What made us gain weight...

take a look for yourself...

Famous Singapore rice. Kai's favourite. He talked about eating it weeks before we returned to Singapore

A humble dish - bean sprouts fried with salted fish. DH and my favourite

Ham and squid ink skinny pizza. Notice the dough is not your usual pizza dough. It is much thinner than the thin and crispy pizza

Ah...my favourite mee-pok ta (dry flat noodles) This dish although simple, it takes a lot of skill to cook the noodles so that it will not be too soggy. It has to be springy. The noodles ae quickly blanched, mixed with chilli sauce (home-made), pork lard (sinful) some soya sauce and a dash of vinegar, finally sprinkle with spring onions. The fish ball is soft, smooth and most delicious when dipped in chilli padi and soya sauce

This is the popular Singapore chilli crab...slurp,slurp

The very famous Ramen in Singapore right now - Ramen Santouka. The shop is tucked at a little corner of a huge shopping mall (The Central, Clark Quay), there is always a Q. Well, what do you expect when the food is good but the shop is small. That's the way it should be. No need to be fancyful. Just serve good food, the crowd will just come.

Kid's portion, just nice for Ann

Their famous Santouka egg. Superbly done. Notice the egg white is very well done with a nice "tan" and the egg yolk just a tad raw. How did they do that? The chef was very generous with his knowledge...

The step by step on how to cook the egg was published in 8 Days Jan 28 issue

There you have it. Of course, in between, there were many more meals and not forgetting the Chinese New Year goodies. Well, a few inches more on the waistline wouldn't do to much harm when it happened only once a year!
Live, Love, Laugh...EAT
Homecoming is really about people, people, people

Yes, nothing should matter more than the people around us. Families, friends, ex-colleagues...Thank you so much for making time to meet us and feed us. All four of us have put on weight. You all know we need it to keep ourselves warm in cold, chilly Shanghai. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Lunch, tea, dinner with families. We miss our brother, based in Melbourne.
His leave was not approved. Well, there will always be the next time, brother.

Reunion dinner with the in-laws

Skinny pizza dinner with two very close friends...
we have known one another for the last three decades

Lunch with dh's ex-colleagues, Gabriel, Karen and Eddy from Kenya. Gabriel, man standing behind. He was an ASEAN scholar and working for one the big six accounting firm but quitted his cushy job, went to Kenya and started the Tana River Life Foundation to help the people there.
The foundation has grown so much that he is able to send two boys for overseas
studies and it was Eddy's first trip to Asia. Amazing young man with great vision!

Dinner with James and Lay Khim and their three lovely kids.
A faith-walking family. Both are full-time workers with YFC (Youth for Christ)
but they lead a good and happy life. An excellent example for all of us to follow. Sometimes, a simple life is really a joyous life.

Dinner with Lavonne, our real estate agent who has become a very good friend of ours over the years. An outstanding agent, of course, what do you expect from someone who not only help us to sell our house but also help us to find the right house, pray for our house, give sound advice and have been servicing us for the last ten years...with or without commission. If you are a sales person and reading this...this is what it is all about!

Ramen lunch with uncle Moses...he always have great books for us. Our very knowledgeable friend with a really big heart. The kids adore him...(so do us!)

Nothing is complete for the kids until they have a sparkle-fun time with their beloved cousins

Finally, we met the latest addition to the family, Lucus Lim who was born when we were away. Welcome to the big family, buddy!

I have heard many of you lamenting about the "chores" of celebrating Chinese New Year. I guess you cannot fully appreciate it until you have first hand experience of not being able to celebrate it. In the US, people flew, drove many hours just to be home for Christmas. Here in Shanghai, people Q up for hours just to buy a ticket to be home for Chinese New Year. No, not flying in the comfort of air plane but in crowded, sardine-packed trains and buses. Not sitting on comfortable seats but on newspapers laid on the floor...friends, we are talking about 20 hours bus ride. So, be thankful, be very thankful.
Chinese New Year

On the even of Chinese New Year, we usually have dinner with DH's family and after that, we head back to...

watch the Chinese New Year variety show on the eve...habit lah, something we must do

First day of Chinese New Year, family picture. Also a habit of the Shia family...after that will be visit to mother-in-law and mother and uncle and the list goes on....

No homecoming is ever complete without a visit to our home church.

We are always thankful for churches which welcome and take us in when we are overseas. The Evangel in USA, The Shanghai Christian Fellowship in China but nothing can replace the feeling of going back to your roots, our home church - Grace Assembly.

The comfort and familarity of a home church
Chinese New Year never complete without...

visitng the Chinatown. DH and I have this habit of going to the Chinatown during Chinese New Year, not so much on buying thngs but more of getting into the mood of festivities. We even have the habit of visit the Hari Raya night market!

These are just part of the Chinatown. It is a very huge place.

In the background is, I believe, the tallest public housing in Singapore. Pinnacle @ Duxton. It was not ready when we left.
See, in a short span of six months, changes can take place.
Enjoying our homeground

In the short two weeks, we tried to do as much as we could...visiting the dentist, the doctors and places...

Little Ann just couldn't contain herself...release your spirit my girl, enjoy yourself, my little princess

We also made time for the Botanic Gardens...it was HOT! HOT! HOT! but we had a fabulous time.

As it was nearing the Chinese New Year holidays, we literally had the whole park to ourselves. You can see, the kids had a great time, even the scorching heat of 35 deg C didn't bother them

Fish food became...

bird food

What an eventful day....all tired

but of course, papa will always be there to give me a lift!

We also managed to squeeze out some time for the kids to go to their favourite chill-out place - the Queenstown library

The kids were disappointed as they couldn't borrow any books but the disappointment was turned into joy when good old uncle Moses bought them some books and we headed to the Brash Basa complex to by some secondhand books. (Read - one whole luggage full of books was brought back to Shanghai) We paid only SG50. If we had bought those books from here, it would have easily cost us more than SG300

The kids also spent two days out at the beach. Thanks to their uncle and our brother-in-law, we now fondly name him - Bala.