'So... Mum... what do you think of the really old matchboxes we got you for your birthday?'
I glance in the revision mirror to a smirking 9 year old, giggles erupt throughout the car.
In truth I loved them, but although the munchkins are growing up with a love of the pre-loved, antiques and re-furbished.... the purchase of 89 miniature cardboard boxes failed to impress them.
My travels have only just begun though - and believe me the next trip will be sans the littlens.
Saturday started as alot of our Sundays do. All six of us headed in to Junction 8 at Bishan for the boys monthly haircut at EC house. Even the littlest has matured enough to move from the baby salon (which is a whopping $25) that plays Thomas the Tank engine on the screens, to the one stop quick haircut shop... insert $10... get a card, wait in line, give the card to the hairdresser, get a cut, a lolly and leave (not sure why they don't just charge $10 at the end of the haircut, possibly they need to glorify the gorgeous in the wall $10 card spitter-out-erer that came with the franchise)
Following the spunky haircuts (actually Mr 10 is growing his out, a bite of the tongue from me as it is in that .... seriously we can't do anything with this length stage!) we headed to our favourite fast food restaurant. Din Tai Fung. Minions choice of food is dumplings... and alot of them. We are such regulars there, that the staff know that we like iced water not hot, two teas not six, acrylic plate for the little one, not ceramic, no ginger plates and a large table as opposed to a booth . . .and they stopped asking us a long time ago if 'we are sure that that's what we want to order, it's alot of food ma'am we have it under control, spot on to where we are not completely stuffed, but we are pleasantly filled.
Once finished, we briefed the kids on where we were going next. To try and find a present for Mummy... we were not looking for items for them, dad or anyone else, it was all about mummy's birthday....Much confusion to Master 7...
"But Mum's birthday was weeks ago"..... "Yes, but we didn't get mum anything then".... "But I made her a card, isn't that enough?".... "the card was beautiful, and yes it would be enough, but how would you like just a card for your birthday?"...... "mmmm.... we should buy mum the best present ever"...
I was excited, as in my research of places to go, I had come across the Public Garden at the National Museum. Full of pop-up stalls of old wares, antiques, new wares and wot-nots (gotta love the wot-nots) I was excited to visit this market. It's held once a month, I had missed the last one by 12 hours when I found the information. but...at the end of the week, an email popped through saying that the Public Garden would be on over the Easter weekend, and included free entry to the National Museum.
Open 1-7 on Saturday and Sunday we got there early about 1:30pm and were able to score a park inside the museum grounds. I have to say, much later and we would have been walking for blocks. Public garden is a fabulous market, cool and refreshing, with a variety of stalls. There were a couple of the stores on my list showcasing a small table of wares - - but was abundant that for my purposes I should have skipped the market and headed straight to the stores (like By My Old School . . .cannot wait to hit that store!) if you are in for a very different and cultural shopping experience I would suggest that you signup to be notified of coming events. There was even live music.
Deciding to visit their actual stores after this weekend, the only thing we came across that was a must have is a whole lot of antique match-boxes. I own a copious amount of glass jars that I try to fill with various decor for occasions, but sit ontop the kitchen cabinets whilst in slumber. So we thought this is a perfect item to display (got any matchboxes.... send them to me - it's only a matter of time before they are completely obselete)
Side-tracked (as we do) the kids begged to visit the History of Singapore exhibition. it's an audio tour, with a separate audio for adults and children with clearly large labeled instructions throughout the exhibit. Master 7 was keen just to be the winner, and Master 4 was determined to follow the instructions on the touch screen around his neck (but not sure how much he absorbed) Ms 9 & Mr 10 though could give you a blow-by-blow run of Singaporean history... well up to 1948 anyways as the littlens started loosing focus bigtime so we took the quick exit at this stage. It was truly informative and well worth doing- we will definitely take the older two to finish their tour and historical learning. But i would give yourself a couple of hours- it is quite an in-depth look into our history.
Bribing the kids with milkshakes from Once Upon a Milkshake we headed back to the car and off to Turf City, to a treasure trove of goodies planted between soccer pitches, dog runs,driving ranges and Horse Trails in Antique Alley. Cue the coughing and spluttering and the 'my feet hurt' for the four in tow.... mixed in with - - oh that is so cool (yes they love the pickers too) we scoured through dust and debris seeing a few things that are a must go back for. Unfortunately with location and that we are 'Gweilos or Ang-mos (depending which language you are speaking) prices were looking a little high) But there were definitely some items that Mr and myself will go back and haggle on.
Thus ended day one of the Trini Present search (but there were six of us... so my matchboxes were a great score) some brilliant finds, just not quite what we were aiming for..... perhaps next week.....