Our First Trip

We are currently on vacation
It’s been more than a week since we left the comfort of what we have come to call home

We flew into Buffalo Airport in New York, crossed the border and checked into a hotel that overlooked the Niagara Falls
The views were majestic, the falls were awe inspiring and I don’t think my limited vocabulary would do justice

However, the area around the falls wasn’t anything to shout about
It was commericalised, teeming with tourists, and everything cost an arm and a leg
We blew a little fortune there but we thought this would probably be a once-in-a-lifetime trip

We didn’t have our own transport, and walking under the hot summer sun wasn’t exactly fun for the kids

But it was the best way to get around, especially if you want to cross the border to check out the falls from both the American and Canandian side
There were long queues for cars and cyclists to clear the custom, just like our Johor-Spore causeway

After 5 days, it was time to leave but it was not for home
My husband had decided to pack us with him for his working trip
So here we are, in an expensive cramped up room, like most hotels in big cities, about a mile away from the White House

It is our first time in D.C. and this place looked almost french, an upsized Parisien clone, only less pretty
The metro system is less complicated than the one in Paris but they were just as old and dark (MRT back home, is in a league of its own)
There are less routes and less stops which means more walking and I will be the only one bringing the kids

I gave up, after 1 afternoon and rushed down to the nearest Target to grab 2 kick scooters, one for each of them

With their new wheels, they zipped through crowded streets while I chased after them with a stroller
oh yes, I still need my stroller as the little one couldn’t last whole day even with a kick scooter

The stroller is my security blanket, my life saver
Beside serving its purpose, I used it for hanging and carrying EVERYTHING
Camera, bags, water bottles, snicks snacks, anything and everything that would come in handy for keeping the kids happy, even the scooters

We had been car-less for more than a week now and I thought I had gotten quite used to moving around with the kids and hadn’t missed a thing
Until I had to rent a car the other day to drive more than 30 miles out of D.C. to Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia

I got into the driver’s seat, a familiar feeling rushed over me
It almost made me teared
I felt … emancipated, liberated, freed

Swerving through the crazy Washington DC traffic, I felt the rush, the adrenaline
I thought I felt like one of the ‘Bra Burning’ feminists of the 60s
I was free, and I could go anywhere, do anything and nothing can stop me
Not even the two toll booths that I didn’t know how to pay and so failed to pay

I realized how much I missed driving

Control, power, liberation, freedom
Who would have thought that this skill that I had incidentally picked up about 2 decades ago would mean so much to me today



  1. Evelyn says:

    Wow… driving feels that good!? I really wanted to learn how to drive when I was in my teens, in my 20s it became less important, and now it just feels like a chore (a scary one at that) and an expense as well.

    A long time ago I thought that when I grew up, I’d move to New York! Hehe looks less likely now, but it’s still on my list of must-visit places…

    • malmal says:

      hey E, yes ! I really enjoy driving and I think has to do with being a control freak ! ha. Driving had given me so much freedom especially since I became a mother. I could bring the kids and go places anytime anywhere without having to wait for the Dad to drive us around. And it is really impossible to get around here if you don’t drive.

      As for New York, I am sure u will get the chance to visit… It is very heartwarming to know of people like you who have a dream to fulfilled 🙂

  2. Yee Mei says:

    Looking at the photos of your kids playing scooter just reminds me of a few years ago when I tried it myself, haha! It was fun! I just wished that I could do it again. No wonder kids love them!

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