They went up a glacier

Yes they did. And crossed a mountain’s twin peak with little huff and puff.

All of the more than 70 years of hard work, pulling through tough times, raising a total of 10 kids and many more trials – manifested majestically when they decided to trough the twin peaks of Mount Sulphur and ride the snowcoach just so they can walk on Athabasca Glacier. Both are in the Canadian Rockies.

I have been to both the glacier and the mountain a few times, but was never drawn to go up to the glacier nor walk the hundreds of steps to cross the two peaks. I am happy to be at the foot of the glacier, thank you, camera in hand. I am well-geared with Sordel snowboots and all, but no, no mountain or glacier will make me walk up, or down, or any way you want me to. I’ll roll my body on the ice at the foot of the glacier voluntarily (which I did last year!) but not to go up to its middle peak.

But, alas, the neneks did it. Mak and Busu showed me, in style, what azam means. They didn’t bat an eyelid about taking the snowcoach up the very glacier that sits on the massive Columbia Icefield, feeding 3 oceans! And they didn’t show a single strand of wanting to turn back when the steps crossing the twin peaks were becoming more and more treacherous, and tough on the breathing. Oh the embarassment for me!
All in all, you can tell they had an ahem…adventurous stay in their one-month in Canada.

Speaking of which, my Tomato Project faced a tough challenge half way through their stay. One of the plants, whom I named Tomato MInah Zanne fell from the ledge due to high winds and its long stems broke into many pieces! I nearly cried when I saw it because the plant was already yielding a lot of tiny fruits. I was also speechless as to how I will tell the story to my friend, NS, whom the plant was named after. To make it matters worse, the plant fell on top of another tomato plant, the Fazimato. The hit was so hard that Fazimato’s head was literally chopped off.

So as I as picking up the broken tomato stems and putting them into the garbage bag, Mak insisted that replant a few of the stems into a new pot. One of them has 2 small fruits on it, ‘Cucuk ajer…baca Bismillah. Insya’allah dia bertunas balik..” She must have seen the sadness in my eyes as the tomato project was one way I wanted to impress her initially with.

Two weeks passed, and the botak stems were showing signs of life. Small leaves sprouted and I watched in amazement how TomatoMinah Zanne literally came back from the dead!

And here’s the treat. The 2 fruits that were left on one the stem ripened just in time on the very day Mak and Busu were due to leave for Singapore. They picked it, and ate it.
And my entire Tomato Project came to a sweet close.


  1. Hi, how do we get to the glacier from vancovuer? sounds like your mak & pa did a great job enjoying themselves in vancouver!!

  2. Hi, its actually ma and aunt (Busu means ‘youngest aunt’ in Malay 🙂

    Many ways to get to the Athabasca Glacier! You have to go, serious !

    The best way is to self-drive. The glacier is on the Columbia Icefield, and you can take Highway 1 (about 12 hour drive including lunch stops etc) and take the Icefields Parkway exit, somewhere after Field (a small town).

    Another way is to get yourself to Banff by Greyhound or train, and then take a day tour from there to the Icefields.

    Once you are on the foot of the glacier, there is a Brewster operated snowcoach ride you can take up the Athabasca Glacier. About CAD$30 per person.

    I am just touching the tip of the iceberg here. The Canadian Rockies offer a whole lot more. But the Athabasca Glacier is a MUST go!

    Summer is still here. Not too late to plan a vacation, eh? 🙂

  3. Oh sure thing! Its always good to connect with fellow Singaporeans. Food binds us all. LOL.

    Do email me at writeatzuzanitadotcom
    I have to spell it out so I don’t get spam emails 🙂

    I am in Vancouver – we can meet downtown if you like.

  4. jadi Tomajoyah Momok was spared all the trauma lah? syukur…. Go Mok!!! all this talk re canada is so whetting my appetite – me & the other joyah heading to tioman for a weekend, we will then immerse ourselves in intense discussions on a holiday… hotel bookings at zuzan-shazron open for 09 or not??? Momok#1

  5. Yes Momok#1. Miraculously (and much to my shock!) not only Tomajoyah Momok survived the windy hullabulloo, she is also the tallest and with the most flowers now. I don’t know how. I think she takes after you in terms of size ! Hahahahah…good or not my joke?!!

    Bookings for 09 open. Better book fast-fast. So much talk, so little action. Cet!

  6. what can i say… we strong mah… maybe Tomajoyah Momok got arab blood too tak? in any case, i decided that if momok #3 (u #2, kan?) wont go, i will alone so u kena entertain me full-time like that.. heh..

  7. Zan, guess we should never underestimate the hardiness of that generation eh? They’re just somehow built with so much more strength and gumption.

    And hooray for the tomatoes… good that they got to taste the fruits of your labour as I could feel your enthusiasm as I read and re-read (update la more often, so I have new things to read) your tomato project entry.

    BTW, you of all ppl should know the time diff in SG kan? Yr text msg this morning at 5am beb, even before Zain wakes up. PRECIOUS sleep time la makciiiik! lol

  8. Momok #1 : Yes I will always be here for you. Do I HAVE a choice?! 🙂

    Azreen: Sorry beb! I thought 5 am is a good time because I assume Zain is waking you up for his milk too. LOL. Kidding lah.

    The ever lovable: You did? I didn’t get any and I trawled my Junk inbox too just in case. Anyway…no matter. I will email you in a bit.Talk soon!

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