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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Blossoms

They say that springtime is the most beautiful season and we agree (who doesn't, anyway). Well, let's start off with something closer to home first.

Recently, mummy discovered a small but beautiful garden right inside our apartment compound... and this was after staying here for nearly 2 months! The apartment compound is vast (with close to 30 residential blocks!) and the garden is just a few blocks away from ours.

I guess it's not too late to discover this place because the meteorological spring has only just begun. In China, there are 2 springs... calendar spring (Lunar CNY) and meteorological spring (defined by average temperatures within a specific period). The warmer climate (although it still feels like winter to us) is starting to bring some colours back into the landscapes...

Pink and white blooms stand out among the greens

Pretty blossoms from around the garden

A flower as big as my palm

The lush greenery in our apartment compound

There are some exercise equipments here too... mummy and I make it a point to do some light exercises before returning home every day (after picking me up from my schoolbus pick up point at the apartment entrance)

A pink cherry blossom-like tree right at our doorstep

Cute buds blossoming into pink beauties

At the neighbourhood park just across the street, beautiful flowers are springing alive too

A dunno-what-tree with huge white flowers in full bloom

A close-up shot of the white flower with big and thick petals

I love this park very much and I can come here everyday without getting bored...

Whenever it is sunny (and with temp above 10C) mummy will bring me here for a walk after school, especially on Fridays when I don't have to rush home to do my homework :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Longest Hotel Stay Ever

(Another backdated post)

We stayed a total of 26D25N in two hotels in Shanghai upon our arrival on 1/1/2013. Initially, mummy and I were supposed to move here in February, after daddy has settled the house-hunting and school-hunting for us. This plan did not work out because that would put all the “hunting burdens” on daddy alone. Since he was given a 30-day free hotel accommodation, we finally decided that it was best to fly together, stay together and do all the necessary hunting together.

For the first 3 days, we stayed at the Renaissance Shanghai Yang Tze Hotel. This was a very nice hotel but the room was too small for the 3 of us and our 5 luggage. The room did not come with any cupboard/wardrobe or proper storage space for our stuff (imagine all 5 of our bags scattered all over the floor!), plus they refused to include daily breakfast for mummy and I despite the fact that we were staying “long term”. Hmmph!

Nice room with comfortable beds but very little space to move around :(

Lighted polar bears at the hotel lobby

The buffet breakfast here was yummy but it was not included in the room rates (daddy paid first and later claimed back from his company hehe)

Finally, a big and spacious room with a huge wardrobe and plenty of compartments to put our things

Very happy to have this as our home for the next 22 days :)

Part of the big and luxurious bathroom

The cylindrical shower screen

My favourite was the bath tub... I enjoyed a few sessions of bubble bath, of course

Our buffet breakfast vouchers for 20+ days.

Mummy and I had a slow and enjoyable breakfast in this restaurant every morning. Daddy always ate alone at an earlier time as he had to leave for work at 7am+

I ate mainly all the healthy stuff everyday... colourful veggies and fruits were a must on top of the other usual fare like bread, pancakes, eggs, noodles, porridge, yoghurt, milk, cereal, fruit juice etc.

Another happy breakfast shot... Breakfast was definitely our favourite time of the day!

There was an indoor heated pool in the hotel but mummy felt that the room temperature was a bit too cold for me to swim here... I could only view from afar...

Christmas decorations in the lobby when we checked in...

When we checked out... CNY decor already :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Starting Primary 1: Delayed but Advanced

After an extended 4-month long holiday, I finally started my first day of Primary 1 in a guoji xuexiao (international school) on 18th Feb. I joined in as a new student for Semester 2. The school term here starts in August and I've already missed half a year of classes. According to my class teacher, I'm doing fine in class and do not have any difficulty catching up with my lessons. Phew!

First Day of School
Mummy did not accompany me at all (she was not encouraged to) on my first day of school and I had no qualms about going to school on my own in a school bus! I came home in the afternoon exclaiming gleefully "I love my school! It's so fun... more fun and better than kindergarten! I love it. I love going school". I went on and on, explaining how my day went at school and how much I enjoyed myself.

Surprisingly, being an extremely shy and timid person, I made friends quite easily. I already had 2 best friends on the first day... T from India and J from Korea. I sit beside J in class.

Parents-Teachers Conference
The first PTC was held just 2 weeks after school started. Ms M, my class teacher said I'm doing good in school. I am not as SLOW as daddy and mummy have perceived me to be. I write fairly fast in class and I am able to finish all my class work on time. I can even finish my meal (lunch) within 20 minutes, much to daddy and mummy's delight! Not bad for a slow eater who usually takes 1 hour to finish a meal!! Ms M also gave me an English test (to assess her existing pupils while new pupils like me are exempted) and I scored 19/20. Ms M was quite impressed :)

What Do I Study in School?
I spend 7 hours (8.30am-3.30pm) in school daily, studying the following subjects: English Language, Chinese Language, Mathematics, Science, Music, Art, Physical Education, Chinese Culture, Social Study, Information and Communication Technology, Dance and Drama and Co-curricular Activities (I joined the Chinese dough-figurine making class).

Every Monday, I also learn "tai chi" in my PE class! I guess this must be a China thing hahaha... I come home with homework everyday but the amount is manageable.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Big Move

(Backdated post)

We started packing up on 31st Dec 2012, just one day before our departure day. The professional movers reached our PJ home very punctually at 9am and started putting everything into boxes. They worked so fast that mummy had a hard time keeping up with them because she did not want everything shipped over. Before she could tell them not to pack a certain item i.e. family photo frames, rocking chair, some "rubbish" etc., they had all been individually wrapped and put into boxes already!

While daddy and mummy were busy supervising the movers at home, I had an enjoyable day out with Aaron (my kindy classmate and best friend) and his family. We went to Kids E World in IPC. Mummy felt very thankful for Auntie Stephanie's (Aaron's mummy) help in babysitting me the whole day while she managed the big mess at home.

We had about 40% of the household stuff in our home that we wanted to ship over and in just half a day, the efficient workers managed to pack them all up... in a total of 56 boxes altogether.

Our goods were temporarily stored in a warehouse until we have confirmed our home address in Shanghai. The sailing date began on 21st Jan from Port Klang and reached the Shanghai port on 31st Jan, after sailing across the South China Sea for 10 days. Custom clearance and routine checks took a week and we finally received our belongings, all in good condition, on 8th Feb, just two days before CNY. Mummy brought along two big crates of foodstuff and she's glad that nothing was confiscated (by the custom officers) and none of our goods was damaged.

It took daddy and mummy nearly 5 days to unpack, store and put everything neatly into place. On the first day of CNY, our home was still cluttered with the remaining half of the empty boxes along the corridor...

Good Riddance, Malware and a Thousand Apologies!

My blog was suspected to be infected with Malware on 20/2. On the very day itself, mummy was notified by a friend but she did not do anything about it (because she did not know what to do!). She wasn't aware of the seriousness of the issue until the following day when more and more people messaged her in Facebook to report the matter to her. Someone even blogged about this... Oh dear! I got into the limelight for the wrong reason :(

Thanks to the many kind bloggers out there who gave mummy tips and information regarding the warning page that appeared, she finally got to the root of the problem and passed the rest of the job to daddy :p Daddy used his "magic fingers"... tap-tapped a bit on the iPad and the problem was fixed!!!!

Apparently, the Malware "contamination" landed in my blog through 4 spam comments in my most recent post - Our First CNY in Shanghai. These comments were not published and did not appear in the comments page. The problem was solved when that particular post was deleted. Mummy has already reported the culprits to Google. From this post onwards, comment-moderation will be enabled to prevent recurrence.

To my dear readers... if your blog was affected by the Malware warning page, please accept our sincerest apology for all the problems and inconvenience caused. A "clean bill of health" for my blog for now...

The Wonderful World of Ruoyi

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