Nanyang JC, National JC, Pioneer JC, Raffles JC, Serangoon JC, St Andrew’s JC, Tampines JC, Temasek JC, Victoria JC, Yishun JC.
Some of these JCs have a heritage to their names, some are very established and has a long history, some are new, some choose to tie their name to the specific geography where the school is located, Yishun JC is located in Yishun, and so is Serangoon JC (well, sort of). There is some logic towards naming these schools. There were another 2 new JCs which was opened at the turn of the 21st century, Innova (in Woodlands) and Meridian (in Pasir Ris).
By the way, Eunoia JC is not even going to be sited anywhere near to ‘Eunos’, the next most rhyming Singapore word.
Even these 2 schools, which names sounds a bit more contemporary, was spared the limelight the way Eunoia JC is in right now.
Well, I can live with Meridian, or even Innova, which sounds a little cheesy, too pushy toward inspiring, but yes, Innova loosely equates ‘innovation’; well, we do openly harbour hopes and desires we have for our future generations, to be innovative.
(Even MS Words and WordPress spellchecker flagged it red!) It’s Greek loosely meaning ‘goodwill’ and some ethical human foundations. One of the many flak it received was it’s too difficult to pronounce, and Greek? Sounds a bit too far from Singapore, geographically speaking. On top of the economic situation they are in? Not the best example of a nation state in the current free world.
According to the incumbent principal Mrs Wong, there was a selection process and Eunoia was chosen over 199 other suggestions, this was based on an online suggestions from stakeholders like parents, students, then there was ‘brain storming’ (what a cliche!) and consultation which took them 6 months to choose Eunoia. It was revealed that, these processes are documented and recorded, as in any bureaucratic government sanctioned work. I’m sure they also document and record as to how they came about with other names for other JCs.
K.I.S.S.-Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Gen Z JC
So maybe, based on their records, they tried out ‘Meridian’ in 2003, no one really bat an eyelid, ‘Innova’ was up in 2005, well, didn’t create much of a buzz either. So base on their past experiences perhaps, no one really bothered with the names, so they were probably embolden to try something different… hence Eunoia (I’m still trying to get used to typing this Greeky word); and it hit a media storm.
Since this is the newest kid on the block, I wondered, why did they choose a name that is from an old. long dead civilization? Is Eunoia going to teach Greek philosophy? Mythology? How is Greek culture related to ours anyway? Will there be statues of Greek gods in the schools? How far will they take the Greek theme to?
And I wonder how will our young, tech-addicted, literally-glued-to-the-smartphone generation (Gen Z) take to the name? Does it even inspire them to higher Greek aspirations? I’m not sure if I am.
In my own small pragmatic way, the way to name names is a 4 word-acronym… K.I.S.S.-Keep It Simple, Stupid.
As we all can see, this is not as simple and stupid as it seems. Even big, smart organizations like MOE can trip on it. Process upon process, brain storming and consultation, group thinking will not work. Logic and sensibility will always prevails, a good name sticks quickly, has a good vibe and helps bring in the right crowd, is Eunoia trying to target a Greek audience?
No local wise cracks?
Why do we need to travel to Greece to get a name? We have plenty of smart, wise people in Singapore. All our state Presidents, past and current are great people, why not Benjamin Sheares JC? Yusof Ishak JC? They bring a sense of Singaporean-ness to the JC, students can relate and entrench to that. They can read up on these great men and also aspire great things, for Singapore, not Greece. These names are closer to home, and gives our school a local identity. Oh, why not name the JC after a great Singapore woman? Joaquim JC would be a simple one, easy to mouth as well.
Stay grounded, MOE
Most schools in Singapore are meritocratic, which means we are going to have heartlanders aunties and uncles sending their kids to this strange sounding school for their education. These folks will know nuts about Greek, and mouth something as ‘cheem‘(deep), profound and greeky as Eunoia; all they want for their kiddos is to have a good education. As much as the Eunoia JC’s principal defending the school as not wanting to sound ‘high class’ but wanting to provide ‘world-class’ education. But in this naming gaffe, people are already thinking the former, even before you can prove to deliver the latter. At the onset the school is already risking alienating themselves from the local heartland population.
For the more law abiding members within the population, how many of us entertained thoughts of berating people who do not wear masks during the heights of the COVID19 pandemic? Feeling like punching them in the face for not putting on the masks?
How often have we scoffed at people getting their comeuppance? Or we gleam at the opportunity being the one who delivers the punishment?
Tit for Tat, anyone?
Aikido is not Attritional
When we are on the mat, we are not keen to display our superiority and overpowers our opponent. We are not keen to show off that we are better than our partners, nor are we keen to put up a good show.
It doesn’t add up to anything good.
Being inconsistent is an attribute of being a human, we cannot keep up a façade of excellence 24/7/365. We will falter, we will mess up. And when we do, we will need help and support from our fellow humans, friends and even strangers. By pretending that we are better, puts us at a stand-off distance, and alienates people who are in a position to help us.
A false sense of superiority also triggers a competitive instinct in our partners, as they will feel put down by the feeling of being less superior to us. When this comparison starts, the whole dynamics will become a duality, good to bad, superior to inferior, win/lose and swinging back and forth creates an inefficient imbalance which will destroys the harmony we need to achieve our goals.
No chance for destruction
Harry sensei’s style of Aikido lacks a large repertoire of Atemi, which is a kind so ‘soft’ strikes that helps us break our opponent’s balance or distracts them from the actual waza we are doing.
While he has never clearly explained why he doesn’t do much atemi, the understanding is that atemi can invite atemi. When we strike, our opponent can strike back, which will change the whole dynamics of how we want to practice Aikido, by ending things amicably. Striking can potentially escalates the tension and build more conflict, even when we are successful in our strikes, the hurt from being hit is very acute and it can invite retaliation.
How often has we argued with our uke in the principles of MAD? Mutually Assure Destruction’; “I can hit you from that spot! I’d say. And in turn my uke showed me that I can be hit, in exchange of hitting. And because Aikido is such a close quarter art, we will risk being hit, while we engage in hitting people.
Turning dissipates aggression
Aikido is circular. cyclic and cylindrical, even when we do not see it. When violence or aggression occurs, it is often directed, at someone, or something, which means it has a linear energy, it needs to get out, from point A to point B.
“I am hurt (Point A), so I will hurt the perpetrator back (Point B)”
“You punch me (Point A), I will hit you back (Point B)
It draws us back again to a duality where there is one winner one loser.
We want to circle that negative energy so that it can dissipates, and we can absorb it to neutralise the aggression. We do not want to use our own body to absorb that aggression through hard training and conditioning, again, there is only so much punishment the body can take before capitulating, so it make more sense to direct any force outwards, than to use our body to contain the blows.
One Good Turn
Given our volatile world, we need more purveyors of peace, by not fighting, not stopping the aggression with more aggression, instead, using our skills to ‘bleed’ out the negative pressures, we give the situation a chance to deconflict and deescalate the tension.
Aikido’s circular motion means that our opponent’s oncoming energy has a course to run, in a way that is harmonious to both of us. We take away their ability to hurt us, and also hurt themselves. In a move like irimi-nage our uke’s forward motion is turned away from its original path and circled to a location where we will be in a better position to end his/ her energy naturally.
Coax not overpower
This is a higher order skill that is very difficult to achieve, because we have to completely forget about our own stances, and self, and fully immerse into our opponent’s being and intention. Only when we are able to dissipate our image in front of our opponent, then we can have a chance to turn his aggression around, and coax them into a position safe for everyone.
Surely we can overpower our uke, once we are in a superior position, and once our opponent feels that they are being over powered and loses the fight, they will find a way to over power us and win back the fight. What’s the whole point in that?
Project Peaceful Intentions
We often invite the trouble we hope to avoid, and until we can find out why, troubles will continue to follow us. Coming to the mat to practice helps us better understand our own aggression. and puts us in a more pleasant, and joyful state. How often have we come across a person whom we don’t like simply by the way he/she stands? Somehow that manner of postulation simply invites a sense of arrogance or bigotry.
So we need to avoid being picked up as a target for violence or aggression, not by being belligerent, nor by being pacifist. We need to remain neutral in our stance and stay open when we are engaged in a stressful situation, always seek out a better way of making sure all parties involved walks away without a sense of retaliation, only then can we attain the peace we all strive to have in our lives.
It was a day dedicated to exploring the Kuta strip, as well as shopping, your mother’s vice. As Kuta Station Hotel is conveniently located almost smack middle of the Kuta belt, we came out, walked right all the way up to Hard Rock Hotel, exploring and munching, grabbing some touristy stuffs from Matahari. It was a hot day, and after a sun kissed day in Water Bom, we were sun kissed some more walking our beat on Kuta. There is a lot to see, and do, and everywhere, people will tout you for business. Not in a overly oppressive way, but they genuinely want to part money from your wallets, and if you are keen to, you have to bargain, aggressively. Prices can plummet from RP 120,000 to just RP 45,000. And your mum drives a hard bargain. She cuts the price until the stall owner pleaded her for profits. But that is how it works, everything transacted in good spirits and commerce.
There are some who are cheeky enough to ask where we are from, and wants us to give them our Singapore currency as souvenirs. ‘Yeah right.’ I told these lame jokers, I only have Rupiah with me.
We went to Kuta Beach via the main gates and are greeted by more touts, they sell everything, you need, and if you don’t stop, they can’t stop you, so we have to ignore them and walk and enjoy our stroll. The view from the beach is wonderful, the openness, the vastness of the Indian Ocean. The beach is beautiful, sans the touts, it is a place you can really sit and relax.
We walked on and shopped for more gifts, and then headed back to our hotel to deposit the goodies, before heading out again, turning left, for Lippo Mall, another shopping mall which is similar to the Discovery Mall we visited last night.
But is was not to be, Lippo Mall is much cleaner, more up market, the toilets are cleaner and they have a hypermart there, which we walked through, checking out their goods. It was a nice spacious mall with a pleasant surprise, they have a cineplex at the basement showing some nice movies.
We came out of the mall and something nice was happening at the Mall front, there were some Volkswagen streetvan selling food, and these vans can be driven on the road. The stall owners were game enough for the both of you to climb in, on board for some photographs. It was nice as we do not have such food vans in Singapore.
We took our stroll back to Discovery Mall, so that you dad can grab a sunset view of Kuta. It was a magnificent sight! We can see the sunset, along with all the sights of Kuta, the folks having fun at the beach, planes landing, the waves, the surf, you can stand and everyone is there to see the movement of the sun, slowly across the horizon, that bright red, orange spot light we called the Sun, setting. And once the sun is completely over the horizon, we can officially call it night time! Of course there are still some residual light and it is still bring before the sun really goes down.
It was at the beach that I asked one of the Balinese why they have offerings everywhere on the floors, at escalators, in front of shops, streets, stalls. That is where we learned that the Balinese made such offerings 3 times a day, and it is a bad thing to have stepped on them. Caution boys!
We walked back and pondered what to have for dinner, and we settled for a place just 2 hops away from our hotel, they served a decent meal of local fare and western food. We headed back to the hotel, slurping on ice cream we bought outside our hotel. It was a good way to end the day.
Our final Bali Day
We woke up to have our breakfast before heading to the airport for our flight at 1045hrs. Which means we have to be at the airport by 0845hrs, which means we need to be on the road by 0800hrs. Your mum has everything worked out and we got our taxi from the hotel which delivered us to the airport in less than 10 minutes in a Monday Kuta morning traffic.
Checking in is a breeze and we have that settled quickly, thereafter we proceeded to WH Smith to dispose off all our Rupiahs, your mum bought a whole lot of cooking seasonings, and other munchies, I spend the last bit on a packet of Fisherman’s Friend and a stick of bubble gum.
Until now, you boys are still harbouring hopes that the plane will get delayed by some volcanic ashes so that your holidays can be extended. Unfortunately, or fortunately, that didn’t happen and we flew back in comfort.
The flight was a very good one, on a very clear day, we can see clouds and the sea, as well as the land. Ian, you spotted a couple of cruise ships at the sea and it was truly a great day to be flying. There were clouds floating by us, like cottons. Some really massive clouds from a distance really makes you think that they are solid enough to walk on, and live in there. It sure looks like a piece of solid real estate and it is no surprise if people will think that there might be a heaven lurking in there somewhere.
We landed in Changi Airport, home sweet home and ended our Bali holidays. It is certainly an experience for us to remember!
We reached the hotel like about 9.40pm. tired after a day’s worth of running, flight delays and; our holiday hadn’t officially begun!
So at the front lobby of Kuta Station Hotel, we began the process of checking in, with all the documentation.
Thanks to the internet, we’ve already check out the hotel grounds, the reviews and the pictures, we liked what we saw on the net, and it was exactly that when we reached the place. The service was great, and the bellboy was a great help and extended his services to great lengths. They gave us room 3101, everything was fine except the smell.
It was an intense sewage smell that seeps out from the toilet, And there is no way we can escape that, we called the room service who came and sprayed some kind of deodorizer which neutralized the bad smell, it was a tactical move, and not long after the smell returned, the next day.
Too tired from the day’s adventure, we decide to called their room service and had our dinner outside our room, the food was great, I ordered a pizza and it tasted good! Everything was done clean, and the food was wrapped in cling film, we had no issues with the food.
We woke up rather late and had our first breakfast at the hotel, but before all that we called the room service due to the smell and they came, again with the spray. Your mum took ownership of the can and we used it liberally. Really, really liberally.
We took the streets after a quick breakfast, for our destination fascination, Water Bom! We choose Kuta Station Hotel simply because it was just a scan 5 minutes stroll from Water Bom. Security was tight in Water Bom, as there was a compulsory bag check, which was done by a very freindly security guard.
Needless to say, you boys are very, very excited about it. We got through quickly with the admissions and headed off to fun! Out of instinct, we headed to the kiddy area, which is not a bad idea. We wanted a gazebo, and we were worried that ALL of it will be taken.
The very friendly staff at the locker area helped us with our woes, luckily, there are still gazebos available (actually a lot of them are not taken up) and we took her suggestion ‘number 26’ which is in my opinion, THE BEST GAZEBO IN WATER BOM. Firstly, it overlooked the entire Funtastic kiddy pool play area, and just next to us, a life guard, so it is like having a security guard for our gazebo. And it is the only lone gazebo there, the rest are clustered near the toilet and other places. The breeze is good for number 26 and all other amenities, food, top up counter, locker, toilet are all nearby. Location, Location, Location…
We played with everything our family can play, that means some slides that Wayne’s too short to go for, we have to omit, which is the boomerang, that ride needs at least 1.2m of height for entry.
Wayne, you’re most game for Twin Racer, and made no hesitation. For Ian, you were rather apprehensive, but after seeing you little didi went for the ride, you decided to join the fun. Your mum called it the ‘Aladdin’s ride’ as you have to use a blue foam mat for the ride, which looks something like Aladdin’s magic carpet.
I tried the ‘toilet bowl flush’ ride and that is one of the most exhilarating ride ever!!! You step into a capsule and the bottom is a transparent piece of plastic, which acts like a trap door, it opens and you drop, near vertical down the tube, and slide, screaming down all the way. Wonderful adrenaline rush!
The only family ride we took together was the Python where all 4 of us can squeeze into the dinghy for an exciting, white water rafting style sliding down a dark tunnel, we all screamed all the way down!
‘toilet bowl flush’ ride … is one of the most exhilarating ride ever!!!
We also tried the pipeline, another ride that the little Wayne can take without hesitation, I have a feeling that you are going to grow up to become an adrenaline junkie.
And I have a feeling we will be returning to Water Bom, because there are some rides that is too high for Wayne, and we will come back and finish our unfinished ride.
The money we paid are well worth it, the food is good, your mum ordered an apple crumble and chocolate brownie, and cheese fries for you boys, it was delivered to the gazebo and they will return to collect the empty plates.
Overall, we loved Water Bom, it is fun safe and very thrilling. Very convenient, we walk out we can find food, and convenience. It is so vibrant and they really made us feel very welcomed.
We ended the day around 6pm, the time the water park closes for the day. After trudging back to the hotel, we bath and cleaned up a bit, before heading out again to get dinner at Coco Bistro, at Discovery Mall. Consistent to the spirit of Balinese hospitality, we had a hearty meal whilst enjoying the good service. By then, Wayne is beyond tired and we head back to the hotel to grab our night’s rest.
We can choose our trip, but we can’t choose our adventures.
We experiences exactly that when we depart for our Bali trip on 27 November, a warm Friday morning. We booked a cab, we took the first early flight to Bali, Jetstar 3K241, on an Airbus A320, and we were all excited about what lies ahead. The flight will be about 2 hours 40 mins tops, and we settled down with the take off, and other mundane experiences of taking an aeroplane.
Ian, your timing was impeccable when you asked your mother,’what time are we landing?’ To which your mum replied, ‘in just about 30 minutes.’ We’ve been on the air for about 2 hours and looking forward to touching down on Bali about 9 or 10 in the morning, on schedule. Cool.
‘hate to be the bearer of bad news…’
That was when the PA system came on and the captain of the plane told us, he ‘hate to be the bearer of bad news…’ (His exact words!!!) and proceed to professionally deliver it to us, due to the volcano erupting spewing volcanic ash into the atmosphere….(I was still think at this part, ok, our landing will be delayed. Which is fine. Still) … ‘We are unable to land and we will be returning to Singapore’… Yes… returning to Singapore…people in the plane was shocked in disbelief…. Not to mention an air of disappointment. The captain proceed to sum it up… ‘Safety first…’ And that was that. And to add on, the return flight would be another 2 hours…. Of on-air dismay…
It was no fault of anyone actually, it’s just one of those things, unexpected. While we were flying back, I was still half entertaining thoughts that ‘Hey, things might take a turn for the better and we might make another U turn and head for Bali!’ That’s me entertaining wishful thinking, but of course the reality is that, there is only so much fuel the plane hold, and once a decision is made, it is made and will not revert.
The look on your face was utterly disappointment, Wayne, I don’t know about you, Ian, because you were sitting with your mother, but from what I know from her, she said you look just as sian. Well, what to do, we are all encapsulated in an airborne flying tube, with no control over what has just happened, we cannot march into the cockpit and commandeered the plane to land in Bali, the pilot is doing his job for the safety of the entire plane. It is a sense of helplessness, that our plans for the day, or even for the whole holiday might be in jeopardy.
So your mum and I worked out our contingent, claim insurance. If we can take an afternoon flight, we would, we might lost a day, but we can still salvage the rest of the trip, and the highlight, Water Bom.
So the plane made its way back and we sat pondering our fate. The crew was very nice and tried their best to make everyone comfortable. We landed in Singapore, with the cabin crew announcing ‘Welcome to Singapore.’ There were a lot of ‘pfffft…’ And hmph!!!….’ In the air but everyone knew and understood it was not really Jetstar’s fault. It was their company’s policy on safety, and we cannot argue with them on that, better we land back in Singapore, than to have other untoward situations happen elsewhere.
As it was Singapore Changi Airport, we were not short of help. We were told to proceed to Transit counter ‘C’ to check out our alternatives. As we were amongst the last to leave the plane, a queue has already formed at the counter. The Changi Airport staffs wasted no time helping us, by allowing us to help ourselves with their inexhaustive supply of Nescafe Canned coffee, Milo, bottled water, biscuits, Oreos. They helped to allay our inconveniences. The staffs were also very helpful in ‘babysitting’ the both of you while you parents handled the process. It always feels good to be home, even if we were inconvenienced.
We learned that there is another flight out for us, which will depart in 1525hrs, which means we have a little more than 2 hours to kill in the terminal, we were given meal vouchers to settle our lunch at Burger King (honestly we weren’t too starved after gobbling the biscuits and drinks), but want not waste not! We got our meals and had our tummies filled.
We explored the terminals a bit, since this is quite a rare chance for us to have free time, we went to terminal 3 to explore and then took a sky train back, after going to our gate at C11 only to find out that the gate was empty, we panicked and your mum rushed ahead to check what happened, did we missed the flight???!
Turned out we didn’t and the gate was changed to D38, which is at the other side of the terminal. So we rushed there, only to find out the flight was delayed! Until 1705hrs, gates open only at 1605hrs. So we sat and waited again. It sure feels a bit like the Amazing Race! Without the prize money.
So much happening for Day 1! And we have not reached Bali! Eventually, we did, board the plane; the plane took off; the plane flew for the entire journey; and landed in Bali!. This time there was an euphoric cheer in the whole cabin, when they announced “Welcome to Bali!”