My Little Pony – The Movie

Fifteen minutes into the movie, I wonder how I am going to pass the next 75 minutes. While my 5-year old seems to be enjoying it, a few minutes of seeing black monstrous ponies on screen later, my 2-year old wants to go back home and watch Nick Jr instead!

My sister and I bought a ‘My Little Pony’ puzzle when we were young kids without knowing that those were the characters of a cartoon series. Back then, I thought the ponies looked very nice. But a few years earlier, after my daughter was born, I tried watching on YouTube what I thought were my favourite ponies, but we couldn’t watch it beyond a couple of minutes. The ponies didn’t look beautiful anymore to me.

We are again trying to watch the ponies on screen only today since that’s the only animation movie in cinemas now. Apart from us, there are only 5 more people in the theatre at Cathay Cineplex, AMK Hub. My 5-year old is also not liking it now. To say that we are all bored is an understatement.

Boring voices, serious conversations and fights, lots of fight – no fun whatsoever. I really wouldn’t recommend watching this movie.

Let us hope that the movie becomes interesting after a while at least for my children.

Happy Birthday, My Blog!

Dear Blog,

Today, as you complete 11 years, I wish you a very happy birthday, my blog! I had neglected you for quite a few years in between, but I am happy that I have again started writing here. You gave me a whole lot of good friends and acquaintances. You made me enjoy sharing my life, views and interests with the world out there. (Let’s not think about the number of readers now 😉 ) Thank you, blog! Happy Birthday once again.

Dear Readers,

Thanks a lot for reading my blog and a big thanks for all those erstwhile regular readers who take the time to check the blog even now.

International Schools in Singapore for Student Pass Holders

Even as I was writing this post, I coincidentally chatted with a friend on the options for international schools for Student Pass holders. Here are some of my findings. I am putting the disclaimer that this may not be fully correct and you go ahead and cross-verify any information posted here.

For an international school to admit Student Pass holders, the school should have EduTrust certification and this link has the list of schools having EduTrust certification.

In this list, Global Indian International School seems to have the most reasonable fees.

Indian International Schools in Singapore

There are 4 Indian International schools here in Singapore and these are the ones having the lowest fees compared to all other international schools. These international schools raise their fees almost every year and the fees are definitely going to only be on the increase. The websites of all these schools have detailed fee structure.

These schools follows the academic year schedule of April to March. Except NPS International School which follows the age criteria for primary 1 as completion of 6 years as on March 31st, the other three require only completion of 5 years of age as on March 31st. So, since a child completing K2 (Kindergarten 2) in a local school in November would already have completed 6 years, they allow them to directly join the last term of Primary 1 from January and move on to Primary 2 from April. It is up to the parents to decide if their child can manage to skip two terms of Primary 1.

Ask anyone who has a child studying in any of these schools and the common complaint you will hear is that there are no adequate number of teachers for all subjects and that teachers keep changing often. But, when, at the end of the day, a majority of foreigners here belong only to a community of floating population, that is bound to happen, isn’t it? You also hear varying opinions on the quality of teaching too.

All these schools have school transport services to all areas.

All these schools have at least a thousand students studying in it and it is easy to get admission in any of these schools at any time of the year.
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Primary 1 School Admission for Foreigners in Singapore

It’s that time of the year again when the postbox of most of the foreigners, read not a citizen or a permanent resident (PR) of Singapore, awaiting primary 1 admission for their child in a local school get the rejection letter from the Ministry of Education (MOE). The MOE website clearly states that there are only limited vacancies in local schools for foreigners and it is better for them to look for alternatives in International schools well in advance. While no one knows how a foreigner can get admission in a local school, from the look of things, it appears that nothing more than luck plays a role in someone getting an admission. Let us first see the procedure for applying for a local school.
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ARR Songs Mash-Up by Guitar Prasanna

And then there are those stunning pieces of music which leave you awestruck, mesmerized, happy and pulls you in completely into it. Now, how would you feel when several of your most favourite songs from your favourite composer are brought together and blissful parts from one song after another comes successively in your favourite instrument, guitar by your favourite guitar player? Watch Guitar Prasanna effortlessly create magic with his guitar bringing together lots of beautiful songs of Rahman:

https://www.facebook.com/guitarprasanna/videos/10155715823783956/

Mindblowing! What a wide variety of songs has he chosen! This is going to be my music for the day.  

D’Resort at Downtown East, Singapore

In early May this year, we happened to visit NTUC Club’s water park,  Wild Wild Wet, during the NTUC May Day celebration. There was some nice water play area and rides for all age groups and even a person like me who is absolutely scared of water could enjoy it. That’s when we saw that there was a resort integrated with this water park – D’Resort at Downtown East.

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A browse through their website showed super nice, clean rooms. The very thought of water play everyday during the stay at the resort was very tempting for the children. This place seemed like the perfect place to go on a staycation.

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We rarely take a break during weekdays. This is one rare instance when we are doing this and started our staycation yesterday evening. We have one of the rooms of the ‘Mangrove Walk’ series.

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This room has all the nice amenities with two big beds, a TV, a double door fridge, a microwave oven, an electric kettle and a clean, spacious bathroom – perfect for a family with kids.

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The balcony of our room overlooks the big slides of Wild Wild Wet.

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But the ground floor rooms have an open balcony without any grills and there are times when somebody is working on the plants on the other side. Centipedes are a common sight on the balcony too. So it is better to keep the door and curtains closed.

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A walk behind the rooms leads to the exit to Pasir Ris beach – a beach with very shallow waves and having dense mangrove behind it.

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A sheltered walkway through the different blocks and rooms of the resort leads us to E! Hub which houses the super fun-filled indoor playground of NTUC Club, eXplorerKid. E!Hub is your typical shopping mall of Singapore housing lots of shops including NTUC Fairprice, eateries, several extracurricular/enrichment classes, Cathay cinema Theatres, etc.

Adjoining Wild Wild Wet are several eateries including Pizza Hut, Subway, McDonalds and NTUC FoodFare housing a wide variety of cuisines. Of course, finding good Indian Vegetarian food outside of Little India or Downtown in Singapore, is still difficult. There is an Indian food stall in Foodfare, but for strict vegetarians like me, the smell from the place turns me away from it. For now, I will stick to the veg Sub from Subway.

There is also a Cheers outlet near Wild Wild Wet as well as at the resort.

So, yes, there is everything at or a stone’s throw away from the resort, making it a perfect place for a vacation.

I am enjoying every bit of this much-needed break from the usual cooking-cleaning-rushing crazy daily routine and we as a family have decided to completely relax for one more day after which we will be back to our routine starting Thursday morning.

P.S.: NTUC members, do check out all the awesome offers and promos at this resort.

The Staycation

5 years back, my husband and I wondered just why on earth would somebody want to go on a staycation within a small city like Singapore itself when there are thousands of places to explore all over the world. Today, we have ourselves come on a staycation! On the second day of the staycation, sitting back and watching the kids having loads of fun at the indoor play area, here I am, not complaining one bit and enjoying every moment of this wonderful vacation.

The Idyll Idle Afternoon

I rarely step out of my house in the scorching afternoon heat of Singapore to take my children out to the outdoor play areas. But today morning had me having enough of fridge door banging by my son, ice cube playing by both the kids, refusal from both to play with each other and, as always, repeated requests for watching TV. I had  had enough of mopping spilt water, mango juice, etc. That’s when we came to their favourite play area.

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It didn’t matter that the play area was hot. No cleaner comes to clean the play area during weekends. So there are dried fallen leaves and twigs scattered all through and that was enough to instantly grab the attention of my kids. Both run all around the play area collecting twigs and leaves, crushing the crispy, dried leaves with their small hands and feeling the difference in texture between dried and fresh leaves.

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After a while, the daughter gets comfortably settled at the end of the tunnel slide, while the son runs around picking up leaves and bringing it to her. They both are lost on a world of their own, playing together without fighting.

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I walk for a while, then sit back on the wooden bench and gaze at the clear blue sky up above, a huge cotton-candy-like cloud on one side, the tall towering palm-like trees on the other side, the pinkish-red vrikshi flowers blooming on the trees nearby and the mynahs alternating between sitting and flying all around the play area. The music from a keyboard played by somebody in the nearby apartment fills the air.

It has been a couple of hours already! Their interest is slowly waning. There is a slight breeze blowing on and off. Light gray clouds slowly start coming together to cover the blue sky. Maybe the daily drizzle will start in a while or maybe not. But we are happy that we have had our daily share of the happy outdoor time. For now, the mind is happy that it can idle around for a while and refuses to think about all the never-ending ever-growing to-do lists.

 

Crossword on Animals

Just like any child, my daughter too has all her interest and enthusiasm reserved for anything new and this excitement always lasts at least for a few days.  So,  tapping into her (and mine too!) excitement, here is one more crossword that I prepared an hour back:

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Solution:

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I have missed out writing the clue for 2 ‘Across’ in the first photo.