A favourite hangout for the kids that is convenient and fun on days when we have nothing to do but want to spend some family time together is to simply take a walk down to Changi General Hospital (CGH), buy a snack, purchase some fish-food and feed the fish!
|Showing off the pellets we've just bought from the stall behind.|
The fish food can be purchased from a nearby stall for $2, and the proceeds go to charity. After the bag has been emptied, the Ziploc bag is returned to the stall vendor to be re-used. The children enjoy feeding the fish here because, they are large and slow, making it easy to appreciate their form and movements. The water level is also raised above the ground and generally low enough so that the children, who are shorter than adults, have a good view of the fish up close. In addition, the pond is partially bounded by low glass walls which make it easy for the children to see the whole fish laterally, instead of just observing them from the top as per many other ponds.
|Tossing the goodies into the pond.|
|Fish gather round to lap up the pellets in close proximity to the children! Note the low glass panels.|
|A large fish approaches the pellets to swallow them. The fish here move very slowly, making them easy to observe and appreciate.|
The surrounding is also enhanced by greenery and sitting areas, making it a rather nice place to simply sit down and enjoy the view. Since the pond is not too large, it is also easy to monitor the children from a distance.
|On one occasion when mummy was away, Daddy brought the girls down for lunch at CGH's Houseman's Canteen followed by a quick lunch for the fish after picking them up from school.|
There are usually other children around the pond, and sharing our fish food with them is a great way to make friends and teach the kids to be kind and sociable. It also brings a smile to their faces when they feel good about having shared what they've been blessed with.
Inspecting the pond carefully, we find that many people have treated it like a wishing well, and the floor of the pond was littered with coins. We're not sure if this is a good idea however, as the bacteria on the coins can make the fish sick. However, whoever is cleaning up the aquarium is likely to earn a few extra dollars.
|There are some very large fish in the pond, like this catfish. Can you spot any coins at the bottom of the pond?|
There are a few signs with very cute cartoons depicting how we should care for the pond and the fish. The kids had fun reading these too.
|Pointing out which food is acceptable for the fish!|
|Houseman's Canteen: Sliced fish soup with bitter gourd;|
|Steamed rice with steamed egg, potato and vegetables for $3.20.|
We are unsure if anyone else would consider the hospital a neat place for a family hangout, but we're fortunate to have it around the corner from our block. It's been a place filled with family moments for us whether it's a post dinner stroll, supper, fish-feeding outing or simply a place to buy and 'ta bao' (pack) food home!