Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Visit to Farmart

Yesterday was an excursion day for the kids. The child care centre had organized a trip to Farmart and I was to take Vanessa and Ian on the excursion. I’m sure most people have heard of Farmart, and maybe even a good number have been there too. I haven’t, despite having three kids (though the third one at 1+ month old isn’t quite ready for such a trip). Furthermore, the location of Farmart, at Sungei Tengah, is not really unfamiliar to me, since I did most of my National Service at Tengah Air Base, which is very close by.

So, it’s an excursion for the two kids, and an opportunity for me to finally go to this place that many people have been talking about. Vanessa and Ian were excited (though I must say they’re always excited about going out anyway), and the day got off to an early start despite them having slept late the night before.

Our first order of business was… breakfast. Happy Meal at the happy place.

Ian used to love the hotcakes, but it seems his taste is now beginning to change. He’s not so fond of it anymore. He took some hotcakes, then decided he’ll go for my sausages instead (my usual order is the Hotcakes with Sausage meal).

With breakfast done, we headed to the child care centre. Ian was, oddly, especially quiet. His teacher commented too. Ordinarily he would be talking non-stop. The school took a few moments to get things organized before we loaded up the buses and got on our way to Farmart.

There was a slight drizzle in the morning, but by the time we arrived Farmart, the weather was clear and the sun was beginning to peek out from behind the clouds. (My camera phone isn’t too good about capturing shots with such high dynamic range… so parts of it are a little too dark to make out.)

The educational tour was conducted by Uncle William (Mr William Ho), who calls himself “The Quail Man of Lim Chu Kang”. He owns “Uncle William’s”, which mainly sells quail and gamebird products.

I must admit the “classroom lesson” was quite educational for me too. I hadn’t known that quails were such good business. A fertilized quail’s egg hatches in 16 – 18 days, and a chick grows into an adult in 45 days. Female quails lay one egg a day on 4 out of 5 days. They have a “useful service life” of about three years, before they are sold off to become someone’s dinner.

Oh yes, I won myself a tray of 10 Omega-3 eggs for answering correctly the temperature maintained inside the incubator machine (37.8°C). Heh, fun for myself too. The two kids were, honestly, not terribly excited at that point anymore because of the heat and humidity.

After the lesson, we moved on to do some eating: quail eggs, quail meat, and chicken nuggets. Ian was receptive to the quail eggs and chicken nuggets, but Vanessa only wanted her own pistachios she had brought along for the excursion. They both finished their packets of Milo, and lots of water. Yeah, the weather was really hot.

The last part of the excursion was to the animal area. It’s the part that both Vanessa and Ian aren’t too excited about. For some reasons, they are both terrified. Both stayed well away from the goats, when other children were eagerly pressing forward for try feeding them. At some point, a parrot in the animal area let out a loud shriek, and that sent Ian fleeing away screaming for me… forgetting that I was originally just by his side and he had just ran away from me.

So that was it for the educational tour. As we walked through Farmart, I realized that there were a large number of businesses setting up shop there. Too many. I wonder how many visitors they would actually get. I realize that some businesses don’t depend on walk-in customers, and some others that do will have customers who bother to come to this rather out-of-the-way location. But what about, say, businesses like a fish spa?

Or a health food company? Balloon company? Wine shop? It seems rather unusual to me for them to set up shop in this place.

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