Hello Singapore! Part 5

While having dinner with Juli and Hema, Hema told me a most interesting information.

Hema : You know, I’ve been allocated to school.

Me : Thats cool!

Hema : Guess where?

Me : I’ve no idea

And then she disclosed that it was at the school that I used to be attached to. The one where it was probably the longest attachment that I involved in, till I had to quit before migrating to Italy. I was amused. It was as if after one legacy, a new one comes in.

Hema : Come lah! There will be a staff meeting tomorrow!

And thus, it was the perfect opportunity for me to meet up with ex colleagues.

It took a while for me to get used to. The building and the area changed so much from the construction works that I had to make a huge roundabout looking for the new entrance.

By the time I entered the school, pretty much everyone was pretty surprised to see me. I saw a number of familiar as well as new faces. And I learnt that there were a number of staff who has transferred or had already retired.

Staff meeting

It was really nice to catch up with my ex colleagues and seeing how they were. I just wished that I had more time.

I chanced upon Hema and together we decided to have a late lunch together with my sister. I was already late for the lunch date and worried that she would be furious. And she was. When we arrived home, she looked visibly upset.

Nevertheless, a date was a date and after Hema talked to my mum we left for Sakae Sushi, which was located right next to the Boon Lay Interchange. It was interesting walking through the interchange as it was newly opened, fully air conditioned, indoor bus interchange.

Diana ordering food

When we got in the restaurant, I started to get quite excited. Sushi! Its been a long time since I’ve eaten Sushi to my hearts desire! It used to be that while I still living in Singapore, I’d go to Giant supermarket after 9 pm to get a discounted price for a party plate Sushi.

Even though there are Japanese restaurants in Rome, the prices are rather expensive due to the costs of seafood.

So, confidently I said : Lets get the biggest Sushi plate! I’m sure we can finish it all!


And this is their 50 dollars party plate. And I started to eat with gusto. Mmm! Unagi! My favourite!

But like in the economic terms of the law of diminishing returns, as I started to eat my 10th Sushi, I started to feel full. And then later my sister and Hema both said, That’s it! Can’t eat any-more!

There were three left.

Diana and Hema eating Sushi

Of course, not wanting to waste food, I slowly forced myself to finish them. In the end, I felt so stuffed, it was uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, when we reached home, I started to have pain in my right chest which became more intense when I tried to take deep breaths and I went to sleep the pain away.

Thankfully, the pain was completely gone the next day, and after a walk around the park with my mum, Cart and I headed to Geylang Serai to meet up with a couple of Singaporeans living in Italy who were coincidentally having their vacations in Singapore at the moment.

Geylang Serai brings a lot of memories here. My family used to go here regularly during Hari Raya to buy clothes and items for the house. I loved the food here and shopping is pretty reasonable. A bit unfortunate that nowadays, when anyone mentions Geylang, the first thing that they would think of is the red light district.

There were loads of changes here. The last time that I remembered, there was a temporary wet market about 100 meters away from the Paya Lebar Mrt Station.

This picture was taken in December 2007

Now, the wet market is gone, and instead, there is a two storey market build next to it

I forgot to take a picture of the market, but here is a picture of a pigeon :


I’m not sure why this pigeon is lying on the floor in the hot afternoon. Thankfully, there wasn’t any juvenile delinquents teasing it at the time.

And then I saw Lana and her baby Giulio in a curious scene.

Baby leash

Its my first time seeing a baby with a baby leash. But regardless of what your stand is about baby leashes, its said to be popular in Italy as Italian kids are very energetic and the leash keeps them safe from wandering too far away.

We met up with Lina and together we headed to the hawker center, located upstairs.

Food at geylang serai

I, of course, ordered my favourite, Ayam Penyet and we had a lovely chat about our lives in Italy over local food. Lana tells me that travels back and forth between Italy and Singapore while Lina said that she had to learn Italian very quickly since her husband was relocated to work. I am still struggling with my Italian.

Food at geylang serai

After we adjourned, we headed to the Geylang Serai shopping center next door when I proceeded to buy a number of P. Ramlee movies like Bujang Lapok, Madu Tiga, Labu & Labi, Ikan Emas … but too bad that they were still in VCD format. It would have been great to have them in DVD format and most especially, with subtitles!

As a sidenote, Cart and I were watching Sepet by Yasmin Ahamd and he kept asking and asking and asking. “Is she malay? Is he Chinese? What is the significance? Why did he do that?” I had to keep telling him, “Abang, its a story. Just watch and see how the story develops lah. I am watching this for the first time also, I don’t know! Diam boleh tak?”

And then Cart would have this mournful eyes and said “You know I am foreign and dont know of these cultural implications” and for a while it will be quiet and then he starts asking again

Anyway later in the evening, Cart and I got ready to head to Clementi Woods Sakura International buffet to meet my Jurong Institute Classmates. It was a pretty impromtu meeting since I asked around only about a week before the actual day but the turnout was still pretty good. The first person that I met was CK and we got nervous when we saw loads of people at the entrance and we didn’t book in advance!

Hong Boon and Joon Kiat

Luckily for us, we got a table in the end but it was too bad that we were arranged in such a way that I couldn’t hear the other half of the conversation, but I had a lovely chat with Dorris and her boyfriend who met in Australia while Dorris was attached for work then.

They said that they would probably head to the States for work experience after they got married. That’s quite romantic I think 🙂

Jurong Institute meet 2009

All in all, I had a very lovely evening just chatting with my friends, re-acquainting with everyone. We’ve grown so much since school days. It seems that everyone is getting married or have kids already or already complaining about their works and stuff.

Rite of passage I guess.

Next : Seeing Birds

5 Replies to “Hello Singapore! Part 5”

  1. My wife and I used to travel all the way downtown to the Sakura at Orchard. We actually weren’t aware there were other branches. We’re very happy with the one we found in Downtown East in Pasir Ris though. It doesn’t have the same fancy ambience as Orchard’s. It’s more of a cafeteria look, but it’s brightly lit, has a good view of the road and has the same great choices of food. Hm. Thinking about it is making me hungry.

  2. Yeah Sakura has many branches, interestingly, some of them are halal and the others are not so diners has to check the ones that they want to get to 🙂

    I like clementi woods because of all the greenery there, its something really different. The food there is not bad either. Not the best but for its prices, I wont complain 🙂

  3. Looks like you really enjoy Japanese food! Yes, Singapore is a good place to have Japanese at reasonable prices. About the baby with a baby leash, this is really not a common sight in Singapore … and, well, I enjoy reading the post. 🙂

  4. I do love Japanese food, here in Rome the cost of fresh seafood is quite expensive, so I don’t usually go to the Japanese food here.

    Thanks for reading and commenting by the way 🙂

  5. I have bought one of those leashes for my eldest but never found the heart to use it. On the other hand I can be quite free with my rotan.

    Lana didn’t use one when I saw her – but then Giulio must have become more active since. Kids really grow fast, don’t they?

    BTW, I forgot to mention (after the choco video) that you have some pretty girls in your family ah. You included, lah.

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