First of all, the title of this blog was supposed to be “My Mom and Bro in Singapore” but then on the day of their flight to come here, I got a call from my brother saying that he can’t push through because his passport was not within the 6-months-expiry requirement in order to travel abroad.
When I found out, I had to lock myself up in our office toilet as I couldn’t help but cry for him. I felt so bad for him because it was supposed to be his first time to fly abroad, same as my mom. It sucks to be empathetic. I carried a heavy heart all day but consoled myself that he is still young and has plenty of time to see the world. Lucky for me, my friend Jerome wholeheartedly agreed to let him stay in his flat in Manila while he was stuck there. It’s so nice to have good friends who help you out in times of need.
My mom arrived last March 27 with my roommates’ family, and we had dinner at the Swensen’s restaurant in the airport. She ordered a burger while I had a pizza. But when the burger arrived, she found out that it was a bit tough for her to chew, so I swapped our food and ate her order even though I didn’t like it that much. At that moment, I realized that we had switched places – this was something that she used to do! Thanks to a promo by Lays, I got a free sundae when I presented two coupons that I cut out of a bag of Ruffles and Doritos.
On the first night, we both squeezed into my single bed to sleep. As I lay drifting off to sleep, she suddenly hugged me and said, “Thank you Ga for giving me this opportunity to travel and visit you here.” That statement broke my heart a bit, as well as her statement the next day when she stepped inside the MRT: “Is this a train? Wow this is my first time to ever ride one.” It made me realize how many things I take for granted that my mom has never even experienced.
The next day, I brought her to the Singapore Zoo, which I have also never been to before. We both enjoyed it immensely, though the heat and all that walking (even though we did ride on the trams also) sapped us of all our energy.
I loved the Singapore Zoo because it was very clean and jungle-y and so open – some harmless animals were barely caged. The kangaroo wasn’t even caged at all, you could just reach out and pet him. I wondered out loud why the animals didn’t escape, but my mom explained that they were already tame and used to being there, you know, like your average pet dog. Now that she put it that way…
My favorite animals in the world are white tigers and I finally saw an actual one – make that three. Of course these ones were caged and not only that, their habitat was surrounded by a body of water as they’re not as harmless as that kangaroo. They were so big and beautiful and clean that I wanted to hug them. Like this.
The other animal I enjoyed watching was the polar bear. It was my first time to see one (or two) too. There were a couple of them in a glass tank with both land and water. One of them dove into the water and drove towards the glass wall towards the people, and to my surprise, he rubbed against the wall, eyes closed, as if wanting to be petted. So cute!
We also watched a couple of shows. We were late to the elephant show so we couldn’t sit and hear the vocals, so the performance made no sense. We really enjoyed the “Rainforest Fights Back” show, though, which was a skit that involved the performance of lots of different animals – a white peacock that fanned out its plume in time to a drumroll, birds and monkeys that came from the audience area, otters and rabbits and ducks that scurried through the stage. After the show, we lined up for a pictorial with the cast and the girl actually draped a huge snake on us – my first time, as I hate snakes!