Monday

Participation and Fun = Sports and Family Day

After all these years, this is the first time I have been actively participating in my kid's school activities. To be honest, only now time is under my control and I can decide what I really want to do. When there was a call for volunteers, I signed up as a sports committee member. Don't ask me what sport I play!

Well the experience was refreshing. It was great to listen and to contribute in coming up with games list for children and parents. Unlike workplace, there was no tension or mainly EGO clash:) All the ideas were given due importance and there was a sense of satisfaction. Above all, there was no one grumbling behind the back to do a task:)

The whole event was planned like a typical project with a main objective to encourage participation, team spirit and fun. After a couple of iterations, we came up with the list of games that can be played within the available time frame, budget and resources. The best part was that every kid would get at least a medal to take back as a memento. No hard feelings at all.

The team games included Macaroni and Chopsticks, where the kids had to pick and pass macaroni using chopsticks and the last kid in the team should put them in a string. This is a time based game and the team that has the maximum number of macaronis in the string wins.

Then there was this Caterpillar Walk for children, parents and the teachers. A team of 4 should walk together on a plank. It was funny to watch when they say left/right and lift the foot simultaneously.

Relay race, where children have to walk on coconut shell and then on a narrow beam...

"Dressing Up Dad" was rather hilarious:) However, only 4 families were daring for this adventure. In this game, a heap of costumes & accessories were kept from which moms need to select and the kids need to dress up the dads as beautiful dames.

Rolling dough for making chapatti is an art that comes by practice. Here the dads were asked to do it. In this there were 8 contestants. Finally, 3 winners were selected based on largest (measuring 34" in diameter), roundest (almost!) and the chapatti that can be lifted from the table.

One of the participants declared that even his chapatti could be lifted AND demonstrated by lifting the table itself^^:)

Usually in any sports events the winning stand is out of reach for the children. But, here the children were happily climbing and playing on it...

Besides all these activities, potluck lunch was organized. I was a bit concerned if the lemon rice I prepared would be left untouched.

Well, I was in for surprise and lemon rice was one of the items that finished!

To put it in a nut shell, it was a memorable event, where I had a chance to mix with other parents and staff and have fun.

Flying in Air and Walking in Water...

After a lot of expectation and planning we went to Putrajaya to fly in tethered hot-air balloon. The counter opened at 5.30 PM. We assumed that we would be one of the 300 people who would get the tickets for the ride.

Balloons getting ready for the flight...

But within few minutes the guards came up and asked us to go back as there were only few more tickets and we don't stand a chance of getting it. With great disappointment, we were still standing there when a youngster approached us and told that she has 4 special tickets which is priced "just" RM5 more than the counter rate.

I was not sure if this was the real ticket or the person was trying to con us, so I refused to buy. But, a couple decided to take up 2 tickets and the deal was closed. By then, another bystander asked for the remaining tickets and NOW the seller demanded extra RM10!

I decided to go to the counter to see if there is any chance of getting tickets as we had driven up around 150KM just for this. There was a small angry crowd blasting the ticket issuers for the chaos. When I questioned them about the black tickets to the person in charge, she refused it outright by telling that the tickets were sold only to the direct persons who wanted to go for a ride. Further, she simply stated that I should have brought them red-handed. It was not at all funny.

We wanted to make the most of this evening, so we moved on to see the live hot-air balloons being launched by various countries. Some of them were usual types where us some were in unique shape and design.

Orange shaped - by Belgium...

Bespectacled fellow from Poland...

 Leo faced from France...

In the form of Jeans...

Besides these, there were lots of activities like Gacgaroo walk, which imitates Kangaroos...

Walking on water...

The children seemed to enjoy themselves like hamsters in a rolling ball. See this video that I captured...

video

When it was time for us to go home, we crossed the tethered ride area and saw that the public rides were canceled as the hot-air balloons were malfunctioning! After all, we didn't miss anything and the evening was pleasurable:)

Tuesday

Quack Tour

First time I saw the DUCK near Trafalgar Square in London, but never had the opportunity to take a tour in that. So when we heard about duck tour in Melaka we wanted to experience that land and sea trip. These types of amphibious vehicles were used during World War II for transportation. Now, this is used for attracting tourists.

Inlaid picture shows the London duck, whereas the main picture is the Melaka Duck:) It looks like a typical tourist vehicle including a loud horn.

I felt that the ticket prices are too high for adults @ RM38 and children @ RM 22. I wish they mark down it by half price. Anyway, we booked for the 1PM trip, for which we were asked for report at 12.45 PM.

Luckily, our conductor aka ConDUCKtor could speak "understandable" English. He was telling about the history of Melaka. The journey started from Menara Taming Sari near Datarn Pahalawan.

The ride was bumpy and it reminded me of the days when we used to travel by horse driven jhatkas in rural India. After few minutes, I had a doubt if there is some problem with the vehicle, so I asked the in-charge why was the duck so shaky. And he replied that it is "DUCK tour" and is meant to be like that!

Duck quacked its way through Melaka Raya and passed on to Pulau Melaka, where they are constructing large scale recreational complex and stopped near the floating Mosque.

Near the Mosque, there was a slanting cement path leading to the Straits of Melaka. With cheers from the tourists, the driver halted the duck with a loud screech and handed over to the boat man. Within seconds, duck splashed into the water and we were floating beautifully in the sea. By then, the weather too cheered us by hiding the scorching Sun with clouds and there was a soothing cool breeze:)

Before entering the sea, we were strictly warned against leaning or popping our heads outside the duck. Besides, I was sitting in the first row near the person in-charge of the duck, so I could not capture the transition between land and water.

ConDUCKtor pointed out Pulau Besar, which resembles a lying pregnant lady! I couldn't get a clear shot of it because of poor lighting conditions. Then we spotted the much hyped Star Cruise ship...

And, the supply boat that transports passengers and stuff from the luxury liner to the land and vice versa...

We were in the Straits of Melaka for about 15 minutes and when the guide pointed our landing platform from afar I was a bit disappointed as the water part of the ride was coming to an end so soon.

Yes, we came out of the sea via the cement platform at Banda Hilir, just behind the Eye on Malaysia. After landing, we could see the beautiful Marina, where private yachts and boats were docked...

Then we passed through Eye on Malaysia grounds, which was in a sorry state as it was closed. I don't understand how a town that pours millions in constructing new facilities to attract tourists can neglect such existing facilities!

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