Singapore! Singapore! How I love thee! Let me count thou ways! I’ve decided to stay in Singapore for a little longer than I would normally to maximise the time spent with my grandma. London is a 13 hour flight away and I will not be able to visit her as often. Deep down, I wonder how much time I have left with her.

Janice and I are staying at our grandma’s flat for a couple of nights before flying to Kuala Lumpur.

It’s just Jan and I for the first week, a great opportunity to spend some quality time together as well as catch up with our cousins, aunts and uncles.

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We had dinner with my cousin Eunice who I was close to as a child but whom I haven’t seen for at least 10 years. I’m so happy to have reconnected with her and I’m not surprised that we got along famously even though our communication throughout the years has been sparse. She took Janice and me out to an Italian place that had black squid ink pasta. It makes your mouth go all black!

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I’ve been wondering when the stress and fatigue from the last few months would finally catch up with me and it just so happened to be in Malaysia, in the comfort of my Aunt’s home which is the next best thing to home.

Between organising the move to London, spending time with friends and family and working round the clock on a systems implementation, it caught up with me as soon as I relaxed. I came down with the flu and was bed ridden for a few days. I missed the overnight trip to Melacca with Jan, Sue Ann and her friends. That was a disappointment as it’s been a great many years since I’ve visited Melacca.

One of my favourite things about Malaysia, other than spending time with the family is all the great food I get to sample. This visit was no exception. Despite my illness, I managed to fit in dinner at a great Indian restaurant, Nonya food, a Japanese buffet with my lovely cousin Sue Mae and lots of hawker food!

Our trip to Malaysia was a mere four days. It was back to Singapore for us where we met up with Jess and Nancy and alas, a moment I had been dreading for months. It was time to say Sayonara to my dearest sister.

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Janice couldn’t stay on in Singapore as she had to go back to uni so it was with a heavy heart that I parted ways with her.

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Although I was teary, I didn’t cry at the airport as I didn’t want her to feel any worse than I was sure she would be feeling. I felt sad that she had to make the journey home alone.

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We gave Jan a great send off at the airport, with the cousins and our lifelong friend Leila all there to say farewell.

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I went back to our hotel feeling down in the dumps. I was not given any time to mope around though as the next day, Brooke, Georgina and Katrina arrived in Singapore.

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It was Katrina and Georgina’s first time in Singapore and I was keen to show them just how wonderful a country it is.

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We spent the first couple of days shopping and eating. Sharen, Eunice and my childhood friend Leila met up with us as much as they could. My Uncle Harold organised a large service apartment for us so that we could all stay together. The place is really spacious and we all hung out there in the evenings.

Jess’s birthday is embedded into my brain as deeply as my own birthday.  I met Brooke while working for Betts and Katrina while working for VDM so imagine my disbelief upon discovering that they both shared the same birthday as Jess.

Since both girls were travelling with me to Europe, it was too good an opportunity to pass up celebrating all 3 birthdays together. I deliberately planned to have us in Singapore at the same time.

We started the day off shopping at Vivo city (which is a super large mall) where we had lunch at a Swiss smorgabord restaurant called Marche. We went out for dinner together before heading to the Singapore flyer. Poor Brooke and Katrina were petrified on the Singapore flyer. Considering they are both afraid of heights, it probably wasn’t the most considerate thing we could have done on their birthdays.

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For a more unusual experience, we stopped at the fish massage parlour where they had our feet relentlessly eaten/sucked by these tiny little fish.

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It’s supposed to be good for the skin. I had gone there previously with Janice and Uncle Harold, Aunty Molly and Meldon.

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I found the sensation quite unsettling and screamed a great deal at the beginning. I wasn’t keen to do it again but I couldn’t wait to see how the other girls handled it.

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We finished the night off with drinks at Clarke Quay. All up, it was a wonderful day and hopefully a memorable birthday.

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We managed to cover a lot of ground during the 5 days we had there, including a visit to the Night Safari, shopping along Orchard road and Bugis Street. Both Katrina and Georgina liked Singapore, which was important to me.

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Before I sign off and say sayonara to Jess and Nancy, I should pay homage to Nancy’s shopping prowess.  Not only did she bring a suitcase that Jess could fit into, but she managed to fill it up with all her shopping!

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Where is the good in goodbye? Another tough parting as Jess and Nancy made their way home to Perth.

Brooke was worried about me and wanted to come to the airport with me (BLESS you Brookie!) but I felt it was more important that she spend as much time enjoying her holiday as she could.

Besides, I had Eunice with me which made a big difference. I did cry at the airport and I have Nancy to blame/thank for that. I was feeling okay until she started crying. Then it was all downhill and all 3 of us started tearing. I didn’t feel that I had to be as strong as when I said goodbye to my sister.

I tried hard not to cry when my sister left as I didn’t want to set her off when she was heading back to Perth by herself. Nancy and Jess at least had each other for company.

Both of them promised to come and visit during the following UK summer so I knew it wouldn’t be long till I saw them again.

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