Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Singapore Flyer - Taken For a Ride

Didn't need to pay $15 for this image. I promised myself when they made the Singapore Flyer that I would never get on it. The cost of the tickets were ridiculous. At almost $30 per pop, it was just not worth it and it was obvious it was there to milk the dumb tourists. Then there was the screw up they had last year when the machinery broke down and they didn't have a contingency plan. That almost made me keel over with laughter. The drama that unfolded was taken right out of a Hollywood textbook. Singapore's so called 'preparedness' for National Service at it's full bloom. Imagine being stuck up there in one of those capsules for hours and then the need to answer nature's call. A young pregnant lady couldn't hold it in and had to use her older child's pampers to relieve herself in. So humiliating. And she was not the only one. So, I told myself then again that since the capsules have now also been used as toilets, I've got yet another reason not to get into them. Alas I started to realise that it was indeed unfair for me to criticize the Flyer and slowly I tried to convince myself that I should at least try it, if only once. Being the cheapskate that I am, I found the perfect opportunity yesterday. You can just make out the Marina Bay Grandstand in the foreground. That's where I'll be for this year's F1. And no I didn't pay 15 bucks for this. You see, they are having this promotion where if it's your birth month, you get to ride for free as long as there's 1 paying adult. Something to do with the National day earlier this month. And as you know it was Ling's birthday on the 8th. ( Notice how I held myself back till the very end of the month). I didn't pay 15 moolahs for this also. Let me just put it plainly. It was an absolute waste of time and money. That Flyer is nothing more than an over sized bicycle wheel. Yes the view is ok but that's something I could have had by simply taking the elevator to the top floor of any high rise building in Singapore (and believe you me, we have many of those). And for free! No time limit! As we were about to board, a young chap took a photograph of us and told us that we could view it later after the ride. It's an image of us in a replica capsule. So we did. Aha! Here's the catch. We need to pay $15 or thereabouts for it! $15 for a photo of myself?! WTF! Was the paper the photo was printed on made of gold?! They should throw in the photos for everyone as a souvenir. Especially after people pay that much for the ride itself. Anyhoo another primary reason I took that ride was to get a view, or rather sneak a peek of the preparations for this years F1 race. They have blocked out complete access to the public this year. I'm not surprised after what Ling and I did last year. In fact after the ride, we did head down into the track. But a foreigner on a bicycle came up to us and said that it was a working area. And this as we were just about to walk pass the pit garage as well! I didn't pay 15 kahoonas for this either.
He said we'd be fined if we don't leave. I liked the way he said it though, with his accent. '500 for you. 500 for me.' Meaning he'd be fined too for letting us in. So we all left with laughter.
I understand that some people would be buying tickets to watch the F1 race from the Flyer itself. Suckers. $688 a ticket. Talk about being taken for a spin.
Here's the bottom line. If you've never taken that huge bicycle wheel for a ride yet, don't. For those who plan to, well there's not much dumber things you can do.

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