Saturday, September 08, 2012

Holiday Adventures

After the Great Tan Vacation of 2011, we were a little bit afraid to venture that far again. So, even though we'd been bitten by the holiday bug, we decided to keep it small this September and go somewhere local. Yet, we didn't want to do just a hotel thing because it would remind us, the parents, too much that we were still in Singapore. We also thought it would do the kids some good to see nature somewhat adulterated. We are getting the distinctive sense that the kids wouldn't know what to do with nature if it slapped them hard in the face.

So we went as rural Singapore would allow and stayed for a significant part of the holidays. We were in Changi Village and we all loved it. We ate at the coffee shops, a seafood restaurant in an old colonial house, we walked along the beach and the kids screeched, squealed and tried to chase the roaring jetliners about to land at Changi Airport. We talked to a man selling fish and crab that he caught in nets that he lay every morning and collected in the evening. We took the bum boat to Ubin, saw a family of wild  boars, cracked jokes about cooking wild boar curry and saw mudskippers, crabs of various colours and finally discovered the tree that attap chee came from. We swam in the roof top pool, watched copious amounts of television interspersed with exclaiming that a plane was landing and every bath was in the tub and took an hour.

It wasn't the most sophisticated of adventures but what was important for us parents was that it wasn't stressful, there was enough space for everyone to sleep and be comfortable and we were able to sleep long stretches because the kids, exhausted with the ministrations of the day would fall asleep quickly and not wake at all through the night.

The glee that came from being atop a really big boulder and pretend fishing with a branch taller than his Papa.


The smell of diesel fumes and humid salt water. A combination that cannot be replicated any where else. Thankfully no one got sea sick and no one fell out of the bumboat.


When I asked Jordan what was her favourite part of the vacation was, this was what she came up with. I think she couldn't spell Ubin so she spelt zoo.

More adult observations of the trip:
1. Within the span of four days, we heard about/ saw 2 dead bodies. One of a man who jumped off the bumboat on the way to Ubin whose body was not found. And then another one, that lay under a police tent at the beach park. Things we conveniently did not tell the children.

2.  Charlie's Corner, a little pub grub place that I first went to when I was 16 is still in Changi Village and while it has moved, still has great food, beer and brings back great memories.

3. While the suite we had was slightly old and things definitely did not approximate 5 stars, it was comfortable and housekeeping was really accommodating.

Would we go back there? Perhaps. Although the consensus is to go even more rustic and hire a chalet for the next holiday.

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