Thursday, July 09, 2009

Like Old Times

It would be ideal if I could post my entries as close after the event day itself as possible, but time keeps slipping away from me.

Between work, family and good sitcoms on TV, I barely have any time now to write about my day... much less surf to read other blogs. When I do find time, the only two places I go to often are my blog and Facebook sites. My iMac is so underutilized... why do I get so tired and out of time lately?

This entry is about Father's Day.

Yes, that special day came on Sunday, 21 Jun 2009 and had been long gone. I started writing about it on the actual day itself, but it just got stuck for so long. Yet that day has to be remembered in my blog because of two special reasons...

Thank You Dad

One, I felt I returned at least a tiny bit of happiness back to Dad with our outing at the Singapore Zoo on Saturday, a day ahead of Father's Day.

I know I should stay away from descriptive writing, knowing how "well" I command the English language, but these writings are my memories I wish to cherish should my memory become poorer than it is today.

I chose the zoo for our outing because I wanted Dad to relive the happy times we had here with the whole family during my childhood.

Dad's then employer, Singapore Telecoms, held their annual Family Day at this park as it was the popular choice among its employees when surveyed.

My own folks could never afford and would never fork out so much money for the costly entry tickets for a whole family of ten. Even then, I knew that amount of money would be better spent on our daily necessities as Dad was the sole breadwinner of the family.

I do know that the bus fares for the whole family must have cost Dad a tiny hole in his pocket for that month. It was after all, a long ride to and from our village home. Nevertheless, Dad gave us that chance to experience modern attractions the park had to offer.

The journey was as thrilling as the park itself. Coming out from the rural village near Paya Lebar to the clean and at-the-time modern cityscape, the long journey to Mandai Road kept me wide-eyed.

We would get free packed meals, goodie bags and play lots of fun games while gawking at many of the animals in their enclosures all day. It was one of the most happiest days of my childhood memories outside the village.

That particular Saturday has great significance to me.

Knowing Dad is getting much older and frailer every passing day, he now uses the cane to aid walking. He gets tired easily from walking, so it makes him scared to go out for grocery shopping now.

And Mom, well she is already getting around in a wheelchair whenever she is outside the house, so taking my old folks outings need some careful planning on the type of places and activities that they both enjoy while the getting around to and from the destination will only have one option... by cab.

Wifey did not come along that day. She already accepted a prior engagement with the mothers from Sonny's school. It was their first "girls day out" getting to know more about one another and sharing their experiences on coping with teenage children.

So it was just my parents, Sonny and me. That means we only needed one cab for transportation. Else, my parents will ride with me in one cab while Wifey and Sonny takes another. Quite an expensive affair on a weekend just for transport alone.

Yet, the experience to enjoy each others' company is priceless and I will not trade it for anything else. Making beautiful memories is my thing!

Thank You Sonny

Settling on the transport was one thing, but exploring the zoo meant for lots of walking. The most unlikely place to bring my old folks.

Fortunately, with the school holiday promotion, a bundled ticket price was truly welcomed. For S$25.00 Adult and S$19.00 Seniors, we get to unlimited rides on the trams around the entire park and a riverboat ride, a first in the zoo across the Upper Seletar Reservoir.

We got to cover most of the enclosure with the tram rides and only walk little distances to take a closer look at the animals.

We ate tuna and lettuce sandwiches I prepared at home before we left for our breakfast at the picnic area right after the entrance. There were met with visiting birds there with loud sounds of chippings and monkeys as if we were deep in the jungle.

Lunch was a perfect time. We had packed Nasi Rendang for us, while Dad had Nasi Lemak. We ate at the elephant amphitheater and had a good rest. Dad dozed off for a bit before the elephant show started. We did not have to rush for eats at all.

I think both Mom and Dad enjoyed the riverboat ride very much.

Dad kept looking at the water for glimpses of fishes peeking out to the surface during the ride. In fact, Dad kept looking at the water in the moat and ditches at all enclosure that had them for fishes.

It was more interesting to him than the animals in them!

That reminded me that Dad likes fishing and used to go for overnight fishing trips with my older brothers and brother in laws when he was much younger.

He was thrilled to feed the Kois at The Bottle Tree Park I took him the weekend before. I have yet to post any photos of our outings there. Looks like our future outings will involve places with body of water and the opportunities to see lots of fishes.

Yet the most amazing thing about the whole outing was Sonny. He focused his attention to Mom the whole time. He took charge to wheel her around from the moment we stepped out from my parents' home. Had lots of conversations with her until we were safely back.

I was so proud of Sonny for his maturity. He took the responsibility to care for his grandmother throughout the outing. That made me so happy and able to concentrate on Dad.

At times, Dad was thrown out of balance, I was like his shadow discreetly ready to catch hold of him if needed. I really appreciate his and very proud of Sonny. It was my Father's Day gift from him while I was giving that to my Dad.

Happy belated Father's Day Dad. We all love you.

Australian Outback

Ethiopian Great Rift Valley

Siberian Tigers

Upper Seletar Reservoir Riverboat

Asian Jungle

Asian Elephants

West Africa

Sumatran Jungle


  1. What a wonderful story Muhd. Thank you for sharing the "family outing at the zoo" with all of us..I loved reading it and looking at all the lovely photos of you all and the animals. Your son and you did a lovely job of making sure your mother and father had fun and were comfortable and well fed during this very "memoriable" trip to the zoo!

    I hope you'll drop by my blog soon as you get the chance to. I'm celebrating the "4th year of my Blog"! Drop by and post a comment as I am asking all who've known me through the years to come and share the memories with me.

    Love and Blessings and all my best to you and your family,


  2. I know what you mean I've been mia too.... too much to do around our house. But your posts on your 3 birthdays was great.
    And thank you so much for the trip down memory lane to the Singapore Zoo. We loved the zoo when we were there. And the Night Safari too.
    So good you could go there with your family.
    You and your wife have raised an amazing son. He sounds so compassionate and kind and I know you must both be so grateful for his spirit of caring to his grandmother.
    And how was your wife's 'girls day out' with the other mothers on coping with teenagers?!!! Sounds like a worthwhile time for her too.

  3. Wow that was an awesome post thankyou and the zoo is outstanding wow I feel like I was there too... Thankyou for sharing your family with all of us What a way to start my day this moring...Hugs to all... and your mom looks young and beautiful...

  4. How beautiful. Thank you for sharing your Father's day with us. My eyes welled up with tears as I was reading this.
    As far your command of the English language, I find that you have a very good command of it. I have read some English speakers that can not do as well!~


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Thanks again and have a good day.

Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger