Sunday, 27 January 2013

Spoken with votes

I was too tired to wait out the result of the by-election and went to bed as the 10-pm news started rolling.

The first question I asked William when I opened my eyes was "Who win huh? Did WP win?"

He gave a mumbled 'erm'.

The win is half-expected by many, given the resentment many felt after the 2011 General Election. The 'mandated' victory by the ruling party had not changed Singaporeans' lives for the better. In fact, right after the GE, the cost of living soars to new heights like never before. The housing prices have not come down despite a series of cooling measures, the COEs hit new high month after month, PSLE turned out to be as difficult as ever despite the Education Minister's words that it would not be. Even in things like groceries, William noted that the milk powder that he always buys has increased in its price from $50 to more than $80 in a span of few years.

The baby bonuses that the government suddenly sprang up and 'surprised' many happened to coincide with the days leading up to the by-election. When I voiced my thoughts about why there was a need to back-date the benefit to August 2012, William surmised that a quick statistical research might have shown that there was a significant number of babies given birth in the by-election area from then.

I am half-surprised that Punggol East is taken by the Workers' Party at the same time. I think it speaks volume about how the young couples and families in the area are not easily bought over by monetary rewards even when they are thrown in their face. I would think most young families would appreciate these bonuses and cast their votes in the direction which could potentially continue to benefit them.

On the other hand, the ruling party have probably forgotten that there are some people who have realised that child-raising is not temporary, and cannot rely on temporary measures. I know of people who have cast their votes in the other direction in consideration of their children - when they do not have children yet.

The guy in question told me,"If I vote for the ruling party, and the prices of housing continue to go up, then how are my children going to afford a flat in future? As it is, we are already having problems buying these million-dollar flats. I must make a change."

When I indicated elements of surprise that he was so upfront about his 'defiance', he said,"I am not afraid to let others know, because if everybody is hush-hush about it, nobody will know that I have voted for the opposition and won't dare to vote for them."

While it is of little concern to me who the ward would go to, I must say I am impressed that the Punggol-East residents' action reflects how they feel. There are so many people out there who feel disgruntled against a party, yet continue to vote for them because they 'have no choice'. These are mostly young couples with young families to feed. To me, they are truly a new generation of voters who are voting for the future of their children and not for the carrots dangled right before their eyes. These are the people who have bought flats at high prices, but are not threatened by the warning of impending falling prices of their flats should they vote otherwise.

They voted for a change. They voted for the future. They voted for their children.

Truly impressed.

Can't Get Enough of Legoland!

During the two-hour wait at the Singapore Flyer for our first Legoland coach-trip a week before this, I chanced upon an offer on kiasuparents forum:
buy yanyan biscuits at 7-eleven stores to get a free kid's ticket for an adult ticket!

So we saved on a kid's ticket this time round.
Actually, I thought Coco could pass off as an 11-year-old and we could have utilised yet another yanyan biscuit cover but William thought otherwise. In any case, he tried buying a child's ticket for Coco and it went through.

The queue was madness compared to the Tuesday a week ago!
The entrance

Two lego kids trying to get into Legoland. How cute!

This time, we went the opposite direction. The Driving School first!
One for the tod and one for the tween

The queue at the tween's station was estimated to be 60 minutes, but I am quite sure it was well under that.

"Oi, you cut my lane!"

After the cars, we went for the boat

And we saw Diana Ser!
Then it rained (again). So we hid at the 4D Cinema to watch 'Spellbreaker'.
Not very impressed though. I think it's the glasses. And the characters speak gibberish.
They probably have not figured out how Lego characters should speak.
But the kids enjoyed it.
Baby stretched out her hand to try to touch the 4D images!

The rain had not called it a day after the show.
So we dined at the foodcourt next to the movies.

Coco waited out the rain for this.

We waited for the longest time for the Legoland Express

The little pigeons were legoed with such intricacy!
She waited longingly for the train

'Choo choo!'

Rescue Academy

The plane rides broke down at the Airport

The daredevil went for the vertical boat ride again

RM 5 for the drying room

"Mummy, we missed out on the bouncing ride the last time!"
They loved it!

We went on The Tower to catch a bird's eye view of Legoland

Sheltered playground at the Land of Imagination
Lights up at the Mini Land

Exhausted from fun again!

Goodnight, Legoland

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Legoland Fun!

This trip was initiated by William during the December holidays 

We took a WTS coach there. He was told that there was no need to book the seats in advance and we could just buy the tickets at the Singapore Flyer branch.

Big mistake. We reached there at 9.30am. 10.30am coach was already full so we ended up waiting for the 11.30am coach. And the impunctuality of the coach was appalling. It only set off at 12pm.
He paid for tickets for 3 adults and 1 kid.
On our second trip a week later, I helped him save on a child's ticket. And if he had listened to me, he would have saved on yet another ticket.
By the time we reached Legoland, it was 1.30pm. 
Famished, we ate at Burger King at Medini Mall.
The Mall is just opposite Legoland.
Toilets are without the flush buttons, and at least 3 out of 5 or 6 taps are not working.
Verdict: Do not go to the toilets here.
We met my cousin there! They were leaving as we were entering!
The tickets
The toilets at Legoland are in a much better condition than the ones in Medini Mall. 
More cubicles and the flush works!
It's Christmas!
Loads of lego sculptures everywhere. 
Childish me tried to pluck off the lego bricks off the display and Coco came to me,"They'd glued them together."
We were enthralled by the Mini Land's mini architecture.
The buildings include Malaysia's famous landmarks eg. Twin Towers, Singapore Flyer and China's Great Wall.

Baby looking at the height restriction at 'Dragon Apprentice', the kiddy roller-coster.

Lego stations are set up at some waiting lines to relieve the children of boredom while the adults wait for the rides!
 The kiddy roller-coaster which left my feet feeling 'buzzed' for minutes after the ride!

'The Dragon' at which Coco took her blast of a ride
For someone who enjoyed Battlestar Galactica, even Coco thought it was pretty scary!
A horse-ride for the little one

The consequence of being kiasu in a foreign land - 
Coco ended up taking a horse-ride after trying to line up for Baby's second ride

The bumpy train that goes round and round. Safe and secure. I like!
Legoland is truly made for tods! 
Even for a ride like this, the parent sitting next to his tod has to pull the rope to get themselves up and let go to come down smoothly but slowly.

Only in Malaysia - a 'Prayer Room' sign at a themepark!

Game stalls

The 'almost-vertical' boat-ride!
Look at their expression! 
All wet!

Seems that Mummy theme is welcomed everywhere!

Indoor playground. Coco was chased out of it because she was too big a kid!
When it rains, it pours
So we queue up at the Mummy's for a sheltered ride.
Quite impressed with a legoed pharoah head. Very intricate!
Shoot-out at the Mummy's.
"Shoot at the green light!"

After the last ride, we went to the Legoland Shop for a little shopping trip.
Santa Claus

Harry Potter themed keychains

Star War theme

How can they do without a play station for the little children while the adults shop?

Night view of Legoland

We ate here. At Medini Mall
Food was good and cheap. RM 80-something. About S$30 plus.

What else do you have but a tired tod at the end of the day?

Overall, Legoland is really quite fun for a family with toddlers and risk-averse adults like me! I find Universal Studio too teenage and grown-up - more for adventurous youths who live for the moment. It's only here in Legoland that I get to take some rides with the tod on the pretext of accompanying her for safety.

The talks about Legoland not ready, not fully operative or not safe for toddlers are not true at all. All of us enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a shame that we only entered the theme park at 2.45 pm. We didn't have enough time to enjoy the park fully, but because it was so enjoyable, we went back to Legoland exactly a week later.

The park was huge! I had thought that Legoland was tiny and could cover it within half a day, as seem-to-be-recommended by some bloggers and forummers. But it was really huge and most rides are doable, so you would not have sufficient time to play through the park if you plan for a half-day there. Like Universal Studio, Legoland is divided into different sections and there are various rides and activities at the different segments. 

It's really fun! Highly recommended for tods!