Friday, February 13, 2015

Moments to remember - Kuenza and Sonam visit to Singapore

After months of contact we finally met up together here, in Singapore :) I guess it was fate that bringing us together. I read her blog before. It’s called Kuenza’s Diary.  But it was Luzee, known as “Lolo’s mother”  , who introduced me to her closer, since Kuenza was having a plan to come to Singapore. And it was Passu  who introduced me to Luzee when she too initially had a plan to come here. Quite a long introduction, isn’t it? Hehe… But at the end, I become knowing more and more Bhutanese, coincidentally we all are bloggers who share the same passion in writing :)

A lovely mother to a four-year old daughter (Dechen) who loves ‘Frozen’ so much, Kuenzang Lhadon or usually called Kuenza, struggles very much in balancing between her career and family life. Just days before she landed in Singapore, she had to travel, walking relentlessly from one village to another, back in Samtse, southwestern part of Bhutan for more than two weeks, leaving her family who were staying in Thimphu. Working with government sector, she didn’t have much choice but to follow whatever things required to do.

Even though the internet connection was quite limited back in the village, we still found time and way to communicate through Facebook. Since we were both busy and occupied with other things, we only met on her third day here. She came here for four-day training together with one colleague, Sonam Penjor, a lucky father of 4 year-old boy and 6-months baby boy, who originally came from Chukha, also southwestern part of Bhutan.

Kadinche-la everyone for your beautiful presents :)

I asked Uden to come along since she too wanted to pass her chom for me. Thank you la Uden! :) Uden knows Luzee too as both of them previously worked in the same place before. So, who knows that they might know each other? Later on we found out that both Kuenza and Sonam knew about Uden’s husband and not Uden herself. It’s a small world, isn’t it? :D

We met up in Vivo City level 3. Kuenza and Sonam would like to visit Sentosa Island. They heard it from their friends before about the place and were curious on how it looked like. At first they thought the island was quite far from here and it would take some time for us to get there. Kuenza almost changed her mind to shop at Vivo City and Mustafa instead of going to Sentosa hahaha… I think she was attracted with the shops that she had passed by when taking the escalator up :D

Great relaxing time at Siloso Beach after long day at office and training place :)

It took only few minutes to reach the island by monorail. Since the sky was still bright (although it’s already almost 7pm), I decided to bring them to see the Siloso Beach first by taking a tram. Oohh… it was a wonderful evening. Cooling and soothing. All of us took our shoes off and walked barefoot on the sands. We walked and chit chatted at the same time trying to get to know each other better, not forgetting to take some memorable pictures with a beautiful beach view :)

Me, Kuenza and Sonam with Merlion at Sentosa Island, Singapore :)

From there we walked up to see the big Merlion (Singa-Laut), a creature with a lion head and fish body – an icon or mascot of Singapore. Initially I was planning to bring them to Merlion Park to see this famous icon of Singapore and also to enjoy the night view of Singapore’s CBD area. But since they chose to go to Sentosa, this Merlion was even bigger than the one we planned to see. So they could proudly tell themselves now that they had visited Singapore :)

After that we took a monorail to see different parts of Sentosa. I thought of bringing them to glance at the RWS Casino but they were afraid it would be too late for us since we still wanted to go for dinner and shop in Mustafa. So we left the island and headed to Little India, to feel the atmosphere of India.

Enjoyed Indian dinner at Komala Restaurant at Little India, Singapore :)

Kuenza was vegetarian, therefore, Uden and I decided to eat at Komala’s Vegetarian Restaurant, located just opposite of Farrer Park MRT. Sonam and Kuenza had already been very hungry. Both of them ate their sets of North India Thali immediately once it's served. Uden ordered Thosai Masala while myself ordered a giant Bhatura that I’d been craving it since weeks ago. (Look at the photos above to see how big my Bhatura was!) :P

Once done, we walked to Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour giant shopping mall in Little India area. It’s very famous place among Bhutanese as they can find many Indian things and food there. They are familiar with the language too and will make them feel closer to home. They were there buying some stuffs. At about 10 pm plus I had to go back home.

The next evening, which was yesterday, we met up again. This time we met up at Chinatown. Chinese New Year is coming next Thursday, falls same with Bhutanese Losar. Here you could feel the atmosphere that was quite different – livelier and more insane. People from many different countries came to this place for feeling the festivities, taking beautiful photographs, having dinner with friends and families, strolling in a cool and breeze evening, shopping, and so on. There were stalls set up especially for this event. Road was even closed to accommodate the visitors and sellers.

Me and Sonam at Chinatown, Singapore :)

It was Kuenza and Sonam last night in Singapore and they did their last minute shopping in Chinatown, a perfect place to buy as they had more varieties and good prices as well. I almost lost them while they were shopping hahaha…. I brought my two besties as we wanted to gather and reunion before the Chinese New Year day as we all would be very busy in days to come and some would return to hometown to celebrate with family.

LoheI or Yusheng to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year :)

We had dinner at the Chinatown market level 2. I loved visiting this place. Although it looked old and not fancy, you could feel the atmosphere of what local did on their day to day activity. You could see the real Singapore here rather than the usual food center designed for tourists. You could easily detect which food stall was famous by the length of the queue in each stall. The longer the queue, the better the food usually was!!!

I accompanied Kuenza looking for her vegetarian food. She found herself noodles with tomato and egg while my bestie, ET, accompanied Sonam choosing his favorite food and some other local dish to try. PY went back to the alley to find Yu Sheng (鱼生) or Lo Hei (捞起) in Cantonese, meaning Prosperity Toss, mixture of shredded vegetables, pickles, oil, plum sauce, pepper, cinnamon powder, grated peanut, lime, and the most important ingredient, raw fish. This dish symbolizes the abundance and prosperity.

Yu Sheng or Prosperity Toss dish

Do you see the plate above? Some of the ingredients were still covered inside the container and we had to assemble it one by one. While pouring it, we also had to shout out the auspicious words that represent the meaning of each ingredient. Read more about the prosperity words we shouted on this post.

Our local food dinner at Chinatown, Singapore :)

We also ordered few local dishes for Sonam to taste, such as: Laksa (thick rice vermicelli in a rich coconut gravy soup added with slices of fish cakes, fish ball, cockles, tau pok or fried beancurd, and spring of laksa leaves), fried oyster omelet, fried Hokkien noodle, and kuo tie (deep fried dumplings).

Upcoming Goat year at Chinatown, Singapore :)

We ate until very full then ready to shop around again hehehe….. After taking few snaps to keep the memorable gathering, we then separated and went back home.

Well, I hope they keep all the memorable, short but sweet moments, back to Bhutan and I hope we all can meet again one day :) Thank you Kuenza for your chom, also other choms you had passed it to me from my friends in Bhutan! Wish you and Sonam a safe trip back home and enjoy your long holiday soon together with your loved ones! Take care and keep in touch! Let this post become a witness of our gathering and momento too! :)


Flora said...

Wow charo wonderful catch up, that's good that you are their stay a memorable in fact. I never seen kuneza even in the photos am not sure which one is she, am big fan of her blog too.

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you la Flora! When will be your turn coming here? I'll bring you around too ^^ She looks a bit different from her blog photo. Perhaps it was taken many years ago when her daughter was still a little baby :)

Flora said...

Yea my turn is certainly awaiting one... I will surely make you take me around Singapore, don't j ow when though lol. Thank you any ways.

Kuenza L said...

Thanks a lot Rima for the wonderful time. We really had a good time. Thanks even more for bringing along your friends. You are right, 'more the merrier'. Even if I miss celebrating the New Year with my family in Bhutan, I would feel less bad because I already celebrated it with you all.

Appreciate you for being able to write about our meeting so soon. Mine is only in the head at the moment. I really hope to see you in Bhutan. Make the plan without much delay.

Rima Reyka said...

It's my pleasure meeting and bringing you around Kuenza! I'm glad you enjoyed it as well. I was afraid that you were too tired from our hectic trips. Hope you can holiday together with your family soon as per planned and yes, I burned midnight oil to write this ;D

Las la... When I have planned to go there, I'll sure let you know :) Take care and keep in touch! ^^

Kipchu Namgyel said...

As always you keep piling wonderful memories and moments.Meanwhile we get to know quite a lot about you.In this post, your connection and your relationship keeping and maintaining, ummm what should I call it, well I don't get a word.Anyways it's like you have mentioned fate that brought things together but your part of managing time for every visitor was admirable.You are great and the post too.

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you for going through Kipchu and your lovely comments too hehe.... Wish you have a wonderful weekend and Happy Valentine's! :)

kinleywangchuk said...

Beautiful narration as always!! Hope you guys had fun and hope you would also welcome me the same way since i am visiting singapore next month. LOL...just kidding!!!
Keep writing!!

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Kinley! If you come here, of course I will welcome you the same way! Why not? ;) You too, keep writing and happy Valentine's! Have a lovely weekend! ^^

Gyembo Namgyal said...

Beautifully narrated. Enjoyed reading!

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Gyembo! :)

sonam wangdi said...

social network would make whole people around the world gather together under one umbrella and share ones thought and feelings......nice one and let us thank to the one who took pain in making this kind of system......keep it up la.....

Anonymous said...

A very lovely post, Rima. I love the way you put your memories in words. Moreover, I highly appreciate the way you describe the pictures. It's very important for visually impaired readers like me. Thank you for that. Keep writing and keep inspiring us. Wish u a happy Valentine's Day. Take care la.

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Sonam for leaving your comment here! Hope you have a great time in Kolkata now, especially in such cooling weather! Take care and have a lovely weekend la! :)

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Amrith Sir for dropping by and leaving your lovely comment here! :) It's my pleasure being able to share my story with you and I'm glad that you're able to grasp the words on each of my photos. Happy Valentine's Day to you too and wish you have a wonderful time with your loved ones! Take care la! :)

Luzee said...

In her own words, Kuenza said you are a vivacious and tall lady! I can't wait to meet you in March (with cute little bottles and ghos/kiras) + paksha + pressure cooker + cheese + ema...ha-ha.

You keep the world alive!

Rima Reyka said...

Hahaha... you will find it out soon Luzee ;) I also can't wait to see you! Hope you have time to demonstrate on how to cook Bhutanese food at my home ^^

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