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Tuesday, 30 June 2009


We had interview sessions again today. We are still looking for RAs for our project. One of the down side of scheduling interviews back to back is that we can't remember what was exactly said for each interview session although mostly would be the same lol. Must be old age, need to take lecithin. :P

Monday, 29 June 2009

Wonder Girls - Nobody

A good friend recently told me about this Korean girl group, Wonder Girls and the dance craze their song, Nobody created. I didn't think too much of it until I decided to look them up on YouTube. Oh my goodness, now I know why the craze hahaha. There are both the Korean and the English versions. I think I like the Korean version better lol. :P The song is really catchy and the dance steps pretty fun to follow. The Nobody MTV is really funny too. :)

Here is the original Korean version

Here is the English version

"I want nobody nobody but you! *point* clap clap *point* clap, I want nobody nobody but you! *point* clap clap *point* clap"

Now the chorus is stuck in my head lol. :P

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Nature Walk: Pulau Semakau Intertidal Walk II

Juliane didn't go the walk yesterday because she was under the minimum age of 7 years old. She was very upset that she has been excluded from the walk and kept asking me why she cannot go.

Juliane: Why I cannot go?
Me: They set the rules, dear, under 7 years old cannot go.
Juliane: Why?
Me: They are scared it's too dangerous.
Juliane: Why?
Me: Because we have to wade through seawater and it can come up to your knees.
Juliane: Why?
Me: *Getting exasperated* You are too short?!
Juliane: I can wear your heels.
Me: ... *speechless*

When Marieann and I came back from the Semakau Walk yesterday afternoon, Juliane grilled us on every detail of our walk. She asked for the names of each marine animal and plant that I took photos of and she asked what they are and what they do. She was really curious. Marieann helped me out a lot by answering her sister's questions. Hmm, so Marieann has been paying attention to what Pei Ya (our guide) has been saying. Well done, Marieann. :)

Today, we were still being grilled by Juliane about our Semakau walk lol. By her bedtime, Juliane has seen the photos so many times that she could name me every marine animal and plant as if she had been on the walk herself hahaha. :P

I promised Juliane that I will bring her for the Semakau Intertidal Walk when she is old enough and Marieann said she wanted to go to Semakau again. I am glad that both girls take after me in that they are interested about nature and do enjoy nature. :)

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Nature Walk: Pulau Semakau Intertidal Walk

This has to be one of the best nature walks I have ever been on! Hahaha. Marieann agrees with me totally. :)

I was kind of restless and didn't sleep very well as I was afraid that I would oversleep and miss the intertidal walk totally lol. I woke up first at 5:10am before waking Marieann. I then prepared breakfast for Marieann and myself. A good friend and colleague gave us a lift and we arrived at Marina South Pier at 6:20am. Gosh, not used to being up so early haha. :P We were split into 5 groups of 8 people (mostly my colleagues) and each group has a guide, who is a volunteer but with a deep passion and love for conserving our natural environment, for the intertidal walk. Our group is the Upside-down Jellyfish. :)

At 6:40am, we were on our way to Pulau Semakau by boat. As we were able to move about on the boat, Marieann and I went to the upper deck where we saw the sun rising from behind the clouds. It was a most beautiful sight. As you know, I always have a thing with sunrise and sunsets. I took quite a number of the sunrise photos. :)

Upon reaching Semakau, we walked about 2 km to the secondary forest. It was a good warm up exercise. At one point, Marieann rode piggyback on me because her shoes were chafing her. Gosh, she is heavy lol. I was also laughing so much that I could hardly carry her. After 3 minutes, I gave up hahaha. She changed her sports shoes into her Crocs for now and would change back when at the beach for the intertidal walk. :P Took a couple of photos while walking to the secondary forest.

Lallang in the morning sun

Mangrove swamp

The secondary forest trail was quite ok, not too long a stretch to walk and without mozzies! I was initially expecting to be attacked by mozzies so I had earlier sprayed Marieann and myself liberally with insect repellent. My friend had even wanted to bring Baygon along hahaha. No lah, he didn't. :P However, we were attacked by mozzies when we were at the beach! :( Marieann had to change her shoes at the beginning of the beach and while doing so, attracted a group of mozzies. Never seen mozzies so aggressive, kept coming at us despite being swiped at.

At the beach, our guide, Pei Ya showed us and explained to us about the things we saw along the way such as mangrove trees, hermit crabs and creeper shells, sea stars, acorn worm casts, and sponges. Marieann was initially apprehensive about touching the sea creatures. After encouragement from Pei Ya and my colleagues and friends, she plucked up the courage to hold a hermit crab in her hands lol. Bit by bit, she lost her apprehensiveness. Throughout the walk, she was more than game to hold the various marine creatures and plants in her hands. I am really proud of her. :)

A hermit crab

An acorn worm cast. Acorn worms are burrowing worms and the casts are the worms' excretion of swallowed mud and sand which the worms had processed for food.


Sponges and a shrimp's burrow whose "doorway" has been decorated with various bits and pieces of stones

Marieann holding a sand sifting sea star

The underside of the sand sifting sea star

Soon we came to the seagrass meadow where we had to wade through the seagrass to get to the intertidal plains. It was actually very fun, wading through the seawater and seagrass that came up to our mid calf. :) Earlier prior to our arrival on the beach and the intertidal plains, the "scouts" looked out for various interesting marine creatures and plants and marked off the locations where the marine life was found as stations which we could visit, see and touch the marine creatures and plants. I never knew there is such a rich biodiversity of marine life on Singapore's shores! The Semakau intertidal walk is truly an eye-opener for me, for my girl as well as for my other colleagues. We learnt about and saw various marine creatures and plants, some of which we could touch and feel.

Seagrass meadow

Our group, Upside-down Jellyfish standing in the middle of the seagrass meadow

Marieann holding a type of seaweed called Mermaid's Fan. Isn't it a pretty name?

Can you see something in the sand? A sea star which has burrowed under the sand

A baby sea star on Marieann's palm

The underside of the baby sea star

Moon snail and its eggs in a sand collar

Err... can't remember what this is. :( Reminds me of spice worm from Dune lol.

Sea cucumber and a strip of its skin which dropped off

Sea anemone but no Nemo around

A pretty blue polka dotted nudibranch. Nudibranchs are colourful sea slugs. They are really pretty, aren't they?

A pretty pink polka-dotted nudibranch

A white with dark blue border nudibranch

Sponges, fluted clam and scallops

A beautiful heart cockle

The underside of a spider conch. Can you see a tiny eye peeping at you?

Fluted giant clam


A six-armed knobbly sea star

A orange coloured five-armed knobbly sea star

A cushion sea star

A sandfish sea cucumber

The underside of the sandfish sea cucumber

Righting itself. Jia you, jia you!

Ocellated sea cucumber, I think

Nature's condo - Coral

Red coloured coral


Beautifully coloured coral - green with gold borders

Blue coloured coral

Mushroom coral

Our group's namesake, Upside-down jellyfish

What you staring at? I am a crab, just happened to have teddy bear in my name too - Teddy bear crab.

Just as we were at the last station, we saw thick, dark clouds forming, the wind picking up speed and the tide starting to rise. Our guide and the "scouts", who stayed behind as they had to return the marine creatures back to their habitat after all the groups have observed, hurried us back to the "mainland". It was really surreal as we were wading hurriedly across the seagrass meadow and trotting back across the beach. On the right side of us, we could see the dark clouds rolling in fast and the cold wind whipping wildly at us but on the left side of us, the sun was still shining and was warm. On the beach, we saw how fiddler crabs were scrambling and scuttling about before the approaching storm. Unfortunately I didn't have time to stop and take photos of them as I was more concerned about getting caught in a downpour and in a potential thunderstorm.

Storm is coming

Dark stormy clouds

Soon we made it through the secondary forest and back onto the "mainland" where we could washed our feet and changed into a dry pair of shoes. I had to throw away my track shoes. While at the beach, I lost my soul. Oops I mean my soles hahaha. The soles of my track shoes came apart after wading through the seagrass meadow and puddles of seawater on the intertidal plains. Oh well, it's no wonder since the last time I wore the shoes was back in 2003!! Hahaha. It has certainly served me well. May it RIP. :P

A bus pick us up and drove to the southern most tip of the island to show us a landfill cell before doubling back to the NEA office where we watched a video on how Pulau Semakau came into being. :) At 12pm, we arrived back at Marina South Pier via boat. We lingered around to say our farewells and to thank one particular lady who made it happen, Belinda. Without her, we (my colleagues and I) would never have gone for the Semakau Intertidal Walk on our own! Thanks, Belinda. What walk next??!! :)

Taking a rest while waiting for the bus to pick us up

Marieann and I had lunch with my good friend (who gave us a lift) and his wife at Sakae. Marieann chose it. Looks like I can't escape from eating at Sakae haha. After lunch, my friend sent us home. I was so tired that I slept from 3 to 7:30pm! Hahaha.

I have certainly learnt a lot from this walk. It is truly an awe-inspiring experience.