Henderson Waves is this funky pedestrian bridge that soars high over a roadway in south-central Singapore. It’s part of a system of trails through the jungle. It all sounded good to us, so one Sunday morning we laced up our hiking boots* and headed out.
(*Not really. We wore our usual sandals and Star Wars crocs. It was a very tame jungle hike.)
Here we are on the bridge itself:
And here’s Nyan in the jungle, pointing out a tree stump for some reason.
We saw some nice scenery of Singaporean developments on the hike (click to enlarge):
The section of the trail we were on ended up at Mount Faber, a hilltop restaurant overlooking Sentosa Island and the harbor.
They also had a bell – the Bell of Happiness – for anyone to ring. It sure seems to have made Nyan happy!
Every autumn, Nyan’s school puts on a song-and-dance concert at a local auditorium. In 2015, Nyan wasn’t exactly the star of the show… well, he was in a sense, but only in the sense of everyone was looking at him because he just stood there glowering on the stage, not moving or singing. (You can reminisce here.)
But this past November, there was no such problem. He was awesome. Check out this official video of the performance. (Note that there’s 90 seconds or so of introductory remarks before the fun kicks in).
Some stills from that performance:
There was also a finale piece, featuring all the kids from all the schools taking part:
Everyone was all aglow afterwards:
And some more backstage pictures, also featuring the proud parents:
Finally, a couple more videos of the performances. The ones above are the ‘official’ videos — these were shot by Daddy and so focus solely on Nyan. The quality isn’t quite as good either, but still worth a look:
Nyan takes part in a pretty good variety of individual sports — taekwondo and swimming especially — but he didn’t have any team sports, and we noticed that he was perhaps a little lacking in the teamwork department. Happily, we found a group that teaches soccer* to kids around Nyan’s age, at a school field just around the corner from our place every Saturday in the late afternoon. Perfect. He’s been going for a couple months now and, well, he’s not showing a whole lot of natural talent, let’s be honest. But he works at it, and it’s great exercise, and he’s showing some signs of improvement we think, and it’s good to interact with a different group of kids…and best of all, he has a blast.
*We are aware that the game is called “soccer” pretty much only in America. We are using the term “soccer” here not because we are being chest-thumping, flag-waving #MAGA types. Rather, it seems to be called either soccer or football here in Singapore. The word “soccer” is even in the formal name of the group he’s in. So, we call it soccer.
Some pictures and video: He loves to hang out in front of the net:
Some videos from his very first session, in early January. (The hope is that we look back in months or even years to come and marvel at how far he’s come!)
A little one on one with a smaller kid:
And a scrimmage that first week:
Let’s fast forward to February and see if he’s made any progress.
Here’s a one-on-one drill against his pal Neeil:
And let’s look at some game action. Here’s our hero, celebrating a goal, of sorts:
More live action, with Nyan protecting the net:
And a bit more. This is the most recent game of this current batch. See any improvement?
Well, whatever; it’s not about skills. It’s about fun, and teamwork. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s a pretty nice little field. We’ll keep it up; check back for more videos – and perhaps even more skills – later.
A couple weeks after our return from Phuket, we were feeling the need again for some sun and sand. Despite being a tropical island, Singapore is not exactly blessed with great beaches – there are a mere handful of them strewn across the island, most of them small and man-made, and nearly all of them suffering from ocean debris (that is, trash and litter) washing up on shore. (This is, sadly, common across nearly every beach we’ve been to in Southeast Asia, we’re sorry to report.)
But we’d read about a small off-shore island just a short ferry ride away that had great beaches. It’s actually a pair of islands – St John’s and Lazarus – that have been connected over the years via reclamation. So early one Sunday morning we took a cab to the ferry dock and piled on for the half-hour ride across the still waters of Singapore Harbor and the Malacca Strait.
We were seated below decks on the way back, and up top for the return. The rides were fine, as we passed by plenty of other ships at anchor that made for nice viewing.
And here we are on shore. It’s obviously not exactly the deepest wilderness here, what with paved sidewalks and cut grass AND the like. Still quite nice though.
Here’s more scenery, including a view of the Singapore skyline a few miles across the water, and a shot of some of the dozens of stray (or feral?) cats that live on the island.
Finally: the beach itself! A perfect crescent of soft white sand, with bathtub-warm water lapping gently ashore. So beautiful. Unfortunately, it’s still Southeast Asia, and we got there as the tide was going out and leaving behind a fair amount of rubbish. There was a bit of trash floating in the water as well. Such a damn shame.
Still beautiful though, and a great way to spend a part of our Sunday.
One evening, Nyan and Daddy were at the local shopping mall, running some errands. A new Toys R Us store had just opened, so we spent a little time in there before going to a restaurant to get some dinner.
During the course of all of this, Daddy happened to be talking via text message with Kyle’s mommy Sara about plans for a playdate, and mentioned the new toy store at the mall. Kyle lives not too far, so Sara decided she would take Kyle and sister Kara to the toy store as well.
Daddy didn’t bother to tell Nyan – but did say there was a surprise. Nyan thought the surprise was just a return to the store. Nope. Here’s the reunion of the two best pals:
After that it was just two boys running wild through the store.
It was a school night so we couldn’t stay out too late. But really – best friends and a toy store – Does it get any better than that?
Nyan sure does love his friends. And he loves to be silly. So one day, while Daddy was picking him up at school, he decided to pose for a picture with his friend Ming Xuan. Then Isabelle joined in. Then Sander. Then Chloe. Then Ning Ning.
Then of course they had to all make silly faces. Kids today amiright?
BONUS: Ming Xuan joined Nyan at robotics class one day.
Nyan’s a little boy, and like most little boys (and many big boys!), he loves vehicles. We’ve been to an auto show or two in our day (See here). When we heard it was time for another one, we were there. A great way to spend a couple weekend hours.
You don’t see too many pick-up trucks in Singapore:
There were plenty of car and trucks to get inside:
And a motorcycle or two:
The highlight – if we can single out one moment from an evening of highlights – was the semi-truck cab he got to go inside and pretend to drive, not to mention being able to clamber around in the back:
And finally, here’s Nyan, checking out the latest Ford Mustang. No, wait. He’s just chasing the rotating light around the floor.
In his own way. His school was having a party for Chinese NewYear, and asked that all the kids dress up in their CNY best. Great, ‘cept that Nyan doesn’t have any CNY best! Luckily there are plenty of stores around, and we found this lovely ensemble. It’s not the traditional red that most people wear for the Lunar new year, but we think he looked pretty sharp. Even as he goofed around for the camera.
At the start of the year, the parents of a bunch of Nyan’s classmates decided that it’d be nice to get the kids together just before the new school year started. Our apartment complex has a nice function room, so we reserved it and hosted. And what a fun, casual afternoon it was.
There was lots of running around, often with Adriana in the lead:
Lots of general fun as well:
Of course everyone made it into the pool for a while:
And there was more running and playgrounding:
There were also some more mellow times, when the kids were hanging out on the chairs, chit-chatting and eating ice cream.
A great start to 2017 and the K2 school year (the last year all these great friends will be at the same school, but we’re trying not to think about that just yet!)
Bonus: Afterwards, Ming Xuan came upstairs so she and Nyan could play Legos for a while.