Cart’s last day in SG : The engagement

Without realising it, it was already his final day in Singapore. Where did all the time go?

View from the top of the Bed and Breakfast

After the pizza outing and that everyone has left, I started to feel my emotional turmoil again and the floodgates opened. All the other times I’ve always felt sad when we had to say our goodbyes, but this time round, the feeling of sadness was more intense than ever, that it caught me by surprise. My eyes hurt and felt swollen as I went on my journey home.

Friday, 4 Jan 2008

After I left work for the day, I parked my scooter in the car-park near the bed and Breakfast. When I arrived, Cart took out the last pack of pasta that my aunt has kindly made for him and asked me to join him for a late lunch. I was surprised as I would have been too hungry to wait for anyone. He said that he preferred to eat with me than eating alone. I thought that that was kind of sweet 🙂

Yummy macaroni!
It may not look good, but it tastes absolutely delicious!

After our lunch we decided to take the scooter and head to Sim Lim Square. We proceeded to the carpark and I was just about to rummage in my handbang to find my keys when my eyes scanned the scooter box. And my eyes went completely opened wide. My keys were in the scooter box!

Chillycraps, Arzhou and Rinaz

How could I have left it in there! Someone could have just taken the keys and rode away with my beloved scooter! I must have been extremely stressed out. It was disconcerting. Cartcart tried to calm me down and I realised how lucky I was that the scooter wasn’t stolen.

At length with Cart safely behind me, we first stopped by to have coffee at ‘Geek Terminal’. It was open! We were finally here! I told Cartcart that Geek Terminal was the place where I believe serves very good coffee.

Coffee at Geek Terminal
I didnt drink all that, this were what my friends had the last time we were at Geek Terminal

Here was what Cartcart had to say :

After our coffee, we then continued our journey and rode past Tekka Market and I parked my scooter in an area somewhere near Chinatown and in a short time, we had a leisurely walk to Sim Lim Square.

Sim Lim Square

Sim Lim Square is a famous center for electronic gadgets. It was interesting seeing Cartcart there. As we both loved electronic gadgets, we were going about different stores peering and examining anything that caught our eye.

Eventually, after comparing the prices, Cart decided to get the Creative Zen. He looked quite pleased at himself after finding out that it was duty free. 🙂

The gadget was spiffy. I’ve been enamored over it after seeing the guys over at Tech 65 do a review over it. I tried getting Cartcart to buy one for me too but he said no. Instead he said, “I’m getting you something else.” I stared quizzedly at him and he continued, “Where is the nearest jeweller here? I want to buy you a ring”


I was most excited that my mind couldn’t compute momentarily. I called up my good friends Geri and Juli to ask them if they knew of any jeweller in the vicinity.

Fountain by Parco Bugis Junction

Geri adviced us to head to Parco Bugis Junction as there were a number of Jewellers there. So we walked around and sure enough, there were about 5 jewellers side by side.

We walked into one of them. It definitely was an interesting experience being with Cartcart in a jewellery shop. I asked gingerly about their engagement rings. Already in my mind I knew that I wanted. A simple but classic solitaire set in yellow gold.

And the man at the counter showed us a collection of beautiful and exquisite rings. But I didn’t want any of them, they were all white gold.

So we tried going to the other jewellers, Goldheart, Lee Hwa, Soo Kee, Meyson, Citigems. And it was all the same. None of them carried yellow gold with them.

One of the goldsmith helpfully adviced us to go back to Chinatown to see if there were any jewellers there.

So we headed back to Chinatown. By then, there were a number of street buskers around. It was fascinating to see them. One of the performers were doing a beautiful piece of calligraphy using his mouth.

Man doing Caligraphy using his mouth

That was when we stumbled upon a jeweller as we passed by and I noticed yellow gold in their display case!

But when looked at their designs, I did not really liked it. The designs looked much too garish and what made it worse was that they were all very tight! Suddenly I felt very self conscious of my body type.

After a while, I found one that could fit me. Vehemently, not wanting white gold and with little time left, I looked at Cartcart and said, “I think I could learn to like this one.” Cart looked at me and asked, “Are you sure?” I just nodded my head and he proceeded to take out his card.

That was when the goldsmith shook his head and said, “Cash only please”. We were crestfallen. Eventually, the both of us left the shop quite dejectedly.

cart : I still would like to give you a ring

rinaz : Lets go back to parco, I dont really like white gold, but I can live with it

cart : Ok. lets go

We decided to walk by the other street as we both did not want to walk in Bugis Street where it would definitely be crowded by this time. That was when suddenly, out of nowhere, pops out a man out of a jewelery shop. It was Taka Jewellery. I wasn’t very optimistic as I was sure that it would be the same as the others.

Man : Hello! Would you like to come in?

Cart : Do you have yellow gold?

Man : Oh yes we do!

Rinaz engagement ring

And just like that, I saw the ring that I wanted. A simple solitaire set in yellow gold. It was perfect! We were both pleasantly surprised at our find.

Later on Cartcart took the ring and slipped it to my finger, and proposed. Of course I said yes! 🙂

We had a quick vegetarian dinner at one of the hawker center where I had the yummiest spring roll ever. For a vegetarian one, I was impressed at how flavourful it was that I went back for seconds, even though I wasnt hungry.

Yummy vegetarian spring roll

We went back to the scooter where I found out that my cashcard was stolen! I had forgotten to take it out of the IU-unit and someone swooped in to steal it. That was twice the blunder that I did today. I was in extreme stress that I could not even think properly.

I was so upset with myself.

We rushed back to the bnb to grab his luggage before grabbing a cab to the airport. The cabbie was cheerfully chit chatting with us and when we almost reached the airport, both of us were amazed by the long queue of taxis at the airport. The taxi driver said that he had to wait about 3 hours once while waiting in line for a passenger.

As soon as we reached there, I began to feel very sad. I didn’t think we spent enough time together. I really didn’t want Cartcart to go.

Cart final moment in Singapore

But in what seems to be no time at all, he was in the ticketing queue and then I reluctantly let him go and waved while he disappeared off in the boarding hall. My heart just shattered. In front of everyone, I started to have tears rolling down my cheeks. I just couldn’t help myself.


Its been about 3 weeks now that he’s left. Of course I do miss him a lot. But life goes on. I guess I’m very lucky in that we both want to make this relationship work.

So for the moment, I’ll just try to keep being positive and hang on in there. We’ll be planning our wedding this coming December. But as much as just thinking of the expenditures and the planning makes me stressed out, I can’t wait to become Mrs Cartcart 🙂

Cart and Rinaz

Cartcart, I love you very much. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for being the way you are. Thank you for loving me 🙂

In this series :

Cart in SG : Heavenly chocolate at Max Brenner’s and earthly pizza at Da Donato

Wed 2 Jan 2008

My first day of work for the year. I was back at work again after taking leave for about a week. It was a busy day for me, flying about everywhere. When the day ended, it was just nice to spend some time and hang out with Cartcart.

View from the top of our bed and breakfast

View from the top of the bed and breakfast

It felt somewhat different now that the the routine has changed – no rushing to get to Darul Arqam in the morning like we were used to. Instead, it felt like a regular day, like I was the husband going back home at the end of the day to his doting wife. Actually, I don’t mind that role at all.

After watching Tstar’s handbell concert, Cart wanted to visit the Esplanade and watch any musical concert there. But due to the timing, there were none available.

Nevertheless, I was more than happy to bring him to one of the famous landmarks of Singapore – The Esplanade or the durian, fondly called by the locals 😀

The Esplanade

The esplanade was still as grand and beautiful as the first time I stepped there in 2004. After our dinner at Al Dente, I brought Cartcart to Max Brenner for dessert.

Max Brenner Chocolates

Max Brenner specialises in chocolate recipes, like hot chocolate, chocolate cakes. I first went here in 2004 with Geri and we both enjoyed it very much.

Max Brenner

When we reached there, there were quite a number of people there already. Some students, some businessmen, I saw a few couples and a complete family too. It wasn’t crowded, but enough people to be lively.

And the place was definitely very cosy. I loved the decoration, with the dark brown furniture and the natural colours. It made the place very warm and inviting.

Max Brenner

We had to pour over the menu and contemplate on what to get. As both of us are chocolate monsters, it was daunting to figure out what to get as everything in the menu sounded so good.

In the end we decided on getting the Chocolate Fondue 😀

Max Brenner, Chocolate Fondue

And it was delightful. I couldn’t get over how smooth and warm and heavenly the chocolate was. Every taste was just pure love.

I was very sorry when it was gone in less than 20 minutes. For something that was supposed to be for two people, the chocolate was so little! Next time we go there, I would probably get the large one instead!

Here is a quick video of us enjoying chocolate at Max Brenner :

Thurs 3 Jan 2008

After numerous mentions by NTT about how great the pizza at Da Donato was, on a whim, we organized a small pizza gathering via Twitter. It had to be small, as NTT advised that the place was actually very small.

At Da Donato
Dont ask me why NTT is crouching so low

I did not quite believe it till I actually saw it for myself. When we reached there, there were just about 2X4 square tables lined up in all as well as a number of very hungry friends! Cart and I arrived embarrassingly late after having to fight with the after-office traffic. The guys were nice enough to wait for us to arrive before ordering … Sorry everyone … 🙁

Da Donato

We made our order at the counter and I could not seem to tear my eyes away from the colourful pizza display. There were different types of rectangle cut, individual pizza on the wooden counter. You pick the one that you like for the person to bake in the oven.

Da Donato

Individual pizzas was an affordable $7 each while whole pizzas costs from $15 and above 🙂 NTT and Arzhou ordered the Quattro Formaggi (four cheese) pizza which they seem to enjoy very much.

Quattro Formaggi Pizza, Da Donato

I’m not that much of a cheese person, so the pizza wasn’t really what I’d normally have.

Cart and I ordered the vegetarian pizza instead. When the staff brought it to our table, I was quite surprised to see the amount of greenery on top of it. Daphne quipped that it looked like a forest!

Vegetarian Pizza, Da Donato

This pizza has olives, mushroom, onion and generously sprinkled on top of our pizza is rughetta – a sharp tasting vegetable that Cart absolutely adores. It’s an acquired taste though, and tastes best when its in a mixture with other food, rather than to eat it as it is.

Cartcart loved his pizza so much that he did not even want to talk, while just focusing on his food in front of him. Being a native Italian, and loving it, that means that the pizza here must be good! 😀

Here is a quick video of us having pizza 🙂

After our pizza, we adjourned to the Wiener Kaffeehaus for a spot of coffee. It was just a stone throw away from Da Donato.

The smell alone was inviting here. There were loads of lovely scents about, lemons, vanilla, freshly brewed coffee and others.

Wiener Kaffeehaus

The proprietor walked up to us and started to chat with us about the different types of coffee that they had there. One in particular, was the Kopi Luwak – a very prized coffee which is actually made from Civet Cat excrement!

The lady explained that the Civet Cat chooses to eat the best coffee berries and the berries does not get digested. Thus, the excrement are then harvested for use.

Arzhou was very interested in ordering a cup. But unfortunately for him, the house was sold out of the Kopi Luwak and had to settle for something else instead.

I, on the other hand, ordered something less controversial. The Viennese Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee

The iced coffee that I had was delicious! I think that, that was the best Iced Coffee that I ever had. It had ice cream on top of the most creamy and delightful coffee. It was absolutely delicious. I even forgotten to videoblog about it 😛

This is Daphne’s Maria Teresa

Maria Teresa Coffee

I’m not too certain whats in this coffee, but Daphne said that she felt happy after drinking this. I didn’t know that coffee was an anti-depressant 😛


And this is Cart’s double espresso.

I did not have the chance to snap what the others had, but I’m sure that the display was as pretty as the ones we had 🙂

Here is a quick video of us having coffee :

And it was such a splendid night we had, chatting away, joking around and having fun. It was just lovely and we both enjoyed ourselves very much. Thank you Sekling, Uzyn, NTT, Arzhou and Daphne. We really had a spectacular time 🙂

Cart and Rinaz having Coffee

Links :

Next : Cart’s final day in Singapore

In this series :

Cart in SG : His big day

Mon 31 Dec 2007

It was a big day for Cartcart. After studying Islam at Darul Arqam for several sessions, today was the day he converted.

Conversion at Darul Arqam

It felt sort of festive with my relatives and family bearing witness to the entire ceremony and I wondered how it would be like during the actual wedding itself.

Cart and I already looked like a bride and groom, with our matching green outifts.

Cart and Rinaz Family having lunch

Coupled with my relatives whom were already wearing colourful clothes themselves, I heard someone quip, “Was there a wedding going on?” while we were having our lunch together.

Tues 1 Jan 2007

We spent the new year visiting my maternal grandmother’s place. It wasn’t anything eventful, but it was nice to get together and interact with the extended family anyway. But the air seemed a different there with my relatives all teasing me to hurry up and get married.

After we visited my grandmother’s place, we decided to drop by my maternal aunt’s place. It was an interesting experience as Cart and I reached there on my scooter!

rinaz and cart on scooter!

Thank goodness that I did not get too lost trying to get from one part of the Island to the other.

It was already reaching nightfall when we reached there. We rang on the doorbell. No answer. We rang again. Didn’t seem to be anyone inside. No one home? We almost left for the elevator when the door opened gingerly and out popped my cousins head.

“Come in! Come in!” they invited us in warmly, “We thought that you couldn’t make it”

Cik Enon and family

My aunt and cousins were one of the first of my relatives to know of my relationship with Cartcart. They were there when I first brought Cartcart to meet my parents for the first time. They are very nice and both Cartcart and I are very comfortable being around them.

We both made friends with their cat called baby.

A cat called baby

Isn’t baby absolutely cute.

Naturally our conversation flowed to baby, the star of the day. Cart starts to ask why baby had such a short tail :

My aunt invited us to have dinner where we had pasta and vegetarian finger foods that resembled mini sausages and squid balls that tasted quite yummy actually.

We also had dadih. This is a rather popular Malay dessert which is made up mostly of yoghurt and fruits. It tastes light and fresh and absolutely delicious. And it’s a whole loads of fun to play with as it’s quite shaky.

We had a most lovely evening. It was really nice to be there with my aunt and cousins, laughing the evening away feeling very relaxed.

So much so that I did not realise that it was already past 10 pm! Reluctantly, we had to say our goodbyes as I had to go to work the next day. I rushed to send Cartcart back to his bed and breakfast while I went home and had to force myself to go to sleep.

Next : Heavenly Chocolate Fondue at the Esplanade and yummy pizza at Da Donato!

In this series :

Cart in SG : Not enough time at Singapore Zoo!

Though we were both worn out by the end of the day, we both enjoyed ourselves immensely and had the loveliest time at the zoo.

Cart and Rinaz at the Zoo

Sun, 30 Dec 2007

Longtime netbuddy Geri, who was a staff at the Zoo, has very generously offered Cart and I tickets there. As the Singapore Zoo is famous for its open zoo concept, I was quite excited to bring Cartcart here. The last time that I was here was in 1998 and I was curious to know what new developments was in there.

Singapore Zoo

We reached the place in the early afternoon after taking a long and leisurely bus ride. By the time we reached there, it was already quite crowded with people.

The place has certainly changed since the last time I’ve been there. It looked much modern with its decor and felt more spacious. I made a quick call to Geri and she popped out to say hello and met Cartcart for the first time.

Cart and Geri at the Singapore Zoo

I was happy to see that they were able to get along with each other so nicely 🙂

Singapore zoo
Sang Kancil having lunch

As we entered the animal exhibits, I was pleasantly surprised to see much changes being done all around. The zoo was divided into different segments according to the types of animals they were like primates and birds, and the continents they were from.

Singapore Zoo

One of the first animal that we saw were the otters. I nearly had a headache when I approached this exhibit as they smelled really bad! But this was the way that they mark their territory. I’m glad that I did not live next to an otter!

Singapore zoo
The beautiful red fox

As we explored, Cart was very impressed at how natural the surrounding was that he even quipped, “This doesn’t even feel like a zoo”. Nowhere were any of the animals were in a cage. Instead, the zoo uses hidden barriers like moats and shrubberies.

Singapore Zoo

I was amazed at how close we were able to get to some of the free roaming animals. I was so close that I could pet them if I wanted to.

Singapore Zoo

I wonder how the lemur coat will feel like. Is it soft? or is it rough like steel wool?

Singapore Zoo

While we were in the Australian exhibit, this handsome little emu came over to me so close to me.

Crocodile at Singapore Zoo

The dangerous animals on the other hand were kept in a safe distance using moats and bridges :

Singapore zoo

For some reason this white tiger was very restless and kept pacing around. Luckily for us, we were separated between a deep moat. But for the species that are able to climb high, they were kept behind glass displays where we could admire them :

Singapore Zoo

Like this stunningly beautiful Jaguar. Did you know that although both look similar, the difference between the Jaguar and the Leopard is that the Jaguar has a black dot in the middle of its spots.

Cart and I tried to go to one of the live animal show, but unfortunately for us, by the time we reached there, it was full of people. We could not even see the stage. I felt like we missed a great show.

Singapore Zoo

Thus, when we were determined to see the next show and we headed there early and we were rewarded to a very entertaining elephant show.

Singapore Zoo

The trainers and the elephants, as well as the emcee had such great chemistry with each other. Everything just flowed and it was apparent that everyone enjoyed it.

Here is a quick video montage :

In the end, I think that we did not have enough time to explore the entire zoo. There were still a number of exhibits that we did not go to. And we were so reluctant to leave the zoo, even though it was already closing for the day.

rinaz and monkey

Thank you so much Geri, Cart and I really enjoyed our trip to the zoo, very much! 😀

Links :

In this series :

Cart in SG : Class of 97G 10th year reunion

For three years, Jurong Institute was part of my life. Jurong Institute used to be a school where we studied for the A-levels to head to the university. When JI closed its doors in 2003, many of us felt sad. Personally for me, my JI days was one of one of the most memorable days of my life, especially for the people and the friends that I made.

See if you can spot me 🙂

So when my JI classmate, Hong Boon sms’ed me about the the class reunion, I instantly replied back that I would be able to make it. It would be so nice to meet the gang again.

Sat, 29 Dec 2007

Cart and I decided to head to Geek Terminal for some coffee before going to the meet. Having always hearing me gush about how lovely their coffee was, Cart wanted to find it out for himself. Unfortunately when we reached there, it was closed!

We both left dejectedly and went to ‘Coffee Club’ instead, where we had some coffee and shared a really delightful Chocolate and Coffee Mud pie ice cream with Oreo powder and fudge drizzled onto it.

Mudpie Ice Cream

Yummy! It was so good that I felt sorry when it was finally gone.

After realising the time, we took the train to Orchard. Being a city area, it was a very popular place to be which tends to be a congested place. Both Cart and I had to walk against the week-enders crunch, like salmons swimming upstream.

Christmas Tree at Ngee Ann City

We finally reached Ngee Ann City and stopped a while to admire the beautiful 4 storey high Christmas tree before heading to the Family International Buffet Restaurant. I was surprised to see only Melvin and then Juli, BK, William and his wife arriving shortly after.

Apart from Juli, it has been ages since I’ve seen them. They were still as friendly as ever and we chatted amiably while waiting for the others.

But the others were so late! We could not take it any longer that we decided to enter the restaurant and have a seat. And that was when the rest arrived one by one. Over an hour later than the time stipulated -_-”

The restaurant looked like a nice place. Being voracious eaters, all of us couldn’t wait to attack the food there. And there were plentiful types of foods to choose from. Here are a few of the sections that I managed to capture :

Family International Buffet

From different types of rice and savory food.

Family Imperial Restaurant

To steamed food.

Family Imperial Restaurant

Colourful desserts.

At one point, Xiang Long said, “Stop taking pictures! You look like a tourist!” to which I replied, “Come on, I’m a BLOGGER!” 😛

But there were loads loads more like the seafood (like lobsters, sashimi and Salmon) section, that I neglected to take a picture of because we were all raring to eat!

Family Imperial Restaurant

Hello? Sorry darling, but I want to eat now. Callyoubacklater!

In the middle of our meal, Hong Boon, took out the class Time Capsule. This was where we added in memorabilia of our school life all the way back in 1997. And now that 10 years has passed, each of us were curious to see what was inside it.

97G Time Capsule

This is our time capsule made out of a coffee canister. On top of the time capsule reads, “This remains as 97G property to be rediscovered on 06112007” It turns out that we were one month late 😛

97G Time Capsule

It was really cool to see the things inside the time capsule, mostly hand written old letters, photographs and we poured over each and every one of them. Truth be told, many of us have even forgotten about these items.

97G Time Capsule

Like this excuse card. I don’t even remember putting this into the time capsule. I don’t even remember carrying it around! But since it had my name on it, it should be mine :

97G Reunion

See! Never skipped class, never left school early, never pretended to be sick. I’m such a good girl.

97G Reuinion

Here Max is showing the handwritten letter of one of our classmate. Briefly it says, “I have a wish to become a member of the parliament. I would like to be an officer in the Army or the Navy. And I would like to marry Karen Tee Wen Chi

It was just so lovely to go through old memories together.

97G Reunion

After our dinner, on a whim we decided to get a new time capsule to be opened in the next 10 years. I wonder how we will all be like by then?  🙂

Cart and Rinaz at Ngee Ann City

Next : Meeting Geri and monkeying around in the zoo!

In this series :

Cart in SG : Of Little India, Geylang Serai and meeting the Aunt

Thurs, 27 Dec 2007

I took Cartcart to Little India to for Indian vegetarian food. Ever since the first time he ate here, he has enjoyed eating Indian food a lot. I think that it is rather convenient since we have a peace of mind, without having to worry about the food containing any animal products.

We headed to a little place called Komala Villas where they served Indian food in a sort of fast food restaurant. Cart ordered the North Indian set while I had the Naan set.

Naan at Little India
A slightly eaten Naan bread before I remembered to take a picture

Cart’s meal had a piece of deep fried dried chilli in the middle of his meal. He started to pick it up and ate it! I was horrified as I’ve never seen anyone eat an entire chilli before. I stared at him with my mouth open as he muttered out a satisfied “Mmmmm”.

A friend we met at Komala Villas

What? He ate an entire chilli? Unbelievable!

We took the bus to head to the bnb where we caught on tv mobile, news about the assasination of the ex Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto. The first thing that came in my mind was how unreal it was.

Fri, 28 Dec 2007

Geylang food center

After Cart’s Islamic studies, mum, Cart and I headed to the Geylang Food Center for a spot of lunch. There were so much things to eat here. There were rows and rows of stalls selling wonderful local fare.

Mum and I ate Ayam Penyet.

Ayam Penyet

A slightly eaten Ayam Penyet before I remembered to take a picture

This was one of my favourite food. Ayam Penyet is deep fried marinated chicken that you eat with raw vegetables and chilli paste. The hotter the better! Granted that it was a much different variation of the Ayam Penyet that I was used to, with that particular chicken being drizzled with soya sauce, it was still very good 🙂

Mum asked me to let Cart try the Serabai


This was a traditional Malay dessert made up of glutinous flour and eaten with gula melaka (palm sugar) Yum!

Mum decided to show Cartcart a couple of the everyday things that we had in Singapore so we walked to the wet market that was nearby.

Pasar Geylang

She showed the local vegetables, and foodstuff like spices, pandan leaves, tempeh (fermented soybean) and others, while she amiably chatted up with the ladies that were manning the stalls. That was when Cartcart spotted out some babas brand curry powder and said, “I want to make curry!” and proceeded to buy all three types that he saw in front of him.

As mum had prior engagement, Cart and I proceeded to go to the furniture shop called ‘Barang-barang’. In Malay, Barang-barang is a plural form of stuff.

Actually Cart needed some respite from the hot sun, while I just wanted to have fun and then take a nap after our lunch. I spotted a chair that looked almost like the one I saw in Secondlife.

Barang Barang

We reached our aunt’s place later in the evening where she was already waiting for us. My aunt has been looking forward to meeting Cartcart that she’s been trying to make me feel guilty for not introducing him to her when he came last year.

cart, rinaz and mak oteh
My aunt’s colourful house

But I was glad that we came over this time because Cart seemed to enjoy himself. He commented that my aunt had a great personality – very friendly, hospitable and a great cook.

It was funny because just a few moments ago, my aunt told me that she was a little worried as she has never cooked vegetarian food before. She had to crack her head and wondered what to cook. And in the end, she made Omelettes, Chap Chye (stir fried mixed vegetables) with mushroom sauce and some fried Macaroni.

My aunt, having already been to Italy some years back, started to talk about her experiences there to Cartcart. And one of the topic that they talked about as seen in the video below, was about coffee :

It was hillarous!

We then quickly said our goodbyes and went up to say hello to my parents since both my parents were home.

My family

Cart started to ask about my dad, whom was hurt during the accident and was surprised to see the well made prosthetic fingers that the doctors made for him. It looked natural, he said. And my dad seemed happy to hear that and even invited Cart to touch his fingers.

Cart handed some chocolates (which was the first and last time I saw, since my siblings were all chocolate monsters) as well as this very interesting thing :

Sapori Pie

This was a Panforte. I guess its a sort of hard pie which is made up of spices and dried fruit. Mum couldn’t wait to open and try it out.

And we all loved it. Yummy!

Next : My 10th year Jurong Institute school reunion!

In this series :

Cart in SG : Of the gorgeous sounds of the handbells

Wed, 26 Dec 2007

A couple of weeks ago, fellow pingster, Tstar, twittered about her handbell group performing for a concert during the holiday week. After we bugged each other on gmail, she asked if I would be interested in attending. Naturally I said yes!

The tickets Tstar gave me to the handbell concert :D

The tickets that Tstar reserved for us!

Thus on Wednesday evening, Cartcart and I spent some chill out time over at City Hall. Prior to that, it has been a busy day for us, rushing over to attend the Islamic class in the morning. We were glad to have a little bit of respite afterwards.

The coffee conneseiur

We spent a little time for some yummy coffee at ‘the coffee connoisseur’ and I admired the adorable decoration which still had a Christmas theme to it. It was a warm and cosy place to be.

Afterwards, we took a walk along the parliament road where Cartcart admired the historic buildings that were around since 1800’s.

The street to the parliament house

Somehow this picture looks very London-ish. 

We finally reached the Arts house where there were a small number of people already lounging around. Once we found the poster, we went up the rustic staircase and went to have our seats.

the poster to the handbell concert

Though I’ve already been to the arts house, I’ve never actually been into the inner chambers before. This was where it was formerly the place where the member of the parliament gathered to debate. It was a very charming place. The seats were so antique! I even saw very retro speakers attached to the chair.

The show started just as soon as we sat down. I’ve never been to a handbell concert before, hence it was very interesting for me to observe the proceedings. I saw the conductor raise his baton, and then the music began.

Ministry of Bellz at the Arts house

My gosh, it was such a beautiful sound that both Cartcart and I were so enthralled by it! It was such a lovely and relaxing sound that everyone who attended the concert were mesmerized.

Here is a short clip of the concert :

Isn’t it gorgeous?

I scanned out for Tstar during the concert and there she was, cheerfully swirling her bells around. Tstar looks so elegant with her outfit, the cute purple tie scarf and her black gloves. I couldn’t wait to say hello to her afterwards.

During the intermission, I made my way to the ladies for a bit, and when I came back, I saw her chatting to Cartcart and I was quite surprised. That was when they retold their narration.

Tstar : Where is Marina? I thought I saw her here.

Cart : Hello. She is in the ladies for a bit. My name is Roberto

Tstar : Who?

Cart : Roberto … Hmm Cart

Tstar : Oh! You mean Cartcart? Hi!

That was when I saw Tstar’s family coming over to give her their support. It was always heartening to see that 🙂

I quickly took asked for a picture with Tstar but when I saw the picture I was rather shocked.

Rinaz and Tstar

I looked like a giant next to Tstar! I don’t remember being so big!? I’m only 1.6 meters -_-”

Next : Cart’s first meet with the aunt

In this series :

Sidenote : Anyone interested in watching the Chingay parade with me?

Cart in SG : We went to the Singapore Science Center and Spagetti Too

Tue, 25 Dec 2008

I’ve always had fond memories of the Science Center. Back in school, we’d have rather regular excursions to see the exhibitions or omnimax films or to participate in their science courses.

A snapshop at Science Center, 2003

It was probably in 2003 when I’ve last been in the science centre. Even so, it was for a robotics competition rather than for leisure.

Last year, I thought that I’d bring Cartcart to go to the science centre as he loves maths. But it has been an unusually heavy downfall of rain the entire week that he was here last year. Hence, when the weather appeared to be fair this year, I dragged Cartcart to my stomping ground, Jurong East 🙂

Enterance to the Science Center Singapore

The entrance to the Science Centre was already crowded by the time we reached there in the early afternoon. There were plentiful of people around, kids, parents, tourists as we walked down the corridor past the waterworks.

For many of the parts, the Science Centre was quite familiar as how I’ve remembered it the last time that I was there. There were the displays that I still remembered. But at the same time, there were also a number of new displays that I saw for the first time.

Like this painting of the President of Singapore, Mr SR Nathan

But as cool as the painting was, I don’t think I would like to be in the same room with this painting, alone  and especially at night time. I think you’d feel the same too!

And there were plenty of other cool stuff around, like these display made up of laboratory created pills in the Biology Segment :

Singapore Science Center

As well as this interesting interactive game where one goes in front of a green screen :

And these beautiful cosmic like elements swirling around gracefully :

When we walked to another area, I regretted for not coming to the Science Centre before my examination period as I saw an ecology section where everything was very useful for my geography knowledge.

Ecology, Singapore Science Center

There was so much things to see that it seemed incredulous when we found out that we did not have enough time to see everything. I thought for sure that two hours would be more than enough time to look around Science Centre. But we did not even get to explore the second floor and then it was time to head to the omni-max theater at 6 pm.

We did however had just about enough time to pose with a little friend 🙂

Frog at Science Center Singapore

Since the first time going there, I’ve always enjoyed going to the omnimax theatre. It was, and still is the largest theatre in Singapore to date. With the screen being about five storey tall, it was an immersive experience that it was easy to feel like being part of the movie itself.

Omnimax Theater, Singapore Science Center

It was an arduous climb to the back of the theatre as the way up is a lot of stairs. One may feel vertigo if they stood up and look down as the steps were quite steep. But I think the best seats are the ones at the back. The poor latecomers would have to crane their neck up.

The show that we were watching was the secrets of the pharaoh. It was like watching the BBC’s walking with dinosaurs where current scientists explore how mummies were preserved and using the evidences that they had, pieced up the clues.

Secrets of the pharoh, Singapore Omnimax Theater

And like all the times that I’ve been in the omnimax theater, I was very drawn to the beautiful, lush and rich visuals.

Secrets of the pharoh, Singapore Omnimax Theater

After the movie, I decided to take Cartcart to IMM, which was probably one of the largest shopping centre in the area, for dinner.

We were standing there at the directory for a full five minutes, wondering what to eat when Cart decided that he would like to try to go to Spagetti Too and try their pasta.

Spagetti Too was a relatively new cafe in IMM. Everything in the menu looked so tempting. The front counter was so colourful that it seemed as if it was beckoning us to come closer.

Spagetti Too at IMM, Singapore

What a nice surprise when I saw that there the cafe had a halal certification. It didn’t carry it the last time I saw it.

Behind the counter was an enclosed area that diners could sit in. The décor was clean and simple.

Spagetti Too, Singapore IMM

We made our orders by taking the paper menu which is provided by the side of the table and mark a tick to the items that we wanted. And then we hand it to the front counter and then make our payments.

Spagetti Too, Singapore IMM

And I was doubly surprised to see that the food was affordable. I think we spent less than $25 for full set meals for the both of us. I was impressed.

As I still had a craving for chicken chop, I decided to order that, while Cartcart had Vegetarian Pasta. We had the Garlic Bread with Cheese ($1.70) as an appetizer.

Spagetti Too, Galic bread and Cheese

Cart liked this bread a lot. He said that it was nicely cooked and perfectly crunchy. But I thought that it was a little bland but there was no condiments to be seen nearby.

Nevertheless, we didn’t have to wait long for our food to arrive. By the time we were done with our appetizers, in about 10 – 15 mins, the helpful crew handed over our main meals.

Grilled Chicken Chop, Spagetti Too

This was my delicious Grilled Chicken Chop with Mashed Potatoes. ($6.90) I do love my chicken a lot. The meat was tender and juicy and was just a delight to savour. The sauce tasted more like black pepper sauce than mushroom sauce, but it was still really good.

I expected for some gravy on top of my mashed potatoes, but once I took a taste of it, it was good the way it was. It was smooth, savoury and creamy. It may look plain, but it was full of flavour.

Vegetarian Pasta, Spagetti Too

This was Cartcart’s Vegetarian Pasta. ($5.90) Cart said that although the dish was more of a fusion dish than true Italian pasta, it was still cooked well enough with the pasta not being overcooked – something that he is very particular about.

In the end, I was surprised to see that even an Italian enjoyed his pasta here 🙂

For dessert, Cart had the Chocolate Brownie while I had the Apple Cobbler ($2.50 each)

Chocolate Brownie, Spagetti Too

Apple Cobbler, Spagetti Too

We both loved our desserts. They were both inviting and each had a huge dollop of ice cream on top of it. My only mini issue is that I don’t like my apple cobbler to be heated up. I think it was nicer to eat at room temperature or cold, unlike brownies. But its not such a big deal, being such a value for money 🙂

If you are anywhere in Jurong, give this place a try. Good food and cheap prices. They don’t have a website yet though.

Next : Meeting Tstar and the beautiful sounds of handbells!

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