Let me introduce her first. She is known has Rima and she is known to many Bhutanese because of her active blogging. I came across her blog for quite sometime. Until we started talking on Facebook, (which was quite recently), I had been wondering about her. I wondered whether she was Bhutanese and where she lived. So for the ones who are wondering like me: she is originally Indonesian Chinese. She is married to a Singaporean and lives in Singapore. She first visited Bhutan with her parents through the travel agent as tourist and she fell in love with Bhutan ever since. So, the second time, she visited Bhutan through the invitation of one of her Bhutanese friends.
Since then, she has been in touch with Bhutanese through the Bhutanese bloggers and those visiting Singapore. This time, I happened to be the lucky one and thus meet her, in person. She is a lady with an easy smile and warm heart. And she doesn’t mind taking the trouble to meet you, even if it means stretching beyond her normal schedule of the day.
We first planned to meet at Swissotel Merchant Court, but later after I told her that we (my friend Sonam and I) would like to go to Viva City, we changed the plan. She said, ‘wait in front of FoodRepublic on level 3’. I was bit worried wondering at the possibility of missing the opportunity but when I reached there, I was glad that it is a very specific place, right in front of the escalator from the level below and you could easily spot it. She walked up to us after a few minutes of our waiting and there it was – smiles and hugs already, feeling like meeting a long lost friend.
She took us to Sentosa island (skipping the detailed descriptions), Mustafa Shopping Mall, and then on the second meeting, to China Town. On our second meeting, she brought along two of her best friends and we had a celebration of the Chinese New Year (which falls on the same date as Bhutanese New Year). We were already talking easily and laughing together in celebration. Please read about the description of the celebration and the meaning of the food we ate on her blog.
For, pictures speak a thousand words, here are some as a treat for your eyes:
|Siloso Beach in Sentosa Island. Quite an impressive place. Peaceful and calm.|
|With Rima at the beach, making connection|
|With Rima and Uden. Sometimes even when you are from the same place, you connect more because of someone far away.|
|It is called the Merlion and it sits gigantically overpowering you, showing its ferocious teeth|
|After Sentosa, food it was. We ate at the Indian Market, giving me priority because I am veg.|
|This is our dinner on 12th Feb 2014. Various Chinese food to celebrate our meeting, yet again.|
|This, Rima explained is called 'prosperity toss dish' that is eaten only during the New Year Celebration. We were privileged.|
|And here we go, tossing for the new year, wishing prosperity, happiness, good health and more of goodness of everything.|
|Before parting, smiling together and hoping to meet again.|
|Her present: a red scarf which served me beautifully right the next morning.|
|And her present again: a red wrist watch. She probably observed me asking time to my friend and not wearing one. (Thank you Rima for your thoughtful observation and the beautiful presents. Until we meet again.)|