Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm hearing myself

With Aelig speaking more and more mandarin, with my type of pronunciation / tone / expression, I feel like I'm hearing myself. She is the reflexion of me, and it made me realize how I have missed pronounced / used certain words.

Anyway, we have fun conversations now. Example :

At the first few weeks of school, she always wanted to poo on the way home. And, she did poo in her pants with shit sticked to her leg. lol. To prevent this from happing again, whenever she begged me to take her in my arms, I would do it. Sometimes I have to bring her with me all the way up to the stairs with my backpack + her school bag + my handbag.

One day, while approaching home, I put her down and asked her to walk by herself.
Me: Aelig, you are heavy, you should walk towards home yourself.
Her: (wailing) I want maman to hold me.
Me: Keep going lah, we are almost there liao.
Her: (continue wailing) My legs are hurting...
Me: We will be there in no time, come.

Another day, I sensed that she can't hold it for much longer, so I decided to take her in my arms.
Me: Eh, you are heavy, I will put you down and you walk up the stairs by yourself, ok.
Her: No lah, we are almost there liao.
Me: See I'm carrying you with so many things, my legs are hurting...
Her: We will be there in no time, keep going lah.

I was impressed and surprised at the same time. She knows how to use my words against me. Wow.

She is also progressing well in French. She seems to learn a lot of new vocabularies at school.

Conversations with hubby:

Hubby: How was school, were you naughty today?
Her: No I was not naughty, because I'm a girl. (No je fais pas bêtises, je suis une fille moi).

I put Aelig to bed. Several minutes later hubby went to her room to kiss her goodnight.
Hubby: Have a nice sleep my little angel. Calm down and have sweet dreams.
Her: But I'm not calming down! (Mais je suis pas calmée)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hari Raya Open House 2012

I finally got the photos I wanted in order to share our visits to several Hari Raya Open House events (end of Ramadan). In fact, we chose to go back to Malaysia during this period so that hubby could experience some Raya celebration atmosphere, which he absolutely enjoyed. I realized that the "Open house" concept is something very unique to Malaysia. It doesn't exist in France and I'm not sure if it exists in other countries. Basically, many politicians / agencies / individuals invite the public to their house / place to celebrate events such as end of Ramadan, Chinese New Year and Deepavali (Diwali).

I told hubby that he could even go to see our Sultans if he wanted. My family tried to look for celebrations that could suit our schedule. The first one was an invitation to a coworker's house. We went with my brother in laws, and we had the warmest welcome from the couple. They were from Sarawak (a state in East Malaysia in the Borneo Island), so they prepared the Sarawakian noodles for their guests.

The garnishment for the noodles.

A table full of food.

Dessert: Kuih lapis (layer cake). The host told us that it took her 8 hours to finish baking all of these.


Coconut favor dessert.

Thanks a lot to the couple, I hope they are going to join the parenthood soon.Thanks also to my brother in laws who took the time to bring us there.

The second venture: we were invited by the police department, not for felony but celebration. We were greeted by several police officers, dressed in their finest traditional clothes. There were so many food stalls that we didn't know which one to start with. Hubby tried their "Kari Rusa" (deer curry) and was so impressed. As for me, I queued for the satay and ice kacang. Their fried kuey teoh was very good too. Thanks to my sister's connection we got to sit at the VIP area and enjoyed different scrumptious Malay dishes. We got also a chance to take photo with the big chef of the police department.

And Aelig got to meet the cutest girl of the night. Isn't she adorable in her baju kurung (one type of Malay traditional clothes)?

We went to the third open house organized by the Motorbike Association, also through my sister's connection. Unfortunately, my camera broke down when we were in Krabi, so we didn't take any photo. But I surely remember the kindness of the hosts and the authentic Rendang curry.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Every evening I use this short cut to go pick up Aelig. We are away from cars so she could run around.
This evening while walking towards the school I discovered that the area was flooded. It has been raining the whole week (it seems that it is the same in Malaysia). I had to decide quickly: continue the walk through the main road or go home to fetch my car. The traffic jam didn't seem so serious so I decided to drive.
I showed Aelig the short cut and she was all worried. I told her there was a lot of water covering the park so we had to drive home. She repeated by counting: one, two, three, four... till eight. Apparently eight means "a lot" in her dictionary. Oh I hope the water will clear as soon as possible. The main road is always congested especially when it rains. Everyone is so looking forward for some sunny days.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A trip to the local library

Once a month our Town Hall sends us newsletter telling us about the happenings and events during the month. I spotted one that suited us: "Story telling to kids between 2 - 4 years old". I noticed that there was a phone number for reservation, but I didn't call because it didn't say that reservation was compulsory.

It was a raining Saturday morning. We arrived a bit in advance. Apparently on Saturday they only open at 2pm, but this day they would open exceptionally for the story telling session. Once entered, the librarian asked my name to check out her list. I told her I didn't make reservation because I didn't know that it was mandatory. She insisted that it was stated on the announce. Ok now I know that if the announce has reservation number then I need to call for reservation. Anyway, she asked me to wait a bit to see if someone would cancel at the last minute. Later, she approached and got my name. She said that she couldn't kick me out since I was already there. Well, it was very nice of her as the room was full with kids and parents. I would had been very disappointed if we had to go.

This is the room setting for the session. The librarian announced that today's theme was going to be about "The night". Two more librarians joined in and they started reading a book titled "The moon". Aelig was very focused and turned her head to look at me from time to time with a sweet smile.
There were some singings and more book reading. We were very intrigued by a shadow puppets show. A torchlight was lighting up some animal characters to illustrate a story on a book. It was about a frog who couldn't fall asleep as he was hearing weird noises. The scene of the frog going from his bed to his parents bed made me think of Aelig who has been fighting to fall asleep in our bed. At one point there were telling a story about monster. It used a lot of adjectives that I didn't now. The middle pages in the book showed a big monster at the end of the story. Well, I don't know why people need to tell monster stories to kids. I did not grow up being afraid of monsters in my room because nobody had ever told me that monsters do exist. The whole session lasted for around half an hour and it was a big success. The kids had fun and Aelig was playing with the puppet show characters. I hope they organize more activities in the future.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Help yourself

One morning when I arrived at the office I saw this at the entrance.

Wow, someone treated us with some cakes and drinks.

There were two paper plates on the counter, one wrote "Servez-vous" (Help yourself) and the other "Bonne journée" (have a nice day).

It is not uncommon to have breakfast stand in the office but usually you will receive a mail stating the purpose of the celebration : birthday, resignation, retirement...

But this time, till the end of the day we still didn't know who had been so kind and at what occasion he or she was doing this.

Thanks to this anonymous coworker.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

School Kalender vs Calendrier

A friend posted the Malaysia's school calender 2013 (in Malay = kalender) in Facebook. That got me curious as I was out of the school system for ages (feeling old yeah).

So school year starts from the 2nd of January to mid November. Here's a summary:
12 weeks of school follows by 1 week of holidays
8 weeks of school follows by 2 weeks holidays
9 weeks of school follows by 1 week of holidays
13 weeks of school follows by 6 weeks of holidays
Total 42 weeks of school and 10 weeks of holidays
There should be one week of holiday for Chinese New Year, (one week of Hari Raya holidays will fall during school holiday in 2013), so total 41 weeks of school.

Now let see the French school calender (in French = calendrier). School starts at the beginning of September and ends at the beginning of July the year after for a long summer holidays. Here's the summary: 8 weeks of school follows by 2 weeks of holidays
6 weeks of school follows by 2 weeks of holidays
7 weeks of school follows by 2 weeks of holidays
6 weeks of school follows by 2 weeks of holidays
9 weeks of school follows by 8 weeks of summer holidays
There will be a lot of holidays in May so we should deduct 1 week here
Total 35 weeks of school with 17 weeks of school holidays.
And, no school on Wednesday for students in kindergarten and primary school.

No judgment here. It is hard to compare the two systems as Malaysians only go to school for half days (5 to 6 hours a day) while the French kids have a longer school day depending on the age. In France there has been discussions on cutting down the school hours per day and resume the Wednesday classes (half day) but some parents disagreed due to after school care issues. The French TV channel M6 is having a show on parents going back to 6ème (first year of high school) and the adults were having hard times living a 9am to 4.30pm school life. Sincerely I couldn't imagine myself being in school for so such a long hour, I will get nuts I guess.

Side note: I didn't understand what was summer holiday when I was at school since there was no summer break in Malaysia.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

About principle

I just read in a blog about the price to stick to a principle, and that got me think about what happened the other day.


One day on the way back home I saw an announce about the incoming activity in the nearby hippodrome. What caught my eyes was that they were organizing some activities for kids : ponies show, ponies race, cotton candy stand, free snacks, make-up stand... So I thought it was a good idea for a Sunday outing.

Sunday came, I had told Aelig that we were going to see some ponies, she was all excited.

We arrived at the hippodrome and the parking was full. Everything went well until we arrived at the entrance. There was a long queue with families.

Turned out, we need to pay for an entrance fee for adult, which was not stated in their website nor in their announce.

From the gate, I saw a bunch of kids happily playing, and I think Aelig is going to be so happy seeing or touching ponies. I think it's worth 10€ just to make her happy.

I tried to convince hubby, but he told me about the principle. The principle of not falling into the trap set by the advertiser, in this case the Hipprodrome, whose goal was to attract more adults who might start betting and one day turns into a gambler.

Well, I don't think by seeing some ponies racing we are going to be attracted to gaming. I agreed that it was a set-up, we could treat it as a lesson but it shouldn't spoil our day. At that point more and more parents were paying to enter and we were standing at one corner so that we could at least let Aelig see some horses running.

Because of that principle, we went home empty handed. Aelig didn't know what happen, she was still cheerful going home. At one point, we passed by the hippodrome and I saw a group of kids playing / touching / getting known to a group of ponies. I just told myself, that Aelig could had been with them.

I admit, I do not have much principles to hold especially when it relates to my child's happiness.