Come next May, Kym Ng will be transforming into a “pretty auntie” – her words, not ours – as she takes on the role of Lin Shujuan in Channel 8 drama Dear Neighbours. Paired up with Yao Wenlong as a couple for the third time, she chuckled that she will be playing “a very demanding auntie who demands a lot from her husband”.
This is the complete opposite of what she’s like in real life, as the actress revealed, “I’m someone who doesn’t really have much of an opinion. If I’m not given directions, I’ll feel lost, so I actually like it when others tell me what to do.”
That’s where her husband, a mysterious man only known to the media as Mr. Yang, comes in. “He’s usually the one who tells me what needs to be done at home (…) We’re a very good team,” she grinned. At his suggestion, she’s also cultivated a love for cooking, and the list of things she knows how to whip up in the kitchen grows ever-longer by the day.
“Most of the time, I’m the one who decides what I want to prepare, but sometimes, he’ll mention something that he wants to try. If I tell him that I’ve never made it, he’ll tell me to just look it up online – that’s how I’ve learned how to cook so many different things,” Kym shared.
Her adventurous streak isn’t only limited to the kitchen, as she revealed that she’s added quite a bit to the things-I’ve-done-in-my-lifetime list during her recent trip to Norway. “I’m the type of person who would rather stay in the hotel if I think something is scary, but my husband was the one who kept encouraging me to try new things during the trip. I’m very thankful that he makes me a better person every day,” she mused.
Kym tells us about her wedding anniversary trip-turned-adventure
The couple, who headed for an adventure to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary, went whale-watching, chased the northern lights, trekking and more during their 13-day trip. Of course, there was also time for romance as they spent quality time at a lighthouse watching the stars.
“It was dark out, and he said that we should turn off the flashlight. I was like, ‘It’s so dark!’ but he said, ‘Baby, just trust me.’ He turned off the flashlight and after a while, our eyes adjusted to the light and it was amazing. We saw so many stars in the sky, and we enjoyed a bottle of wine that was gifted to us by our friend as an anniversary gift,” she recalled fondly.
There were no mushy declarations of love made during the trip, which Kym explained, “You don’t need fancy words to express such things. It’s about the things you do that carry the real message across.” As for an anniversary gift, she let on that she prepared a winter coat for him before they left for their trip, although it wasn’t the couple wear that we initially expected her to have bought. “He’s just not that kind of person,” she said with a laugh.
Mr. Yang not only encouraged Kym to take a leap of faith in the literal dark, but also encouraged her to drive on the narrow and winding roads in Norway. She elaborated, “There are only two lanes and traffic goes both ways without a divider in the middle of the road. The roads go around the mountains, and there are so many fjords that are really steep as well. It started snowing during our trip as well. He did most of the driving, but I tried it too. When I was afraid, he told me, ‘Just take your time, nobody’s rushing you’ and I’m glad I did. It’s an experience and I don’t regret it at all!”
Whale-watching was also something Kym was initially apprehensive about, as she considered the choppy waters, strong winds and freezing temperatures. “I was also afraid that the whales would come and bump into the boat,” she admitted with a sheepish grin. “He told me not to be silly, and we went. It was so great to be this close to nature. We went on a trip, but ended up on a real adventure.”
How Kym’s former neighbour inspired her
As we moved on to the topic of neighbours (after all, the drama is called Dear Neighbours), Kym spoke fondly about the 30-odd years that she spent living in Ang Mo Kio.
She shared, “One of my former neighbours used to pick me up after classes when I was in primary school. He worked in the airport so he’d sometimes bring me there as well. When the air stewardesses walked past, he would say, ‘Look at them! They’re pretty, aren’t they? You should grow up and be like them, too.’ At the time, I found them really pretty and because of what he said, I grew up wanting to become an air stewardess too.”
She would later realise her dreams, but was unfortunately unable to tell her kind neighbour about it because they lost contact after moving.
More recently, she let on that an Indonesian housewife who recently moved out from next door was one of the kindest neighbours she’s ever met. “She’d always give us delicious things to eat, and whenever she returned home to Indonesia she would bring some cakes or local food back for us as well. I only cook enough for my husband and I, but every Chinese New Year, I’d buy her a bouquet,” she said.
Adding with a mock sigh, Kym mused, “I’m closer to my neighbours in Ang Mo Kio – after all, I lived there for so many years – and we still do things like giving red packets to the children that live in the neighbourhood. These days, however, it’s mostly expats living around me these days, so I’m not as close to them. Of course, I’ll still say hello if I see them – that’s the basic level of manners we should have as neighbours, isn’t it?”