Alessandra in her mini Audi R8
Once upon a time, somewhere over the rainbow, in a city called Kuala Lumpur lived a little girl … Oh, who am I kidding? My reality is way better than any fairytale! Hi, I’m Alessandra Alwi, and I live with my amazing parents [Alwi Kamaruddin and Afifah Ariff], as well as Silver Singh and Cloudy Khan, our darling cats. My days are spent rolling around in my mini Audi R8. I try not to drink (milk) and drive – good habits start young. I think at some point I may have to think seriously about artistic pursuits, as my gorgeous Aunty Nini [Ramlan] is a wonderful artist – Daddy hangs her work in our home. Art runs in our blood, Daddy tells me, and he is busy building a collection of great national artists. But for now I guess I will just focus my sights on play-school – it’s a logical progession.
Anyway, it’s only been about a year and 11 months since I arrived on the planet, and thanks to my folks whom I love to infinity and beyond I have seen a lot of it for a two-year-old already. Just three months after I got here, we geared up and went on our first adventure as a family to Melbourne.
Not only was it my first voyage into the great unknown and the Land Down Under, it was also my very first Raya celebration. Mummy decked me out in Jovian Mandagie for this memorable occasion, celebrated with family and friends. Melbourne was exciting – full of life. Being pushed around Elisabeth Street, Collins Street, all the fabulous streets, taking in as much of the architecture as my baby eyes could take in at one go, was thrilling. Pretty sure I was the most colourful baby in Melbourne then as my parents wrapped me and my entire stroller in vibrant Missoni stripes! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but that stroller was really screaming, “Front-row baby coming through!”
The truth is, every little girl loves being dolled up, at least till they are old enough to decide what’s in and what’s out. But until then, Mummy and Daddy have the pleasure of fashion-plating me in the season’s must-haves. Mummy is the total opposite of Daddy and the reversal of roles between them is really quite funny. My mother loves gaming on the Playstation, and breezing through the kitchen whipping up delightful treats for the family. The two of us love hanging out and are perfectly happy just cuddling in front of the TV or in bed.
But when it comes to Daddy, well, he is my partner-in-crime on the fashion police scene and we have the best fun picking out what shades and shoes to wear for the day. Daddy is the polar opposite of Mummy, he loves fashion. She does, too, but he does more! My love of shoes began when Daddy bought me my first pair of Toms. There was no turning back. From then on, it was shoes galore! Just like Daddy, who owns a stunning collection of spiked Louboutins, I have a growing collection as well. But as much as I love those red soles, for now I’ve got my own burgeoning collection of Toms. (I’ll just wait till my fifth birthday for a pair of Louboutins – thank you, Daddy!)
My parents shower me with immeasurable love. They give me beautiful things, yes, but always remind me that what is most important is to be a person of integrity and a good Muslim girl. I am the luckiest girl in the whole wide world to have parents who understand the importance of a balanced life.
Travel broadens the mind and that escape to Melbourne was just the starting point for more exciting faraway adventures. Trips to Phuket and Bali meant we soaked up some sun, had a few massages, and enjoyed the beautiful blue ocean and all it had to offer. I’m more of a city girl, but sometimes when the going gets tough, I head to my happy place – the pool! Water calms me and as a true-blue water baby I could spend all day and night floating in the deep end.
I guess travelling is very much embedded in my DNA. As the months passed, I grew to appreciate the wonders of the world. My parents, with me in tow, embarked on other oh-so-chic adventures. Next up was the city of love and fashion – Paris. Mummy, Daddy, and I bathed in the lovely sights and sounds of the famed French city, which included a little retail therapy on Rue Saint-Honoré and lots and lots of croissants. What a marvellous trip that was!
After that we hit the States, where we strolled the carefree streets of Los Angeles, Florida, and San Diego, as part of my introduction to “Globetrotting 101”. Heading to Florida only meant one thing in my dictionary: Disneyland! A magical place where dreams come true. We had the time of our lives on rides such as “It’s A Small World” (my all-time favourite), the magnificent carousels, and many others. The weather was perfect, I was not too fussy, and my parents were in their element. Disneyland brings out the child in every adult, don’t you think?
The adrenaline-rush was continued with us shimmying down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Boy, was that an adventure! The women were chic, the shops filled with fabulous fashion, and tiny me felt very much part of the fashion scene. I think we even saw Taylor Swift and a Kardashian, or two.
We kept on racking up travel miles with a visit to London, to attend my famous fairy godparents’ wedding at Kensington Palace. It was a glorious gala and I felt really stylish in my glamorous little Gucci jacket. (Eat my fashion dust, temperamental London weather!)
After gallivanting around that part of the world, we decided to explore a fascinating location a little bit closer to home – the kawaii city of Tokyo. The bustling streets and people of this incredible place was completely mesmerising. Even their food was adorable. Everything had an element of quirk in it. And for an impressionable baby like me, Tokyo was a whole new world. Indeed, the Japanese turn everything into an art and I for one absolutely love the way they take fashion into their own hands. Trends are never followed blindly but gone against.
I’m turning into quite the intrepid traveller, and yet, as much as I love travelling, its endless moments of fun and merriment, home is still home, and there’s simply no place like it.
Good news! I will be turning two this June and a little birdy sung to me about a possible birthday fiesta in Istanbul. Wouldn’t that be lovely? But one thing is for sure, this will be my last birthday as an only child.
In September this year, Mummy, Daddy, and I will be welcoming a baby brother or sister. I can’t wait. Imagine all the wildly fun things I could teach my sibling, showing him or her the ropes – around the world, of course. We must immediately start planning where my brother or sister’s first adventure away from home should take place. An exhilarating ski voyage in Gstaad? Cruising through the sunny Greek Isles indulging in tantalising moussaka, kleftiko, and toasted pita with taramasalata? A trip to Iceland to see the caribou, seals, and polar bears, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the wonderful Aurora Borealis? Oh, the list could go on and on.
Well, I’ll be off to Paris next month, that city where fashion lives and breathes. Through all the fun we have had, my parents have always instilled in me that one must live righteously. I know I have not even turned two yet but I am lucky to have two grown-ups who love me so much, and soon a little brother or sister for me to dote on and introduce the whole wide world to.