October 31, 2008

Visit to Juara Cerdik

Juara Cerdik doesn’t offer any trial classes so I could only bring Yiu Yiu there for a visit. I took leave on Tuesday to do so, and we spent about 45 minutes in the centre - with Yiu Yiu admiring the colourful and cheerful interior, and mummy observing the way teachers handle the children. Generally I quite like what I see – the teachers are patient, and most children are well-behaved, surely a reflection of the teaching that takes place within the four walls.

I mentioned about checking whether the main entrance is locked at all times – it is indeed!

We also witnessed the school dismissal taking place. The teacher will get the children to arrange their chairs neatly before forming a line and head towards the main entrance. Security was tight with all children kept within the school building and several teachers at the entrance. Any car picking up a child has a cardboard on the dashboard with the child’s name, class and teacher’s name boldly printed. I thought that was a good measure to ensure the child will only be picked up by an authorized adult. When the car reaches the main entrance, a teacher will announce the name of the children, etc and the child will be brought to the fore. Very systematic indeed.

So what’s my little girl verdict of the school?

Mummy: Yiu Yiu, do you like the school?
Yiu Yiu: Yes. I like it very much.
Mummy: So next year you go to this school, OK?
Yiu Yiu: No, I don’t want to go to school!
Mummy: Oh oh!

Anyway, she keeps changing her mind – sometimes she’ll say she wants to go to school, sometimes she’ll say she doesn’t want to go to school. I hope and pray that things will go well, and she’ll quickly adjust to kindy life once she’s enrolled.

October 29, 2008

Kindergarten hunting – Part 2

Kinderland, Juara Cerdik, Educare and Peter & Jane

Approach to education
Peter & Jane and Educare employ the Montessori Method but during my visit to Educare, though I see some apparatus, they don’t look like the typical Montessori apparatus, unlike Peter & Jane. There's a clear difference between these two, with Peter & Jane having a more complete collection of apparatus which are neatly arranged, much like the actual Montessori classroom pictured below.


However, I get a sense that the 5- and 6-year old classes become more academic in nature, to prepare the children for primary school. Juara Cerdik belongs to the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) and employs the FunGates System, which also uses lots of apparatus in their teaching. The emphasis on academics is pretty strong, with the aim of getting the children familiar with the concept of homework and assessments. Kinderland is also very academic in nature. All four uses the thematic approach (e.g., family, occupation, animals) in their teaching and only Peter & Jane offers Chinese medium classes. Kinderland and Juara Cerdik offers Chinese as part of the syllabus and according to the principal of Juara Cerdik, most of her students attend Chinese primary schools.

Overall, the quality of teachers in these four centres appears to be a GREAT deal better than those of R.E.A.L Kids, Smart Reader Kids and Q-dees.

Physical characteristics
Both Educare and Kinderland have a lot of similarites: both are housed in a double-storey bungalow, both have reasonably attractive fa├žade and interior, both do not have child friendly facilities, and both have a minipool and sandpit in their compounds. Kinderland also has a music room with several keyboards, where the children learn music and fiddle with the instruments.

Educare


Kinderland

Juara Cerdik and Peter & Jane also have lots of similarities: both are housed in a custom built building, not your run-of-the-mill double storey bungalow or double-storey corner terrace unit. Both have really impressive exterior and interior as well as having child-friendly facilities. Juara Cerdik also boasts of a science lab and computer lab, and since it is within the large DUMC complex, it has access to the multipurpose hall for its activities. Peter & Jane also has a computer lab, and its music classes are conducted using the Musikgarten program, no less!

Child friendly facilities at Juara Cerdik


The huuuugggeeee compound of Peter & Jane

Security
Security at Educare, Kinderland and Peter & Jane are pretty lax. Similar to the R.E.A.L Kids and Q-dees centres I visited, though there’s a latch at the gate, it was not locked. At least at Peter & Jane, the first point of entry is the administrator office so there’s still some measure of screening of visitors. The DUMC complex is a guarded complex, but the guards don’t really stop anyone from going into the complex. The main entrance to Juara Cerdik though, is locked, at least at the time of my visit that evening. It’s somewhat similar to the typical office security system where access is only granted with an access card. Not sure if it'll be locked during school/dismissal hours.

$$$$$
Juara Cerdik and Educare costs about the same as R.E.A.L Kids, while Kinderland and Peter & Jane costs about 50% and 65% more respectively.

In conclusion
Among these four centres, I like Peter & Jane the most, but its fee is quite prohibitive. Juara Cerdik is a close second, and given its lower fee, appears to give more bangs for my bucks.

So what’s next? I’ll make another visit to Juara Cerdik when school is in session, to observe the children and teacher in action. I’ll bring Yiu Yiu along too, just to see if she likes the school. And if trial classes is an option, I’ll certainly enroll her. In the meantime, I’ll explore other Q-dees kindies in the vicinity.

October 27, 2008

Kindergarten hunting – Part 1

Yiu Yiu will turn three in November, but since she was born in 2005, she will be four by calendar year next year. We are planning to enroll her in a kindergarten so at least she doesn’t spend all her time playing and watching Barney.

Our main objective is for her to learn and have fun, to interact and socialize and to develop the habit of going to school. Our initial thought is to enroll her in a Montessori-type kindergarten next year, which is more focused on learning through play, and change to a more formal academic based kindergarten when she turns five, in preparation for formal schooling. The other consideration is the kindy must have transport service to send her back to the babysitter’s house after school hours.

I started trawling the Net for information and shortlisted a few kindies – both franchise and standalone establishments. Then, armed with a checklist by Montessorimum, I started my hunt for the kindy that matches our requirements.

I took two days off work and visited seven kindies: R.E.A.L Kids, Smart Reader Kids, Q-dees, Kinderland, Juara Cerdik, Educare and Peter & Jane. The first four are franchised centres; Juara Cerdik and Educare are standalone establishments while Peter & Jane has several branches. Below are my take of the first three centres (disclaimer: my assessment below applies ONLY to the centre I visited and not a reflection of the general condition of the said franchise):

R.E.A.L Kids, Smart Reader Kids and Q-dees

Approach to education
All three are very much academic-based, with the R.E.A.L Kids and Q-dees centre offering Chinese medium classes for children planning to enroll into Chinese primary schools. Classes are conventionally arranged with tables and chairs facing the whiteboard. Smart Reader Kids and Q-dees also emphasise on reading skills, with both having their own set of reading materials. I think R.E.A.L Kids may have similar reading materials but when I visited, classes were over but daycare was running. The person who entertained me couldn’t tell me a great deal about her school, and I earnestly hope that she’s not a teacher at the centre, coz if she is, I’m afraid she doesn’t give me a good impression of the quality of education offered. I was also appalled when she implied that they use bribery to make the children behave!

Timetable of the R.E.A.L Kids centre

Anyhow, through my visits, I have a hunch that teachers in all three centres are of mixed quality – some qualified, experienced ones, while others are simply SPM school leavers who completed the compulsory basic childcare course (Kursus Asas Asuhan Kanak-Kanak) organized by the Department of Social Welfare, the department that governs the running of pre-schools in Malaysia.

Physical characteristics
As with most kindies, this R.E.A.L Kids centre is housed in a corner terrace house. It has child friendly facilities (toilet and wash basin) but not very well maintained. It also has a swimming pool and computer lab.

All Smart Reader Kids centres, as I understand it, are housed in the upper floor of shoplots, and the one I visited was no different. Despite being a relatively new centre (~3 years), the appearance was less than pleasing, and the toilets and wash basins were not child-friendly. The Q-dees centre is housed in a single storey bungalow building with a swimming pool. The interior is bright and cheery, though a little run-down; the facilities however, are not child-friendly. The kitchen and toilets were rather unkempt but I was told that it was due to water supply disruption. Classes just ended when I visited, and children who stayed back for the daycare service were having lunch. I took a peek and if I’m not mistaken, it was instant noodles! The principal had earlier told me that besides biscuit and bread, the children also get fried rice, fried noodles and chicken porridge for snacks. But instant noodles for lunch?!! I’m not sure if this is again attributed to the water disruption but I didn’t ask.

The exterior of the Q-dees centre

Security
Security was lax at both the R.E.A.L Kids and Q-dees centres. There’s a latch at the gate but it was not locked so anyone can just pretty much walk in. At the Smart Reader Kids centre, the principal installed an automatic lock at the entrance to the stairs, and access is only granted after screening the visitor.

$$$$$
Smart Reader Kids and Q-dees fees are about the same, while R.E.A.L Kids costs about RM800 more per year. Mind you, the fee is close to double what I paid for my tertiary education in a local university! Kids really don’t come cheap these days.

In conclusion
In the website of these centres, there are impressive write-ups about their philosophy, great pictures of their facilites, etc but after my visitations, I can conclude that what I see on the internet is not what necessarily what I'll get. Nevertheless, if I had to choose between these three, I’ll probably opt for Q-dees, but instead of this centre that I visited, I’ll probably scout around for a centre with better facilities.

Next post: Kinderland, Juara Cerdik, Educare and Peter & Jane

October 24, 2008

Tanjung Sepat and Bagan Lalang

We went to Tanjung Sepat for seafood lunch last Saturday.

The famous Lover's Bridge in Tanjung Sepat



On the way back, we stopped by Bagan Lalang. It was around 3pm when we reached Bagan Lalang. It was low tide at that time and the sea water was far out from the shore. As the sun was scorching hot, we were too lazy to walk out to the water. Just as well as there was water cut in the area, and we wouldn’t have clean water to wash Yiu Yiu up had she gone into the water.

We spent time flying kite at the beach, and Yiu Yiu was contented just building sand dunes.




Patterns in the sand created by tiny crabs

We left about an hour later as hubby had to rush home to attend an evening function.

October 21, 2008

Waterfalls and natural beauty of Wulai

Wulai is rich in mountain and natural scenery. Directly opposite our hotel is the Wulai Waterfall. With a beautiful epithet "Swift flow from the clouds", Wulai Waterfall rushes down from a height of 80 meters. It is the highest hanging distributary waterfall in Taipei County. One can also view the stunning beauty of the waterfall while taking the Yun-Hsien cable car up to the top of the falls where an amusement park called Dreamland is located.


Our typical Taiwanese (BIG) breakfast in the hotel, while enjoying the beauty of Wulai Waterfall

Cherry blossoms were beginning to bloom and the hillsides were dotted in bright pink. Wulai's mountain cherry blossoms, also known as "Cold Crimson" cherry, bloom mainly between January and February. Cold Crimson cherry is one of the darkest and richest in colour. When they are in full bloom, the entire tree appears crimson, and the green valley turns red.


The Neidong Forest Recreation Area is located 5km away from Wulai where the Neidong River runs into the Nanshih River at elevations of between 200 and 800 metres. This recreation area is surrounded by mountains and filled with forests, and there is large variation in the terrain, creating habitats for a diversity of plants and wildlife. We took a leisuley trek through the recreation area and not far from the main entrance is the Wusha Waterfall.





Further in, the Neidong River tributary forms a stunning landscape made of of three layers of waterfalls. The recreation area is rich in anions, created by the rushing of water from watefalls and the density of vegetation and trees. There are as many as 20,000 – 50,000 anions per sq cm, which makes the air fresher and supposedly has many health benefits, including boosting one's immune system whilst also promoting a sense of contentment and happiness.





October 19, 2008

Wulai, the town of hotsprings and aborigines

Surrounded by mountain peaks and with an average elevation of 900 meters, Wulai is a popular tourism destination in Taipei with its combination of natural hot springs, waterfalls and other natural scenery. According to legends, two to three hundred years ago, Wulai was a hunting ground of the Atayal aborigines. When the Atayals came to the riverside and found hazy mists, they approached the river and discovered steaming hot water. The Atayals shouted "ulaikirofu", meaning "steaming hot water" in the Atayal language, from where this township gets its name. This tribe still inhabits the Wulai area, making Wulai the only aboriginal township in Taipei County. The rich Atayal aboriginal traditions, the second largest tribe among all Taiwan aboriginal tribes, shape Wulai's culture. The most interesting of Atayal culture is the Atayal facial tattoo. In the distant past, Atayal boys had to hunt human head and Atayal girls has to master the art of weaving to earn the facial tattoo.




We stayed in Naluwan Resort Hotel located high on the mountains of Wulai. The hotel uses the local aboriginal presence for inspiration in everything from its architecture to the patterning on the room bedspreads and curtains. From the hotel, we took the rail carts to Wulai Old Street. The rail carts were first used to transport timber but have now been transformed into a tourist attraction. Along the route, beautiful scenery of gorges and valleys of Wulai can be seen.


On Wulai Old Street is a collection of hot spring hotels, restaurants selling indigenous cuisine as well as a number of gift shops that sell locally made indigenous handicrafts. Wulai indigenous specialties include millet muachi (sticky millet ball) and millet wine. Millet muachi are mostly hand-made with a variety of flavours to cater to people's liking. Because muachi must be fresh, most muachi are sold the day they are made. Rice cooked in bamboo and delicacies from the mountains are almost synonymous with Atayal culture. Guei bamboo shoots, stone grill, deep-fried river shrimp, kakorot, bird's nest fern and common yam are a must-taste for visitors to Wulai.


The temperature of the Wulai carbonic hotsprings is 80oC and the water is clear and odorless, unlike those in the northern areas of Taipei such as Yangmingshan and Beitou which are mainly alkaline sulphuric springs, with water that has a strong odour and light milky colour. The hot spring water of Wulai can be used for drinking and bathing, and is said to be moisturizing to the skin besides promoting metabolism, thus earning the nickname "Spring Beauty". Bathing in the warm spring water in the public alfresco hot spring took a little courage (hubby refused to take the plunge!) but it was a great way to get a feel for the local culture. The bath was refreshing and truly a one-of-a-kind experience.


Hot spring water has also been piped into the many hotels, bathhouses and spas, including our room at Naluwan, so we could also enjoy the hot spring water in the privacy of our room – so that's what hubby did!

October 17, 2008

Day trips from Taipei (Part 2) – Jiufen and Jinguashih

The village of Jiufen was once the center of gold mining in Taiwan; its prosperity earned the town names such as "Little Shanghai" and "Little Hong Kong". The gold is now gone, but this quaint old village, built of closely-packed houses clinging to steep mountainsides, continues to offer enchanting scenery and fascinating glimpses into the lifestyles of the past.

It is said that before land routes lead to Jiufen, all goods and materials were transported by sea. Since there were only nine households, all goods and materials were requested "Jiufen" (literally nine shares in Mandarin), and so the town was named. Jiufen Old Street was the setting for the retrospective Chinese movie "City of Sadness". This street with its nolgastic looking buildings is framed by surrounding hills.

Jiufen most popular shopping area and specialty centre is Jishan Street. Because the stores closely adjoin with overlapping canopies and roofs that tend to block the light from reaching the narrow 3.4 metre wide street, Jishan Street is also called "am-ge-ah" (literally dark street in Taiwanese Hokkien). In addition to Jiufen's only traditional market, jewelers, clothing stores, tailors, barber shops and grocery stores, the "Dark Street" also have lots of snack shops and handicraft stores.


Neighbouring Jinguashih earned its name because of its gold mine. Because the tip of the mountain resembles a huge pumpkin, and people call pumpkins "jin-gua" (literally golden gourd in Mandarin), the town is therefore named Jinghuashih (literally golden gourd stone in Mandarin). With its carved mining terrain, mineral deposits, deserted mines, tunnels, building and mountains from the gold rush, Jinghuashih is an epitome of Eastern Asian mineral economy and colonial history.



The main attraction at Jinguashih is the Gold Ecological Park, aimed to preserve Jinguashih precious history by maintaining its mining relics, scenic features and historical memory. It comprises the Museum of Gold, Benshan Fifth Tunnel, Environmental Museum and Crown Prince Chalet. The Museum of Gold mainly exhibits the history of Jinguashih's mining industry and the characteristics and applications of gold while the Environmental Museum has exhibits on the natural ecological environment and the people involved in Jinguashih mining industry. At the Benshan Fifth Tunnel, visitors can explore the mining tunnels to learn first-hand the working conditions of miners in former times including how they extracted gold and transported it out of the tunnel.



You can see in these photos that rain coats and umbrellas feature prominently. That's because there is abundance of rain in this area. It is said that it rains almost 300 days in a year in these charming towns.

October 15, 2008

Day trips from Taipei (Part 1) – Yehliu and Danshui

Yehliu is a cape that is the extension of Datun Mountain. Due to interactions of active crustal movement, sea erosion and efflorescence for several million years, the Yehliu Geological Park has the most intriguing terrain landscapes in northern Taiwan. It features a number of interesting rock formations created over a long period of wave and wind erosion. Some of the formations have been named according to their shape such as Queen's Head, Fairy's Shoe and Candlestick Rock.


Located at the outlet of the Danshui River where it enters the sea, Danshui was once an important strategic military and economic hub. Its historic sites date back hundreds of years to when Taiwan was occupied by foreign powers and includes Hongmaocheng (Fort San Domingo), Huwei Fort and Puding Building. Along its old street are a number of shops selling local snacks and souvenirs. There's a harbour cruise that leaves from the old street to the Danshui Fisherman's Wharf. Visitors can walk along the boardwalk next to the harbour of Fisherman's Wharf and watch yachts and fishing boats floating in the marina. The "Lover's Bridge", a single slanted tower cable stay pedestrian bridge that is modeled after a sailing ship's mast and rigging, spans the harbor. The bridge's illumination changes color at night, making this area a favorite with local couples.

October 13, 2008

Attractions in Taipei

Backdated posts from our trip to Taiwan early this year

There isn't a lot to see in Taipei city itself, with only a handful of major tourist attractions such as the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Halls, Longshan Temple and the much touted Taipei 101, the world's tallest building.

Occupying over 39,000 sq meters, the National Palace Museum was built in the style of an ancient Chinese palace. It was originally founded in 1925 in the Forbidden City in Beijing, which explains why the word "Palace" is used in its name. Beginning in 1931 the collection was crated and moved into the hinterland of China to avoid the ravages of the impending Sino-Japanese War. In 1949, with civil war raging between the Nationalist and the Communist forces, the government shipped about 600,000 treasures to Taiwan, and temporarily stored them in Yangmei, Taoyuan and Taichung. It was not until 1965 when the collection was moved to their present home.




The National Palace Museum is one of the four best museums in the world along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Lourve Museum in Paris and the British Museum in London. It has the finest collection of Chinese art and culture that totals more than 700,000 bronze, jade, porcelain and ceramic items as well as writings, paintings and calligraphy works dating from Neolithic Age through the end of the Qing Dynasty.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, octagonal in shape with brilliant white walls and a rich royal blue roof was built to commemorate the late President Chiang Kai-shek. Inside is a bronze statue of Chiang, along with a multimedia room, art gallery, lecture hall, library and children's area and is surrounded by Chinese style gardens. It poses a dramatic contrast with the nearby National Theatre and National Concert Halls, which are built in bright red and gold in traditional Chinese palace style. At the National Theatre and National Concert Halls, many large-scale arts and cultural performances take place all year round.



In contrast, the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall was built like an ancient Chinese palace. At the entrance of the building, the statue of Sun Yat Sen is guarded by two army personnel, and we were lucky to catch the changing of the guards' ceremony while we were there. Inside the building is a 3000-seat hall for cultural and educational activities. It also has mulltipurpose facility for outdoor recreation. The miniature landscape in Zhongshan Park in front of the hall adds a touch of natural vitality.


First built in 1738 during the Qing Dynasty, the historic Longshan Temple is the center of worship in the Wanhua District. It is dedicated to several deities, including the Kuan Yin, the goddess of mercy and Matsu, the goddess of sailors and fishermen. It is beautifully decorated with carved niches and dragon columns.




The pride of all Taiwanese, Taipei 101, is a new landmark in Taipei. As the name suggests, this building has 101 storeys and the world's fastest elevator. It only takes 39 seconds to reach the observation deck of the world's tallest building to enjoy a panoramic view of Taipei. Unfortunately, as it was raining and cloudy when we were there, the view was less than spectacular. This skyscraper innovatively combines the traditional and the modern, and the fashionable with the classical. Traditional and classical epitomised by its eight-section bamboo decorated with the arabesques and cloud patterns often seen in Chinese art while modern and fashionable characterised by its resemblance of a space shuttle blasting its way through the clouds. It is a city within a city with a department store, supermarket, bookstore, boutiques and restaurants inside the building.



Other minor attractions of Taipei include the Office of the President, a renaissance-style building that has been the highest seat of government in Taiwan for over a century, first as the office of the governor general's office during the Japanese colonial period, and after 1949 as Taiwan's "White House". Others incluce the 228 Peace Memorial Park whichs has an open-air stage, a Japanese-style landscape garden, a pond, an arched bridge, and a walking path; and the Red Playhouse, a century old octagonal building. The Taipei City Government has transformed the Red Playhouse into a popular spot for listening to music, watching performances or simply enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.

228 Peace Memorial Park

About 30 minutes away, the mountainous area north of Taipei is famous for its beautiful scenery with traces of volcanic activities and abundant natural resources. Yangmingshan National Park is Taiwan's third national park and the one closest to a major city. Once called "Grass Mountain", its attractions include the sulphur fumaroles of Xiaoyukeng, the grassy pastures of Chingtienkang, Milk Lake at Lengshuikeng and flower gardens of Jhuzihhu. We only managed to visit the Yangming Park, despite going up Yangmingshan twice, no thanks to the weather and a lousy cab driver.

October 10, 2008

On the road - lessons for Yiu Yiu

Lesson for Yiu Yiu
Yiu Yiu was riding her toy tricyle and po po stood in her way.
Yiu Yiu: Mummy, traffic jam ah?
Mummy: ROFL
She must have picked it up coz I constantly tell her there's traffic jam on the road!

Mummy: Red light means what?
Yiu Yiu: STOP
Mummy: Green light means what?
Yiu Yiu: GO! Vroom vroom vroom…see mummy, I’m driving in my car seat

October 07, 2008

On the road – lessons for mummy

Lesson for mummy – always watch your words when driving with Yiu Yiu
I am not a very patient driver. Whenever someone cuts into my lane abruptly/rudely, I have a tendency to curse the other driver. Of course whenever Yiu Yiu is in the car, I try to watch my words but sometimes, the foul words still spew out unintentionally.

Incident 1
(Car/motorbike suddenly cuts into my lane)
Mummy: Stupid car/motorbike!
Yiu Yiu: The car/motorbike stupid ah?
Mummy: No, the car/motorbike not stupid, the driver is stupid.
(Few days later while driving home with her)
Yiu Yiu: Mummy, today no stupid car and stupid motorbike ah?
Mummy: Oh oh!

Incident 2
(A car swerved dangerously into my lane, nearly causing an accident)
Mummy: Bloody hell!
Yiu Yiu: Mummy, bar dee hell ah?
Mummy (face red liao, realizing my lack of self control): What blar dee hell? Mummy didn’t say anything ah.
Yiu Yiu: Got ah, you said bar dee hell ah
Mummy: No la, Yiu Yiu, that’s not a nice thing to say. Don’t say that again OK?
Yiu Yiu (humming to herself): Bar dee hell, bar dee hell
Luckily she forgot all about it the next day.
Note to self: MUST NOT say that again in front of her.

October 05, 2008

Why?

As with any 3-year old toddler, Yiu Yiu asks “Why” for everything under the sun, till I’m really stumped for answers sometimes. She even asks “Why” when I read bedtime stories to her.
Mummy: The stepmother doesn’t allow Cinderella to attend the ball.
Yiu Yiu: Why?
Mummy: Because the Cinderella is not her real daughter.
Yiu Yiu: Why?
Mummy: Because she married Cinderella’s father after Cinderella’s mother passed away.
Yiu Yiu: Why?
And it goes on and on and on and on…

Hubby and I sometimes turn the tables on her and ask her back “Why”? When she gets frustrated with our questions, she’ll simply brush us off with, “Don’t ask so many questions la you” (she’s picking up our Manglish, complete with ‘la’, ‘meh’, etc. I know we shouldn’t be speaking to her like that but they just come so naturally when we speak).

Sometimes, this is how our conversation goes…
Yiu Yiu: I don’t want to play anymore.
Mummy: Why?
Yiu Yiu: I don’t know.
Mummy: Why you don’t know?
Yiu Yiu: Don’t know don’t know la…

A moment later…
Yiu Yiu: Why the kor kor shouting?
Mummy: I don’t know.
Yiu Yiu: Why you don’t know?
Mummy: Don’t know don’t know la…
Yiu Yiu: Urrgghhh…why you follow me?
Mummy: Why cannot?
Yiu Yiu: Because I don’t like!

October 02, 2008

Showing empathy?

Yesterday, while I was watching TV, there was an emotional scene of a cancer striken mother final moments with her son. Tears started welling up at the corner of my eyes when suddenly, a piece of tissue was thrust at my face. It was Yiu Yiu, who then proceeded to sit on my lap, as if to comfort me.

“Awww, that’s so sweet” right, coz that's what I thought that to myself too.

Just to be sure that she has indeed developed a sensitive trait, I asked her,
Mummy: Why did you give the tissue to mummy?”
Yiu Yiu: Because I ‘wat pei see’ mah. There, see the ‘pei see’.
I almost fell off the sofa! Turned out mummy syiok sendiri.

For the benefit of non Cantonese speaking readers, ‘wat pei see’ means dig my nose, so I’m sure you can figure out what was in that piece of tissue she gave me.