Handling Disappointment

The Girl had an appointment in town so the whole family trooped down on a Sunday afternoon as a show of support. As her appointment will take approximately 30-40minutes, I thought it was an opportunity for some precious father-son bonding time.

So our idea of the precious father-son bonding time was spending time at the library building up our knowledge at the nearest toy store where E will be running amok, trying to touch everything and pressing all the buttons of all the toys. The victim this time around was Isetan Scott’s toy department store.

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He had recently also pick up a bad habit for asking people to buy him toys, no thanks to his doting grandparents.The reasoning that the daddy didn’t get any toys when he was young why the precious grandchild has such different treatment doesn’t resonant with them at all.

So without breaking the track record, he prompted selected one of the more expensive toy set whose box is bigger than himself, lifted it off the rack, turned around and looked at me with his happiest face and in his sweetest voice said,” Daddy buy?”.

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Exquisite taste of my child – look at the price tag

Of course I redirected his attention to other toys that he has yet touched around the store and quickly let him forget this extortion  his request. I do have to make a note to say that he is quite mild and sweet in the sense that when we refused his request to buy, he seldom kicked up a big fuss.

And at the end of the bonding time, because he has been so well-behaved and also because Daddy was fascinated with Hot Wheels Colour Shifters car, we left the store with a gleeful boy (Elliott, not Daddy) and the said car to meet up with The Girl who had finished her appointment by then.

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The car we bought was the same series but not the same model

Daddy managed to convinced him that the Colour Shifter we bought was the best toy car ever and he quickly picked up the fact that when he showered, he can bring the car into the shower with him and see it changed colour. He also noticed the water splashing on the car on the packaging, and keep going on and on about “splassshs” or the “colour change”.

Such excitement, such joy.

So when we got home, it was funny to see him getting so excited to shower. So we quickly set up the bath, opened the packaging, and dropped the car into the warm water to see the colour changing effect.

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But nothing happened. Nil. Zero. Zilch. Nought.

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.

.

E looked at me and I looked at him and the car, willing it to change colour but it didn’t.

I panicked and ran to the kitchen and poured some hot water on the car, willing it to change colour but it didn’t.

E sat in his bathtub looking at me expectantly.

My heart sank – The Colour Shifter we bought don’t change colour (So scrxw you, Hot Wheels). My first thought, how am I going to tell E that the colour changing car we bought doesn’t work?

In my panic mode, I called out to E and ask him to “err, go play with your shark toy first’.

And being a trooper like he is – he didn’t ask further and later continued to play with his car as if it is a normal car. We also hid the car after he has fallen asleep.

While I was trying to make sense of everything, The Girl wisely put it,” This will be one of many disappointment in life, he will learn how to handle it”.

But really, I wonder if it is E who cannot handle disappointment or his daddy who cannot handle E’s feeling disappointed.

In this case, the daddy has to learn to let go and let his child face the world.

 

But really, scrxw you, Hot Wheels. Never again.

 

 

 

 

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Horses Grazing

So I recently acquire a painting of 4 horses grazing which was supposed to be painted by the late Xu Bei Hong (徐悲鴻). I don’t really know who he is before – (of course now I know a lot more about him and his mastery with painting of horses) and to me, art is very simple, either you like it or you don’t like it. (Update: Apparently, even my wife knows who is Xu Bei Hong)

For me, I like the life-like form that the artist painted using Chinese calligraphy style and hence the decision to acquire the painting. And apparently Horses symbolize strong energy and Horses artwork is great to boost energy into the home and office as well as attracting good luck, wealth and prosperity. So it is a win win win for everyone!

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Four horses grazing

The painting came to me in a not so good condition having been kept in a storeroom for quitea while. To compound the issue, the painting is huge and quite heavy – I was in a dilemma on what to do next.

So I went in search of a framer in Singapore who is:

  1. reasonably priced and honest
  2. able to collect and deliver
  3. able to install the painting

I found 5 of them online, some are large established chain with storefront and some are sole proprietors without storefront.  Of the five I emailed, only two (sole proprietor setup) replied, and only one is able to provide all of the above

Jimmy who runs Call Me Frame contacted me back. He operates a small setup without a walk-in location, but his services are quite excellent. He will pick-up, frame (himself!), deliver and install any work, which creates a highly convenient service.

Prior to the appointment, I have sent across the photo of the painting and the location that I would like to install. So Jimmy is able to visualize and bring over a few sample frame that he thinks will be suitable for this particular painting. He is very professional and he is quite patient with art-noobs like me. The entire frame selection and method of framing took approximately an hour, throughout the process he was detailed in the explanation and selection. Through him, I understand the concept of “floating”, modern style framing method, type of clear glass/acrylic used etc.

He even breakdown his cost so that I understand his prices.  It is no brainer that I promptly engaged his service and a few weeks later, I have a handsome painting hang on my wall. So if you are looking for a good framer / installer that can provide you with that professional, reasonable one-stop services, give Jimmy a call.

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Measurements (professional painting installer at work)

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Finished product (Fast, clean and relatively noiseless)
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Before and After ( I personally thinks it adds a bit of class to the whole space – a lot more classy now)

[Sidenote: So you might be interested if the painting is really a Xu Beihong <-which a true original cost million of dollars. Apparently, Jimmy said it is from one of his students and may worth some money. But it doesn’t really matter to me. I bought it because I like the painting, not for the potential value it can bring me.]

If you look closely at the paint, the strokes of the artist is strong and the overall proportion of the horses are good. They look healthy, fit, strong and ready for another gallop – which is more important that who is real artist.

And really if this painting is worth that bit more money, it can be the inheritance for Elliott.

Taiwan Go Go Go

No trip to Taiwan is complete without the mandatory shot of Taipei 101 – so here is it:

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Ok, now that is out of the way. Lets talk about my recent family trip to Taiwan.

I have always like Taiwan, from the first time I stepped into Taiwan with my army unit on training in my early 20s. Like many of my peers, I was captivated by Taiwan’s culture and food.

Most of the army training grounds are located around Tainan and that is where my deepest impression of Taiwan lies, the warmth of the people, the nature, the peace and calm and of course the tasty food!

I made a few more trips (both personal and business) back subsequently after Army, but it was mainly to Taipei. My last trip before the current one was back 7-8 years ago and that was then I find Taiwan a bit boring and a bit predicable – the things that used to excite me was no longer that interesting.

Xilin Night Market is just another night market.

There is only this many times you can go up Taipei 101.

Xi Men Ding is not longer a suitable place for a boring old uncle like me.

XL Chicken Cutlet can now be found everywhere.

So yeah, when we were planning a trip to Taiwan, I wasn’t exactly over the moon. But I do know that it is a ideal place for both kids and elderly in terms of food options, things to do, language and culture.

Credit to The Girl , she planned the entire 9 days itinerary including accommodation, driver and places to visit. I just had to pay.

And I must say that this trip far exceeded my expectation. I get to see more of Taiwan than the total of all my previous trip. And it is a side of Taiwan that I like better. Less of the modern cosmopolitan city of Taipei and more of the rural Taiwan. For anyone who is interested, this is the itinerary that we have done:

 Day 1 (Arrived) Arrival – To Taichung

接機~單純送到台中~住台中

Day 2 Taichung – Rainbow Village – Lavender Garden

台中~彩虹村~薰衣草花園~

大坑紙箱王~東東芋圓吃甜品~住台中
Day 3 Taichung – Sun Moon Lake – Cultural Village

台中~元首館~日月潭遊湖~九族文化村~

甕窯雞晚餐~小瑞士花園~住清境
Day 4 Cinjing – Cinjing Farm

清境~青青草原綿羊~蘇媽媽午餐~

時代村~住飛牛牧場
Day 5 Flying Cow Ranch

飛牛~住飛牛(自由行)

Day 6 Flying Cow Ranch – Le Foo Zoo

飛牛10:00接~六福村野生動物園~

住宜蘭礁溪溫泉會館
Day 7 Yilan

宜蘭~幾米公園~山宰村~亞典蛋糕館~

蘇澳港海鮮~宜農牧場~梅花湖~住宜蘭
Day 8 Yilan – Jiu Fen Old Street

宜蘭城堡咖啡館~東北角海岸~

陰陽海~黃金瀑布~九份老街~十分天燈~
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Day 9 Taipei

台北~住台北(自由行)

The type of activities and sightseeing places to visit are definitely more varied as compared to Taipei. Bonus: They are generally very elderly and kids friendly. But lesson learnt that we should try no to pack so much activities in a single day – so that we can enjoy the place more and explore the places more.

So based on these , I must say that I will definitely visit Taiwan again…!

Till then.

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Taipei Xinyi