I know it's been a month to my last post, but no, I didn't fall off the edge of the earth. My thanks to the bewdas who emailed to ask me if Xena is okay. She is, and thank you again. So many things have happened in the last month that I just have to quickly catch up before more stuff happens.
Singapore had elections on 11th September and I voted... for the first time in my life! I came here before I was eligible to vote in India, so I was very excited about going to vote. It was therefore, a bit anti-climactic, when I finished casting my vote in less than a minute. I'm serious. The whole thing -- getting inside the voting venue, verification, getting the card, voting and getting out -- was all done within a minute! And I had gone prepared with a water bottle, a book, sunglasses and what not "to keep me occupied and alive in the queue". Said queue was not even there!
The haze has hit us hard again this year, and at one point, the pollution level was in the hazardous range! Since Xena falls in the sensitive group because of her lungs, I've had to keep her indoors the entire time. All outdoor activities and swim lessons have been cancelled. Up until last week, we used to put on an N95 mask on her on the way to and back from school. Sometimes I can't believe that a clean and green city like Singapore has become so helpless because of our 'padosi desh ki gatividhiyan'. Sigh.
However, this has given us opportunities to come up with new activities that make indoors just as fun. My friend had gifted Xena an elephant-shaped chalk board, so I have been teaching her to write Hindi letters on it. (She will be taking Hindi as a subject when she starts Primary school and they expect kids to know how to read and write before they join. Her preschool doesn't offer Hindi, so I'll have to teach her.) To my surprise, she's been enjoying it thoroughly, and not taking it as 'padhai' at all. Nerds of a feather flock together...
Last weekend, we took a short vacation with some friends in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and it was fabulous. I'll post the details and photos on my travel blog Hopscotch at some point (I'm still chasing everyone to send me the photos, as they are on various phones), but meanwhile, I have a sneak preview below. Yes, for half a day, we wore tribal clothing, hung out with these gentle giants (including an AH-DORABLE 1-year-old baby elephant) in their natural environment, fed them, followed them around the valley, and get this -- bathed them at a waterfall!! I don't have enough OMGs to describe the whole experience! More on Hopscotch soon!
And that's all that's been happening, folks. How are you guys? :)