If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Good, The Bad and The Opportunity.

If you had the opportunity to visit family in Singapore and the chance to add on a stop off in Siem Reap, Cambodia, you would jump at it wouldn't you. Well we did. And so far it has been amazing.
Singapore is a bustling hub of people, markets, high rise buildings and noise. We have visited before as we have family here and I have noticed a difference every time I have had the chance to visit since my first time Christmas 1981 when I was 11 years old.
Siem Reap reminded me of that old Singapore, old, colonial, exotic and mysterious. it is a really green lush country, well we were visiting at the tail end of the monsoon, which meant for turbulence on our flight and the occasional thunderstorm during our stay. We visited the main temples, Bayon, Ta Prohm (The Lara Croft Tomb Raider Temple) and Angkor  Wat and we walked along the Elephant Terrace rode an elephant and travelled in a Tuk Tuk and we shopped in the old night markets. We did take in a little of the Pub Street scene but found that we preferred the restaurants and markets on the outskirts.
There are loads of charities and NGO's supporting the poor, the land mine victims and the street children through the restaurant trade. We ate at Joe to Go, Sala Bai, Genevieves and the Blue Pumpkin all of whom help to educate those in need and enabling them to move out of the poverty trap. Each establishment asked for patience with their staff as many were illiterate so writing down an order or calculating the bill was complicated.
Our boutique hotel was charming and there were only 12 travellers staying at any one time, of whom we made up 6. So breakfast was a quiet affair and we were for the most part the only people in the swimming pool. The staff were amazing very taken with the blondes in our family group, in fact they took child 4's many tantrums in their stride.

Of course as to be expected child 4 struggled, we had spent 3 busy days in Singapore, adjusting to time differences, heat and a faster pace of life. A two hour flight to another country another set of hotel rooms and a new environment. We saw a huge escalation in tantrums, defiance and agression. Add supporting the other three children, who also struggled with his spiralling behaviour, at times it was beyond exhausting. For the most part the other guests ignored the difficult behaviours and would smile reassuringly, there was one chap that really wasn't impressed, it's funny isn't it how just one person makes it so very hard because they show their disapproval. I may say that I ignore them, but it really isn't that easy. However, I would say that the good bits outweighed the bad, child 4 spent some happy times exploring temple ruins, watching geckos, playing in the pool, learning Uno and eating noodles. As a family it was good to spend those days in Cambodia together, just us. Although our mornings were busy, the afternoons were spent by the pool and we had early dinners and were in bed by 10pm. It was good for the children to see a different world some of which is beautiful but some that helps them appreciate everything they have. Child 1 is studying the cold war in Asia at ALevel and for her and her dad to visit the Killing Fields Memorial will give her a fresher view on those terrible years in the 1970's.

We are now back in Singapore with the rest of my family, 18 of us have travelled to celebrate my mums 70th birthday. Hoping that as its all family, all together, child 4 will calm and we can enjoy the coming days.

Despite the need to remain patient and pro active I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

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