Friday, December 18, 2009

Shan Le First Stage Performance at Urban Toddlers' Christmas Concert

Shan Le gave his first stage performance during his pre-school, Urban Toddlers', Christmas Concert, on 16 Dec 09, just two days before the long winter break.  Sadly, I was not there as I was down with a very bad cold.  Irene managed to take a few video clips of Shan Le's segment but you will probably have a hard time looking out for him.  While he did not really sing, he certainly demonstrated his skill in "taking cover".  All the kids  were probably stunned by the huge turnout.  Not only the parents turned up, but also the grandparents and probably uncles and aunties...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Short Trip to Alexandria

I almost decided to brave the long 8-hour drive to Dahab during the long Eid Al-Adha holidays.  After taking a good look at the map of Egypt, I thought it would not be such a good idea afterall.  I am not used to driving long distances and perhaps I should try somewhere nearer first.  So we went to Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city by the Mediterranean Sea.  It was an easy drive up and my boy had a good time.

My friend Boon Keng helped booked a room night at the newly opened Radisson Blu in Alex West and we also had a short tour of the garment factory Boon Keng was managing in the Alex free zone.  However, the hotel was quite a distance from the downtown and I had to drive for about 30 minutes to get there, including the time taken to trace back my route after missing an important turn.  So on the following day, I got a minibus with a driver to bring us on the half day tour of Alexandria.  We visited the tourist sites - Alexandria Museum, Roman Theatre, Pompey Pillar, Qaitbey Citadel and Bibiliotheca, which was closed during the holidays unfortunately.

But all in all, it was a short but relaxing trip and the drive back to Cairo was a breeze.  I think I will be able to take on the drive to Dahab next and perhaps break the long drive with a night in Sharm El-Sheikh.  I have uploaded the photos taken on the Alexandria trip in my MSN photo album.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hi Daddy!

Today is a memorable day of my life.  It is Friday weekend, but I went to work this morning to trim down my to-do list.  I returned home at about 1pm.  As I walked up the stairs to the upper floor of my apartment, I flashed a big smile at Shan Le who was sitting on the sofa of the living area with his mother.  Unexpectedly, he said 'Hi Daddy' to me!  This is the first time ever, since his birth three years ago, that he called me Daddy in a spontaneous and directed manner.  My heart was breaming with joy!

Yesterday, we brought Shan Le back to the Learning Resource Centre in Maadi for the development skills assessment.  Unfortunately, as he was still recovering from his cold and taking anti-biotics, Dr Eman decided to perform the assessment next week after he has fully recovered.  Not to make a wasted trip, we sat down with Dr Eman for 1.5 hours to go through the ADOS results in detail.  The outcome of the assessment puts Shan Le on the Autistic Spectrum but Dr Eman said that the results should not be taken as conclusive.  She commented that she observed quite a lot of improvement in Shan Le's language and social abilities as he played with his mother yesterday.  So, Shan Le will be going for the developmental skills assessment and followed by therapy sessions to help him overcome his developmental difficulties, in particular language and speech.  The eventual diagnosis will depend how Shan Le reacts to the intervention programme.  Personally, after doing a fair bit of research and reading on the subject, I think Shan Le is not autistic but he is displaying some symptoms of the condition, which could be due to other developmental issues.  As his father, I will want to give him all the help he can get to overcome his difficulties so that he can grown up well and go to normal schools.

Shan Le is doing well at Urban Toddlers and also attending some activities at Dados in Zamalek.  The teacher said that Shan Le has been good and he was able to sit with others in a group listening to stories and singing songs.  But he has been missing school quite often for the past two weeks as he fell sick with acute tonsillitis and cold, almost consecutively.  His nose is still dripping today and the anti-biotic is giving him loose stools.  I hope he can adjust quickly to the weather here and rejoin school next week.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Vacation in Hong Kong & Macau

In my earlier posting, I mentioned about the trip to Hong Kong and Macau during my recent relief break.  It was a very tiring break for me having to unpack and pack within a week after touching down in Singapore and unpack and pack again after a week in Hong Kong for my return to Cairo.  Nevertheless, it was a fruitful outing where I spend some good quality time with family.  Here is the photo album on my vacation to share:

Tuesday, November 03, 2009



这次回国我们带乐乐去看了儿科心里专科医生。他的成长似乎有迟缓。我姐夫和同事也注意到他的某些特殊症状并建议我们求医。在初诊,医生也认为乐乐有自闭症的表现。不过他的症状轻微。医生建议我们让乐乐进行自闭症诊断测验 (ADOS) 或先行语言会话护理 (Speech Therapy)。




Friday, July 31, 2009






Sunday, June 28, 2009

Short Weekend in Ain Sokhna

Summer has officially started and it's daylight saving time now in Egypt GMT +3! After visiting the Red Sea beach resort in Sharm El-Sheikh, I decided to spend a weekend in the opposite coast of the Red Sea, Ain Sokhna, which is only about one and a half hour away from Cairo by car. The Sokhna road connecting the capital to the Red Sea coast was excellent and the drive was a breeze.

But in the end, it still took me over four hours to get to our resort Stella Di Mare. Without a map of Ain Sokhna, I took the wrong turn when I reached the coast and I just keep driving on and on and on... 100 over km down in the direction of Hurghada. The Red Sea was beautiful and we even come across a huge wind farm along the way. All is fine as we have time and our boy is sleeping soundly in his car seat. But when the gas was getting low, I started to feel worried wondering what will happen if we did not have enough gas for the return leg and the next gas station is far away. Fortunately, a gas station was in sight and we stopped for a break, refilled the tank and asked for directions. When I uttered "Stelle Di Mare", the lady was taken aback, "Stella Di Mare is very far from here, at least 100km away"... her finger pointing to the direction I came from. Okay.... so we headed back into the car and started retracing the coastal road... all the way back to the point where the Sokhna Road meets the coast. We stopped a few times for directions to make sure we were not lost this time. Ha, we managed to reach Stella at about 4pm, almost 5 hours after we left Cairo!

We stayed at the 4-star Sea Club Hotel as the 5-star Grand Stella was fully booked. The carpark was full to the brim but I was lucky to find a tight spot with the help of the security. To make up for lost time, we headed straight for the beach. The Red Sea was a very nice view and the water is warm and crystal clear. We had a great time at the beach, had pizza, which was half eaten by scavenging crows. The only pain was from the jelly fish. Both LeLe and I were bitten. The kind waiter at the beach bar gave us some vinegar to apply on the bites, apparently the antidote. The reddish marks healed in a couple of hours later.

So the next day we decided to go for a dip in the pool just outside our villa instead of going to the beach and risk the jelly fish bites. Our boy had a very enjoyable time and I too had a chance to relax and take a break from work. It was a short holiday and we checked out after the swim and headed back to Cairo. Again, we were lost and I wasn't sure of the way to connect to the Ring Road at the end of the Sokhna Road. We spent a good hour circling the New Cairo before I managed to find myself near the Cairo Airport where I can finally find my way to the City Stars for our grocery shopping. Not too bad at all!

Check out the photos we have taken:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Long Weekend in Sharm El-Sheikh

Thanks to the Sham El-Nessim public holiday on Monday, I had a opportunity to bring my family to Sharm El-Sheikh for a relaxing long weekend.  As I have mentioned in my earlier posting on my recent car accident, I changed my mind about taking the 6-hour drive to Sharm.  But because of the peak Coptic Easter Sunday, most of the flights to Sharm on Friday and back to Cairo on Monday, were fully booked.  In the end, I had to settle for the early morning flights to avoid the long and tiring road trip.

We took the first Egypt Air flight to Sharm on Friday departing Cairo at 0510hrs.  The packing was done the night before to avoid last-minute rush but we still forgot to bring a number of things we intended like the stroller.  From hindsight, it was probably better for us not to bring it as it would be a hassle lugging it around Sharm.  We reached the airport at about 0345hrs and there was already a long queue.  Our tour agent, Mohamed El-Banna, from Jet Sky Travel was there to see us off.  I am grateful to Mohamed for helping us secured the flights and being there at the airport at such an unearthly hour to make sure we were checked in.

Our boy did not give us much trouble for the early morning rush and loss of sleep time.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Perhaps he was cooperative because he knew we were going on vacation.  Anyway, we arrived in Sharm at about 0630hrs after an hour's flight.  The guy who was supposed to ferry us to the resort did not turn up.  But we have no problem taking a taxi on our to Kiroseiz Three Corners Resort.

Kiroseiz is located a few kilometres away from the Naa'ma Bay and is a family-themed resort.  That was why Mohamed recommended the resort to us.  It's quite a good resort but there are certainly room for improvement.  As all the rooms were occupied, we had to wait till after lunch to check-in.  The wait was tiring though we took the opportunity to explore the resort ground.  The room was okay.  The sound-proofing was
 not very good and the beds shifted easily on the tiled floor.  But the room was clean and tidy.

It was a free and easy vacation for us and we did not do much planning beforehand.  We were late in joining the city tour organised by the resort on day one but we managed to find our own way to Naa'ma Bay dining/shopping belt for dinner.  We did some shopping and bought a camel fur rug, two pairs of shades and Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts.  The sun was very strong and we really need the shades... nevermind the price.  Over the next two days, we went on the United Submarine's Aquascope to tour the coral reef, spent some time at the two private beaches of Kiroseiz and joined the Bedouin Night dinner in the desert mountain area where we had tasty grilled chicken and watch belly dancing by the top belly dancer in Sharm El-Sheikh - a man named Mr Vijay.  He is really good!

Good times passed in a blink of eye!  Once again, we had to wake up very early in the morning to catch the first flight back to Cairo.
  I must say our boy enjoyed the short vacation very much.  I too find the trip very relaxing.  Sharm is really very different from Cairo.  It's clean, well-planned and the roads are wide.  Even during the peak season, it was not too crowded.  It's a pity Sharm is rather far or we will be able to visit more often.  We also did not have the time to tour the other tourist spots in Sinai like St. Catherine, Mount Sinai, Dahab, Nuweiba, Ras Mohamed National Park etc. etc.  I guess we will have to plan other trips to those places.

Go to my photo album for more photos taken during the trip.  I have also uploaded a video clip in my YouTube channel.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Letting Nature Takes Its Course

Soon after our son Le Le turned 18 months old, we were wondering when we should start giving him "toilet training".  However, we find the training quite impossible to start because our boy has not started talking yet.  We do not know when he needs to relieve himself.  So we just let him stay on with the diapers and let nature takes it course.

A few days ago, Le Le started to change his behaviour in a rather weird manner.  We frequently found him pulling down his diaper and pee in his shorts.  He also touched his little penis every now and then and even pulled down his shorts altogether, running around half naked.  Irene and I were wondering what was happening to our boy.  It suddenly struck us that he was becoming uncomfortable peeing into the diaper.  Our boy is ready for toilet training!  So we took him to his little potty in the toilet and told him to "shhi shhi" into the potty.  Walla he did just that!  I was so relieved and it looks like we can save a bit on the diapers from now on.  Of course he still needs to wear diapers during his afternoon naps, in the night and when we were going out.

However, Le Le still don't call us when he needs to relieve himself.  He shows it by touching his penis or by pulling us towards the toilet.  Well, I guess it will take some time before our shy little boy learn to voice his desires.  We will also have to learn along the way with our bundle of joy!  Here's a new video and photo for all our friends to enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Car Accident

I had a car accident yesterday when I was driving to Maadi for lunch.  I was turning right at a T-junction not too far from my home when a car hit my Opel Vectra on the left.  The left front panel above the wheel was dented but the wheel and the bumper were okay.  The impact of the collision was not too frightening but I think that was because of solid German engineering.  As I mentioned in my earlier posting on purchasing the Opel Vectra, safety is top priority for me.  The Vectra sturdy body was able to absorb the impact of the collision to a large extent keeping us safe on the inside.

The other car was in a much worse state than mine.  The front bonnet was dented, the headlamps were shattered and the bumper was dislodged.  The car had to be towed away while I could still drive the Vectra.  My son remained calm throughout the accident and he fell asleep while I tried to resolve the situation with the other party and the police.  I called one of my office drivers for help.  Fortunately, he was in the vicinity with his family he was able to come quickly to represent me.  After much haggling, we settled the accident with me compensating the other party 150LE.  I was apparently at fault for crossing the T-junction when the other party had the right-of-way. I felt it was pointless to argue and I was happy to wrap up the accident with the small sum.  I was well-covered by my costly motor insurance so I was not too worried.

Looking back, I could have been more careful to avoid the accident.  I was fortunate that none of us were hurt in the accident.  If I was ahead by another metre or two, the car would have hit my left-rear door where my boy was seated.  I thanked God for letting me get away with just some monetary loss.  I will definitely be more careful in the future driving in this chaotic traffic where junctions are not governed by traffic lights.

The accident occured exactly one week from my planned driving trip to the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in Sinai.  It was my first accident in Egypt and hopefully my last!  I believe the accident was a sign from the divine power above and my ancestors' watchful spirits - "DO NOT DRIVE TO SHARM".   I will heed the warning and forget about the five-hour drive to Sharm.  We will go by air instead.  We will staying at Kiroseiz Three Corners Resort for three nights.  Watch out for my next posting on the trip with the videos and photos!

Friday, April 03, 2009





这次回国的节目也是相当多。抵达国门的第一天就要到埃及驻新加坡大使馆为母亲申请签证。隔天已经和二姐约好了一早就到[林志源]买肉干。接下来要播出时间买新衣,寻美食,看眼科医生,访牙医,办年货等等。春节那几天可就要到处奔走和亲朋戚友们拜年。和在台湾相识的故友们也相约了聚餐叙旧。我那三位二十多年的老朋友就更不用说了,必定要好好的聚聚。此外,我得抽空会总部一趟,和旧同事打个招呼,找些许同事谈谈公事,还有和我为来得老板吃饭嘞!唉, 不管多忙,我还是必须带着妻儿出游享受享受两个多月以来苦缺的天伦之乐!



New Video and Photos

Here is a new video uploaded on my YouTube Channel > Tanoura Dance on board the Nile Pharaohs in Cairo.

I have also updated Shanle's photo album in my MSN Space.

Enjoy my friends!

Blogging on Blogger Again 重新启动部落格

从今天开始,我将重新启动这部落格。是什么原因使我在短短三个月后回心转意?今天收到一位故人的电邮。她说她无法加入Facebook,看不到我近来的笔记,无法了解我和我家人的近况。因此她感到困扰也有点无奈。最后,她就写了封电邮给我,希望了解我近来如何。她亲切的关怀让我十分感动也怀有些歉疚之意。我当初决定使用Blogger的原因不就是为了能和各地的朋友保持无障碍的交流吗?为何现在又躲入了Facebook内,而迫使想要了解我近况的朋友们加入呢?所以我决定回到这开放的部落格。这几个月来我也没有在Facebook内写了些什么。我只是上栽了一些乐乐近来所拍的一些照片。其实,Facebook中就不太适合我写部落格的方式。那是因为它没有储存的功能而我又不习惯一次过就把文章上载。所以还是这儿比较适合我。再说了,我自始至终还是无法将我在网上的媒介全部集中在Facebook内。YouTube 的影音上载以及线上观赏的素质毕竟还是略胜一筹。

I am restarting my Blogspot from today.  What changed my mind after a short three-month period?  I received an email from an old friend today.  She was unable to sign up Facebook to find out about my latest condition.  Hence, she felt sad and rather helpless.  In the end, she wrote me hoping to find out if I am alright.  I was very touched by her concern and I felt sorry.  The reason why I chose Blogger originally was because it is accessible for all my friends.  I wonder why I wanted to hide in Facebook and kept my friends out as a result.  That was not my intention.  Anyway, I am back.  I did not blog much in Facebook during the past months.  There is no function to save the notes as draft and I am not used to blogging realtime.  Many times, I have to stop my blog and come back at a later time to finish it.  Blogspot fits my style better.  Moreover, I did not manage to consolidate all my web presence in Facebook.  YouTube is still far better in video uploading and online streaming. 

Music Nournishes The Soul & Mind (Chinese Songs)......