10.2.11: Car servicing

I brought the boys to the Perodua Service Centre in Section 19, PJ to service our car. This is quite an efficient service centre, and I chose to service here although it is far from where we live. It took me an hour to reach the venue as the traffic jam was quite bad after exiting the Damansara toll. Appointment was at 9.00 am.

They were excited to look at the cars in workshop and observed the car being lifted up and down on the ramp. They had their breakfast there and later proceeded to do some drawing and colouring. The car went in at 9.15 am and was ready by 9.45 am. Speedy service.

He just wouldn't sit still and played behind the banner. 
After leaving the service centre, we headed for the National  Science Centre to check out the new outdoor playground.

8.2.11: Glitter at the park

We went to the neighbourhood park in the evening. The park was littered with all these colourful, shiny, glittery papers. I believe they were from the firecrackers during the recent Chinese New Year celebrations. I wonder how the authorities are going to clean this park.

They threw the glitter over themselves

We collected some to use it for some art and craft activity in the future. 

7.2.11: Composting

This is not really composting, but more like burying rotten fruits and vegetables scraps in the soil in our garden so that it can decompose and turn into fertiliser. This was the first time the boys dug earth and they found a worm in the process.

6.2.11: Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum

We returned to KL from Melaka on Sunday morning. We used an alternative road that led to the Ayer Keroh toll. Luckily we left early as we heard that the traffic was heavy after we left.

When we reached KL, we stopped the Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum (Muzium TUDM), Sungai Besi, which we had passed many times on our way to and from Melaka, but hadn't realised that there was a museum there that could be visited.

We arrived at noon and the sun was scorching hot.

The boys had the time of their life trying our all the aircrafts for display there. 

RMAF Museum

c/o RMAF Base Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Lapangan Terbang Lama, 50460 Kuala Lumpur

5.2.11: Making music

The boys made some music during the Chinese New Year merry-making. S participated in the family band. He had great fun!

The family band

Trying out the piano and ukelele

5.2.11: A Famosa Fort Malacca

We visited the A Famosa Portuguese Fort in Malacca, which was situated near to Dataran Pahlawan, formerly known as Padang Pahlawan. The last time I was there was when I was in secondary school.

We were lucky to arrive early and secure a parking. Parking fee payment was via parking coupons and we bought a parking coupon book at a booth near the entrance of the car park, near Equatorial hotel. 

It is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia. The Porta de Santiago, a small gate house, is the only remaining part of the fortress still standing. In 1511, a Portuguese fleet arrived under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque. His forces attacked and successfully defeated the armies of the Malacca Sultanate. Moving quickly to consolidate his gains, Albuquerque had the fortress built around a natural hill near the sea. Albuquerque believed that Malacca would become an important port linking Portugal to the Spice Route in China. At this time other Portuguese were establishing outposts in such places as Macau, China and Goa, India in order to create a string of friendly ports for ships heading to China and returning home to Portugal.

The fortress once consisted of long ramparts and four major towers. One was a four-story keep, while the others held ammunition storage room, the residence of the captain, and an officers' quarters. Most of the village clustered in town houses inside the fortress walls. As Malacca's population expanded it outgrew the original fort and extensions were added around 1586. The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch successfully drove the Portuguese out of Malacca. The Dutch renovated the gate in 1670, which explains the logo "ANNO 1670" inscribed on the gate's arch. Above the arch is a bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company.

The fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to prevent it from falling into the hands of Napoleon's expansionist France. The English were wary of maintaining the fortification and ordered its destruction in 1806. The fort was almost totally demolished but for the timely intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, who happened to visit Malacca in 1810. Because of his passion for history, this small gate was spared from destruction.

The Porta de Santiago
On the way up

Going up the steps. 

The boys preferred to play with the small red gravels under this large tree. They also gathered seed pods that fell from the tree....until a sweeper passed by and told the boys not to do that (mess up the place). We took cue and cleared up.   

It was very windy up here
 The surroundings have changed a lot. In the past, it was just the large 'Padang Pahlawan' field. Now it's a megamall. 

After that, we walked to the Dataran Pahlawan. The boys were excited to see the largest field that they have ever seen and ran across it. After that, we went to the Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall.

4.2.11: Malacca Butterfly Garden and Reptile Sanctuary - Part 2

When we walked out from the Koi pond, I thought it was the end, but there were still many animals to see. We saw bearcats, Malayan Gharial and Arapaima fishes 

Then there were birds. 

And finally snakes. Many, many snakes. Better than I've ever seen in zoos. 

And finally - insects.

I find that this place has much more variety as there are many animals, insects - reptiles, birds, snakes, fishes, that it shouldn't just be named Taman Rama-Rama. There weren't many butterflies, but the other varieties of animals more than made up for the lack of it. I find that it is much better than our visit to the Penang Butterfly Farm and Zoo Negara.   

4.2.11: Malacca Butterfly Garden and Reptile Sanctuary - Part 1

After watching 20 minutes of Lion Dance at Philea Spa and Resort nearby, we drove to the Malacca Butterfly Garden and Reptile Sanctuary. Tickets were RM8 per adult and RM5 per child. Their price has increased from the earlier RM5 per adult and RM3 per child several months ago. Not sure if this increase is permanent or just because it was the Chinese New Year season. 

Entrance to the venue
As we walked up the steps, we saw these birds.

Nearby, was an enclosure which house the reptiles below. Not sure what their names were as there weren't any signs, although I looked all around for the name. This man was giving them water to drink by spraying their mouths individually with water. I wondered, "Don't they know how to drink water on their own?" 

E saw this statue of a red indian warrior and immediately recognised it, just like the red indian drawing that he saw in his 'Danny and the Dinosaur Treasury' book. 

We then went to the Butterfly garden. The boys were chanting, "Butterfly, butterfly, come to me" and tried to get a butterfly to land on them. It was quite tough as there weren't that many butterflies around, compared to the Penang Butterfly Farm. At one point, S felt dejected as the butterfly wouldn't come to him.

He asked, "Mummy, why won't the butterfly come to me?" 
I replied, "You must sit still and be patient, then the butterfly will come to you".

At last they managed to get a tame butterfly.....

S' interest in butterflies has totally changed compared to 7 months ago when we went to the Penang Butterfly Farm. He is now very interested in butterflies and wants to hold the butterfly. Previously, when he first entered the Penang Butterfly Farm, he turned clingy, and wanted to leave and wasn't interested at all. He has transformed, and I'm glad to see the positive changes in several months.

Finally, S found a tame butterfly. The butterfly stayed with him for quite a long time, until he got tired of it and decided to part ways.

S and his butterfly.
After that, we walked through the 'insect cave', a man-made cavelike environment which houses some scorpions, and other insects. 

We saw these giant milipedes when we emerged from the cave.

Then we headed for the koi pond. It had many koi fishes. There was also a 'cave' behind the waterfall. S and I slowly walked over the large rocks in the water to get to the opening of the 'cave' in the middle of the pond, just near the waterfall.

The boys rested for awhile on the bench beside the koi pond, nibbling their cookies. After that, we made our way to the exit. On the way we passed these tortoises. 

Star tortoise

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