Sunday, August 24, 2008

One-Tonne Noodles

My brother decided to up sticks and move to another country. He and his wife have been managing most of my financial affairs.

I therefore had to spend some time in Singapore to sort out various administrative issues (re-assigning them to another sibling). My own family has not been back to Singapore for some time. I do not like air travel and especially long-haul air travel. I was also particularly keen to visit my favourite maternal uncle who's had a stroke. I last saw him eight years ago and Uncle is 84. So we decided to stop two weeks in Singapore.

All four siblings still remaining in Singapore were at the airport to welcome us. We felt very loved. After settling in at the YMCA, being given a phone and phone card that works in Singapore, a freshen-up, etc, we were at a Kopi Tiam (air-conditioned hawker food place) nearby to have dinner.

Son is very picky with food so I was not looking forward to making a choice for him. We finally settled on "Wonton Noodles" in soup. "Wonton" is a Chinese transliteration of "cloud swallow" (or cloud being swallowed). It is a meaningless name as such, unless one wishes to say that the crumply folds of cream-colour boiled wonton skin over bits of minced pork and prawn look sort of "cloud-like".

We were pleasantly surprised that son actually ate the noodles, and then ate some more of the noodles. He was not so much into the actual wonton, the roast pork and the vegetables that came with the noodles. But the noodles, he ate them well with chopsticks.

I noted, "That was Mum's favourite hawker food when she was young."

Son: "So I've got your genes then."

Me: "Yes, you must have some of my genes."

Son: "But I didn't steal your trousers."

Me: "Pardon?"

Son: "Genes! As in jeans! Trousers. I've got your genes, but I didn't steal your trousers. Geddit?"


Friday, August 01, 2008

Or Two (Results!)

Mr G got back to us when I asked if it should be same-size whiskey. He told us the unofficial result and added "Yes, a very large whiskey of great age I think".

We hassled the Head of Music when we noticed that his car is back in place. When he got to read his emails, he confirmed that son did not only get a Distinction, but a Distinction with 136 marks in his Clarinet.

There were whoops of joy from son when he learned that.

Over the weekend he'd been going, "I hope I get 136," because 136 plus the 124 he got for his piano would equal to an average of 130, which is what one needs for a Distinction.

I know friends whose children appear to be very good at an orchestral instrument, but they struggle with piano.

Son started on the piano. That means developing a 'two-channel mind'. His music has become quite difficult for me because fingers of the same hand play at different rhythms (eg holding down thumb and moving one or two other fingers to form a chord).

For him then to switch to playing clarinet requiring him to read just one line of music at one time must seem terribly easy. I don't know.

It will be interesting to see how he progresses when -- if -- he takes on the organ as well.

Meanwhile, having had Acker Bilk send him to sleep for a week or so, he's worked out the opening lines of Stranger on the Shore all by himself.