Saturday, January 27, 2007

Traveling with Mum

January 2007

I thought I'd digress a little on my travel tips and write a little about the interesting experience of traveling with mum. My mum and I traveled to Singapore and Thailand together recently and it was such great fun because aside from the bonding and experience of traveling together, I got to see other sides of her which I never thought existed. So I thought I should list some of them down to remind me how fun it is to travel with my mother!

I know that mum is such a friendly person but I never thought she can stay up all night talking to a stranger!

Our adventure started in Singapore where we stayed at a backpacker's place. A new experience for mum which I thought she wouldn't like (you know staying in a room with other people, etc.) but to my surprise, she enjoyed the place so much that she asked for me to book the same accommodation (on our return from Chiang Mai). Mum even made more friends than I did! In fact, she was the one introducing me to the people who were staying at the guesthouse. There was one night when I had to hush her because she was talking endlessly with this sweet Chinese lady whom we were sharing the room with. She and the Chinese lady were giggling like little girls when I hushed them to sleep!

She's game in anything!

Since this was mum's first trip abroad, I prepared it for her in such a way that she can see as many places as possible. In other words this trip entailed a lot of walking. And I was very happy to see that my mum could never get tired of walking! For one full day in Singapore, we managed to see most of the must-sees and even managed to relax in between. Little India, China Town, Orchard Road, Bugis, Suntec City, Sentosa, Musical fountain show, you name it, we conquered it! And the walking didn't end there because when we got to Chiang Mai, she was always looking forward to her day trips and was touring like a mad woman!

Mum is a big fan of spicy food.

I treated mum to an Indian restaurant when we arrived in Singapore. I love Indian food, it's in my top three favourite international dishes and I was so delighted to see mum liking the food I love! Ahh and then in Thailand (i'm such a big fan of Thai food! also happens to be in my top 3 fave foods) mum really enjoyed Thai food and would order without asking the waiter "not too spicy please" (of course this is embarassing for me after my declaration of loving Thai food, because i would always ask the waiter to go slow on the spice!) Ah but the mother could eat spicy food! And being the cool mum that she is, it was so funny seeing her gulping down a bottle of Singha beer one night after one of our meals.

Shopping Queen.

When we were in Chiang Mai (goodness, the night bazaars are so overwhelming! you would hate that you only have so much money with you and that you have only so much for your check-in baggage), anyways, I had to discipline my mum because she seemed like she wouldn't like to stop! We started shopping at 4 in the afternoon and we ended by 9pm, only because I had to remind her that I was really hungry and too tired to move another muscle. After our meal, we went for a very relaxing foot massage. When we finished, I started walking back to our hotel when mum told me she was still up for shopping! That was already 11 pm! In short, I left her in the night bazaar so that she could carry on shopping while I went back to the hotel to get my rest. Mind you folks, my mum has a pacemaker but she has an energy of a fit teenager!


This trip was also full of bloopers. One time, I was woken up in the middle of the night because I heard someone moving around the room, I got up to discover my mum pacing back and forth, only to find out later that she was doing her morning exercises! ARRGGGGHHHH!!!
Then one night, she said she couldn;t sleep, and because I was dead tired from the first day of my management course and didn't have the energy to talk to her anymore, I asked her to just lay in bed and count sheeps. Then when I was beginning to doze off, my mum who-was-a-minute-ago-a-restless-girl-who- couldn't-sleep started to snore! Ay naku po! So the next night I told her to wait for me to sleep before she can sleep so that I can also find some rest. =(
In Sentosa in Singapore, when we were at the Underwater World, my mum behaved like a cheeky little girl and picked up this poor fish that was in a tank (uhmn, yeah, the sign read, "you may touch the animals") so I snapped at her and she put the fish back with a guilty "oops" expression on her face. The man behind her laughed at the scene in front of him of a daughter telling off her mother. hehe

My mum and I had a good laugh one night when we realized that in this trip, we had our roles reversed - she became the child and I became the mother. Man! I was doing most of the telling off and she was this girl enjoying the life!

She also had to remind herself (again!) that I am no longer her little girl, that my life has changed, and for that matter she learned that I am a light sleeper, and couldn't sleep when someone snores, or that she has to keep still in bed when she wakes up at 5 am otherwise she'll wake me up, and she learned that I hate being woken up in the middle of the night because it can be difficult for me to go back to sleep and that I need at least 7 hours of sleep! Etc. etc.
To sum it all and despite the bloopers, I truly had a great time with ma, and I was again reminded that life is short and very precious, and it is lovely indeed to see your loved ones enjoy life's simple pleasures. And most of all, I learned how fun it is to travel with my mother.

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