Sunday, September 4, 2011

Holiday Roundup...

Been a quiet holiday. We didn't make the trip back home even though the hols was on. First because Son's trial is on right after the holidays and also because of some miscommunications with each other's travel plans. We assumed that my MIL would remain at my bro-in-law's and I thought my parents were traveling to my bro's place. Plus there was the heavy traffic as a deterrent. But I kinda wish that I had gone home to see my folks though, especially after reading a friend's post.

The first few days of the hols were a total washout as it rained and rained. Then on the first day of Raya, some friends gathered at my place for a breakfast do. It was supposed to be a walk but in the end no walking took place even though the weather was fine for the whole day. I guess we were all just too lazy after the cold days. It had been so cold and damp that clothes took a really long time to dry. The air was saturated. I also took Karyn to the Thai noodle shop off the beaten track... and true enough the trip through the winding paths beside the canal was an adventure in itself.

And then my washing machine broke down... or that's what we thought. We went to the shop, but turned out that they weren't delivering since it was the first day of Raya. The salesman wanted a deposit for a later delivery. It was a good thing I decided that since I had to wait, I could wait a couple more days. It's hols and I could always hand wash. Stress level was bearable. That turned up to be a decision that saved us a lot cos when we got home, the washing machine was working again. Before we left, Other Half had lifted it up and that probably dislodged something. Sometimes it's good to be long suffering a bit... LOL! I saved $$ too! And I am reminded this... Be wary of salespeople. Sometimes they just kelentong only to pitch a sale.

It's a nice break, one which I think I could do with more. Had a fruitful time with my girl. I am struggling, teaching her in Mandarin but because I didn't have to go work, I wasn't so stressed out with it. The time we spent together was actually quite enjoyable. I am often told by many parents that it's difficult to teach their own kids. My dad did it with me and I think I enjoyed his 'tuition' classes very much and reminded me that he was a good teacher. I did it with my boy... he was a little bit of of a tougher chew but I think it laid the foundations to a better understanding that we seem to have these days. And maybe too because his marginal years are now almost behind him. But I actually enjoy teaching her.... well, most of the time.

The learning curve for Mandarin for me is extremely sharp but because I taught her when she was in Std 1, there was something I could return to as a base. It's so difficult to remember all those characters. The task feels daunting but the Pleco app on my iPad and Google Translate have made it quite bearable. But I still find it rather difficult to remember the characters and find myself rewriting and rewriting the same characters again and again for pronunciation and meaning. Tis tough, this learning. How long more will I continue to sit with her? I don't know. It takes great discipline and energy. It's tiring cos I work and there's the housework too. Sometimes I feel like I have too much to chew. But I also tell myself that this is only temporary. And it's a matter of priorities - getting it right.

On conversations... one of the must have things in life. I had a few of those which will be remembered more than others. I learned a poignant lesson too. Each of us has this urge to hang on to possessions, responsibilities, etc with a zeal that is hard to comprehend. Some label it service, others feel it gives them relevance for their continual existence, yet there are those who hang on for their offsprings....and those who do it for truly noble reasons. But whatever the reason, we die and must leave all them behind..... cos we're mere mortals.

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