Family Magazine

Once Bitten, Twice Not Shy

By A Happy Mum @A_Happy_Mum
Greetings from Hamburg!
Yes, I am in the 2nd largest city in Germany (7th largest in EU) and it is here where I will be spending my New Year's Eve with jw, his parents, my parents and of course, my dearest Angel.
Did you know? A man from Hamburg is actually called a Hamburger. Sounds delicious? Yes, but don't try eating up one. Oh, and a woman, she's called a Hamburgerin.
We will be visiting Amsterdam and Brussels in the next couple of days before we head back here for the fireworks on 31st. Technically I've been to both of them during my first Europe tour in 2007. That was when I got engaged on the Eiffel, my bag got stolen in Barcelona and I lost all my precious videos and pictures. So, I'm pretty psyched up that I'm gonna have a second chance to visit these two cities, especially Brussels because it was one of the most gorgeous places I've set foot in. I am so going to handcuff my bag to me this time round.
Anyway, this post is not to tell you of my travels around the world, that would have to wait till 2012 when I get back home and upload my pictures.
It's just to write about how this road trip started. Not in a very good way, I guess.
All 11 of us (8 adults, 3 kids) miraculously squeezed into a 9-seater van as we sent jw's bro and his family off to Copenhagen airport today. On the way, we stopped by Malmö, Sweden's 3rd largest city and a place we've been to umpteen times, for a quick lunch.
The first hitch happened once we got off the car. Remember in my Switzerland trip, I was pretty upset that we forgot to bring the stroller and so were made to carry Angel for nearly every moment of the trip? Guess what, we just did it again. Yes, we are pram-less and will be so for the whole of this trip. I was somewhat annoyed because I had reminded my dear hubby to load it onto the car this morning. *shakes head* Sometimes, I feel that Dory in Finding Nemo isn't the worst at short term memory. Still, it's also partly my fault not to double check before we hit the roads. Like what jw said, we just have to live with it. Again.
The good news is this time round, Angel can walk. The bad news is, she is now nearly 12kg, she needs a near 2hr nap in the afternoon, it's going to be rainy weather the whole week so a stroller with a rain cover would have definitely been useful. Not to mention that we always put our heavy diaper bag, mums' handbags (you should see how much stuff our mothers carry everyday), shopping bags onto it and just wheel them along. Now, we only have our hands to do all the job, plus we probably have to carry a sleeping toddler when we go sightseeing.  Sigh, I should have brought that Counterpain after all.
Anyway, this was just a small drawback compared to the next.
During lunch, we were all seated together at a square table, happily eating Indian briyani at a food court in a shopping mall. Towards the end, suddenly jw's mom exclaimed vehemently and we discovered that her handbag was missing. Stolen. Gone. Mysteriously, under 11 pairs of eyes. Of course, some of us were busy feeding and looking after the kids while the rest were busy tucking in, but how could it be that none of us realised anything? Either the thief was really smart, or we were really dumb. Ok, probably the former, they are way too smart. Just like the Barcelona one. Smart but evil, cruel and greedy.
It was a case of déjà vu as we searched for the security office and asked for camera footage only to be told that the cameras were merely for show. Duh. Then we made a police report, called the Singapore Embassies in Amsterdam and Brussels and made our way to the police station to pick up the police report which was written in Swedish and illegible to any of us but was a requirement in order to make an emergency document of identity.
There were many things in the bag there were lost, including passports, medicine, jewellery, cash money and mobile phone. The one thing I found most heartbreaking was that she also lost her engagement ring which had been with her for 40 years since 1971 and was of great sentimental value. So sorry, mother. When I say I know how bad it feels, trust me, this time round I really do. The good thing is we only lost tangibles and all of us are safe and sound. Memories live in our hearts forever, so cheer up, ok?
You see, I guess jw and I didn't really learn from our mistakes since in both cases, history basically repeated itself. Maybe it was all fated to happen. Well, a bad start to a road trip doesn't mean a bad ending, so I'm just hoping that all of us will have a fun time on the last few days of 2011 and have a smashing, wonderful, brand new start to a brand new year.
Happy New Year in advance to everyone and let's continue to look on the bright side of life, yeah?
P/S: I'll only be back in Jan for more updates because guess what, I brought my laptop but not my adaptor and my battery is flat in a few minutes. Yeah, I'm a little dumbo sometimes. Just a little, ok. As Heidi Klum always say on Project Runway, Auf Wiedersehen!

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