9 January 2019
We were up and about at our usual time today, and after a quick breakfast were packed up and ready to go. We are now using the spare bag we bought as hand luggage as hold luggage, as we somehow seem to be running out of space again! We will need to do some sensible rearranging at some point, and perhaps get rid of some of the random bits of junk we have acquired. Anyway, for now, we have four pieces of hold luggage and four bits of hand luggage. Not tooooo bad for four months of travelling without going home!
Once we’d left our apartment, I drove us down to the car park by the Whale Playground, and we watched Cornelia join a group of children, with whom she happily played chase, and hide & seek for a bit. When her friends left, she did some more playing in the sand by herself, before spotting another couple of children and going off to play with them. She remembered to come and ask me if she could go outside the playground. I asked her where she was going and she explained that she just wanted to get up on the wooden bridge (part of the main playground) and had to go up the steps and out underneath the “Whale Playground” sign to get to it. She was being very literal about my request that she checks with me before leaving and I am very grateful for that!
Soon, however, it was time to head off. We weren’t taking her bucket and spade with us again, but this time, she happily chose a family to receive her toys. Typically, the first little girl said she didn’t really need it, but undeterred, Cornelia found another couple of girls with whom she’d been playing, and they took them off her hands.
As I rinsed her feet off, Ian went to look at the waves one last time, and then we piled back into our car and drove to Anaconda, a sports/outdoor store, which was on our way to the airport. We needed a replacement valve for Cornelia’s water bottle which has split causing the bottle to leak, but could only find valves for adult-sized bottles. They had other kids’ Camelbak bottles for sale though, so I picked one out with Cornelia. Then just as we were joining the queue to pay, I saw the replacement valves for kids’ bottles. In hindsight, I should have just kept quiet, as I knew that taking away a new bottle in exchange for an unexciting valve would not go down well. How right I was…! She had a complete tantrum about having a new bottle and not wanting a new valve, although she was also refusing to throw away her old bottle. I said that she could either have the new bottle and throw away her old one, or keep her old bottle and have a new valve. I wasn’t going to cart around a useless empty bottle (I refer to earlier paragraph re now having four bags… it’s starting to become clear!!!). The other customers were largely sympathetic – they’ve mostly all been there, I suspect – but the young chap behind the counter was really firm with her! “If I hit my parents, they’d hit me right back!” he said. “Consider yourself lucky your mum hasn’t belted you!” But he then he also said “Can you just show me that thing you’re holding, please?” and she handed over the valve she’d so far refused to give to me. And quick as a flash, he’d processed it and I paid for it, and just like that, the tantrum was over, the valve bought, and she was back to normal again.
She needed a bit of a reassuring cuddle from me, before we went into the next door restaurant for lunch, but was then fine and we enjoyed a nice meal together. Mine was especially tasty – a roasted pumpkin, halloumi, quinoa and beetroot salad. Yum. Then we were on the road again, to return the hire car and make our way to the airport for our flight to Singapore. We have really loved Perth and it definitely makes it onto our list of places to visit again. I’m already planning my return visit with Bugsy in the next year or so!
Our afternoon flight went smoothly, and as we were served dinner (albeit early) this worked perfectly as it meant we didn’t have to worry about finding somewhere to eat when we arrived in Singapore. Cornelia practiced her brace position, concerned that she couldn’t reach the seat in front, so would have to bend forward over her knees. It is very sweet that every time we are in a plane, she reaches for the safety card and pays proper attention to what the cabin crew are saying.
Cornelia was brilliant throughout the whole flight and stayed awake for the duration, watching TV and listening to audiobooks. This meant that I managed to watch two movies (Crazy Rich Asians and Juliet, Naked – both enjoyable) and started a drama series called Sharp Edges, which wasn’t brilliant, but had me just about hooked before we landed, so now I’m going to have to try and find that online to watch it!
We made it through passport control and collected our baggage really quickly, and everything was running very smoothly, until we realised that we couldn’t find the bloody hotel shuttle bus! We asked at information, and were told to go down one floor, where we were told we needed to be up one floor. Then we saw a sign, which told us to go up for the hotel shuttle buses. Following the instruction, we went up the escalator and wandered around for a bit without finding an further directions. I rang the hotel twice, but they weren’t answering, to our great frustration, and there was no information either on the hotel website or the airport website which could help. We saw another information desk, and asked her for some help. Down to B1, she said. No, but we’ve been there already, and they told us to come upstairs! And then we followed a sign which led us here! We have been looking for over half an hour now! Sensing our impatience and frustration, good old Kimmy, took us herself (Cornelia held her hand the whole way, and Kimmy said she’d made her day). As we were going down the elevator, she said that because of the huge renovation works going on, even members of staff were getting lost coming to work! Anyway, she took us all the way to the hotel shuttle bus. Which we had missed by literally one minute. The next one wasn’t for an hour. Argh!!!
Hilariously, we ended up going back to the taxi rank (which was the first place we’d tried for the shuttle bus) and the fare was only about $18, which seemed very good value for a thirty minute ride.
Weary from our long travel, we arrived safely at the Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy, and were offered a cheap upgrade to the top floor with a bigger room, which Ian was happy to accept. I must say, having someone to take our bags up to our room was a welcome change to us having to lug them ourselves!
A roll up bed was brought in and both Cornelia and I were very happy that our beds were “holding hands” distance apart. Our sandy girl needed a bath, so I washed her and brushed her teeth, then she went for her story while I had a quick shower. When I came back to the bedroom, she was having an argument with Daddy about having cuddles from me, and was lying in our bed, refusing to get into her bed. So I just lay in her bed waiting for her and, to be honest, I didn’t really care where she fell asleep, as long as she slept. She was still in my bed when I went to brush my teeth with Ian, and she briefly popped her head into the bathroom before skipping back to her own bed without any prompting. Sure enough, she was asleep within ten minutes.
Having done some research on things to do with children in Singapore, given that we are only here for one day, we tried booking tickets for KidZania in Sentosa, which is a part of Singapore that Ian has not visited before. The website was a bloody pain, and it took nearly an hour to finally receive our tickets. Cornelia is going to LOVE it there, I’m sure!
2 thoughts on “After five weeks in Australia, it’s off to Asia!”
I rarely popped my son, though in Busy Body America, someone is always waiting to call the authorities on others, if they are seen as either negligent or overbearing. He has turned out very well, as it sounds like Cornelia will.
My father hit us a lot as kids (his inability to control us rather than us being hideous children, I think!) and it’s something I swore I wouldn’t do with Cornelia. On the two occasions I’ve tapped her leg or bottom to stop violent behaviour, it left me feeling very tearful!
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