Being a Catholic, if ever I'm in a new place I make it a point to visit a Catholic church. And while in Ho Chi Minh City I grab the opportunity to visit their famous cathedral, the Basilica of Norte Dame. I like the structure and the way it was constructed with it's detailed glass-stained wall and red bricks. With the Marian statue outside the church.
The cathedral has a lot of interesting story to tell. It was only then that I know that it took them three years to construct. And was blessed and officially opened 11th day of April 1880. The church was designed by a French engineer J. Bourad and all materials came from France.
It was a Roman inspired with Gothic details. It has two towers similar to that of Basilica of Minore de San Sebastian in Manila, Philippines. The cost of the construction amounted to 2,500,000 francs. The cathedral is located at Paris Commune Square, District 1. Currently it is called Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
When I reached Ho Chi Minh City I was overwhelmed by their transport system not because it’s good but it’s because it’s very chaotic. There were no presences of MRT or LRT. Bus were limited and the only convenient mode of public transportation is taxi. What all locals use as means of transportation is the motor bike. Would you believe that the ratio of motor bike there is 1:1. Even woman drive their own motor bike. What even surprises me is that they do drive even when wearing shirt or office attire with those heels on and still they can manage to drive their motor bikes.
You may ask how the condition on the road was. Well, there were more motor bikes versus the private cars and taxis and buses. If one wishes to drive their cars they should be extra careful for their will be a motor bike that will appear in front of you. And if one may wish to cross the street, don’t wait for the cars to stop before you cross because that would not happen. You cross the street then that’s time they will avoid you but they will still drive through. They don’t even respect the traffic signs such as pedestrian lanes and traffic lights. In short there were no traffic rules. That’s why if you intend to go to a place you should give at least thirty (30) minutes to one (1) hour for the traveling time even for a short distance for the traffic jam is every where. And worst if it rains it will surely flood. Also just a tip if you want to roam the city you have to ask someone to write the place in Vietnamese language in a piece of paper and show it to the taxi driver for they don't know how to speak English and they will not understand you also.
I can’t even imagine how locals survive with this situation but they did survive after all. If only there were trains or more buses on the street people will not have to buy motorbike and the road will be more organized. Just my thought.
Today, I'll be leaving Ho Chi Minh City and am so excited to come back to Singapore to see my kids and husband again. After 3 days of work in Ho Chi Minh City I can now play again with the kids and sleep on my own bed. Good thing that this trip is just a short one otherwise I will lose my sanity.
I was relieve now because the purpose of me going to Ho Chi Minh turned out to be fine. Everything happened as planned and felt good about the accomplishment, somehow. I also learned something from trip that I will bring along with me and share with my kids. Experiences that I will treasure and memories that I will keep. This may be my first trip here in this historical city but definitely not the last. Will look forward to visit this city again...Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
But as of now, am looking forward to see, kiss and hug my family - kids and husband. Just so excited to come back home.
Few minutes from now I'll be leaving Singapore going to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for a business trip. Though I am excited in this trip since this is my first time to be there but worries consume my senses for I will be leaving my kids and husband for three days.
As I was constructing this thoughts I am waiting for the gate to open. Hope my trip will be fine and my plans be carried out. Will catch up with you later.
Another year adds to my age but it doesn't bother. As my husband would always says " a year older, a year wiser and a year prettier" Last July 6 I celebrated another fruitful year. I started my day with a nice haircut and hair spa at the beauty salon at the hotel near our place. The treatment was so relaxing and felt pampered at the same time.
Then after that my family together with my uncle went to Vivo City for stroll and some snacks. We plan to go to Sentosa but the weather was not good. As expected on my birthday, it was raining. So after we bought toys for the kids then decided to go home. We then agree to have dinner at our place. We bought some beef ribs, Dreyer's ice cream, cake and some drinks.
My boss treated me for a lunch in an authentic Indonesian restaurant located at Lucky Plaza. Since I don't know what to order my boss do order for me. He ordered for ayam peyet in English smashed fried chicken. I didn't expect much since it's just a fried chicken. But surprisingly it was good. The taste is different compared to friend chicken I ate from a fast food or home cooked one. I'll definitely go back to this restaurant. Highly recommended for their food and service.
This past few days I'm doing my work at the client's office for system development,testing and training. I happen to have my breakfast at the coffee shop located at the lobby of the client's building. I find their set breakfast menu very palatable and satisfying. As I was eating my breakfast and looking into with a relaxing view of Koi pond outside and while reading the sign board and some advertisement of the coffee shop I begin to search on the humble beginnings of that coffee shop. Just like their coffee, their company was rich in details and history. No wonder they already established their brand to nearby countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. I really like the coffee and the toast with soft boiled egg from Killiney Kopitiam, a local coffee shop here in Singapore. This cost S$3.20 for the set meal. Good enough!
One of the must-be-visited place here in Singapore is their world renowned Night Safari. A first of it's kind in the world. It is a nocturnal and an open zoo. You got the feeling of being placed in the jungle with this wild animals. And a feeling as if you are in Africa surrounded by wild animals, trees and reservoir. The park houses some 1,000 animal in a 40 hectare land which took them 4 years to plan and 3 years to build. It was officially open last March 26, 1994 by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. It is open daily from 7:30pm-12 midnight with rates of S$22 for adult and S$11 for child (as of this writing).
The tour will start by welcoming the guest by a tribal dance and you can also watch the creatures of the night show. You can choose two ways to traverse the whole park either by foot or tram. The tram ride covers 3.2 km that will take 45 minutes to complete which has live commentary and one stop over at the East Lodge. If you choose on foot there were trails that will guide you traversing the whole park but be sure you wear comfortable clothes, rubber shoes, have bottled water to refuel the body since it will be a long walk for you.
One thing you can't do here is to take pictures with flash. They don't allow camera with flash because you are going to destruct these wild animals. But they have this designated place wherein you can take picture with snake, owl or serval but you have to pay S$10. This will be done by a professional photographer.
It was just so tiring for us since we went there carrying our kids but the experience was incomparable. Our kids was even so keen seeing these animals. Even my mother and in-laws liked it so much. If you happen to be in Singapore you got to try this one. You'll surely enjoy.
Last Saturday, July 18 was a busy day for me and hubby. For we have celebrated our son's third birthday. Of course, as a mother I want everything be done smoothly and as per plan. I woke up 5:30am just to bake his birthday cake and do some other stuff that I wasn't able to do Friday evening because of a very tiring day at the office. But anyhow I managed to come-up with this cake and some cupcakes.
Then after lunch we brought Ralph to the barbershop to cut his hair and also bought him a toy which he adorably love, which Thomas-the train.
Then back at home to cooked for dinner since we have invited some friends to come over and celebrate with us. I prepare pancit-canton, buttered shrimp & steamed fish then hubby bought grilled chicken and pork at our favorite Filipino store at Lau Pa Sat. The party was a Mickey Mouse & Friends inspired but this was only a second choice. Originally it was Bob-The-Builder but since the store where we usually buy party favors was out-of-stack of Bob-the-Builder products so we rather choice Mickey Mouse & Friends instead.
Ralph was so so happy with his gifts. He received shirts, book, toys & bicycle. Another milestone has been celebrated and thank God everything has been fine with him. A celebration in-deed.
Finally last Thursday, July 9 we're already in the new office. Our former office was located at Raffles Place, said to be the business district of Singapore. Now the office is located just across prestigious Raffles Hotel and walking distance from Raffles City and City Hall MRT station. I like the new office since it gives us more space and a different feeling compared with the former. My space is beside a glass window that gives me a refreshing feeling seeing greens outside and the fresh blue sky. From where I am located I can see the Jubilee Hall of Raffles Hotel. This is the view from my work station picture taken using my Nokia E71.
Last July 2, Thursday,hubby always asked me what time am I going to go home. I told him that I will be late since I need to finish something important for the next day and so he told me he'll wait for me and meet up somewhere. And so we settle. Come 8:00PM I can now go home and told him will just meet at the house since am dead-tired for the day's work but he insisted to meet him at the MRT station near our place and so I agree. I arrived at the station five (5) minutes early before hubby arrived. He was in all smiles seeing me downstairs and I noticed he was carrying a paper bag.
He immediately handed me the paper bag and upon seeing what's inside. A surprising Nokia E71. It didn't crossed my mind that he will buy me a new phone. Since I don't have plans of changing my N95 phone which I am still comfortably using. But am beginning to love the new phone since it's slim and so lovely. Thanks to my very loving and caring husband for the birthday present. Though I will just be celebrating my birthday this Monday still I received an early present from hubby. Thanks much for this!
Last Tuesday, June 30, Catherine my colleague arranged lunch for those who are physically present in the office. For no reason at all she treat us in a restaurant in a hotel. So sweet of her to give us a free lunch in a so special place. We ate at La Breeza in St. Regis Hotel along Orchard Road.
I did enjoy my lunch. I ordered for La Breeza Salad for starter, Chief’s Favourite which that time served grilled lamb for the main course and a chocolate tart for dessert. Then Catherine ordered for one bottle of red wine for the six of us. This was my first time drinking red wine during office hours, anyway the company is not strict for that matter as long as you’ll not going to be tipsy or drunk I think it should be fine. I like the taste of the wine so smooth and fine. Lovely lunch with red wine. Then a cup of black coffee for the finale. The restaurant is located beside the swimming pool so it gives you a relaxing mood and good scenery. And I was impressed with the toilet, superbly clean and fashionable.
Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.
~ Jean Luc Picard ~