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Saturday, May 12, 2007

How to spend quality time in Singapore?

Ok, so it is your weekend and you don't know what to do. Here is a fun and exciting activity: Go to Singtel and buy something - anything.

You walk out to the street, 36 Degrees and 95% humidity and WAIT for the bus. Once at the trainstation you go to the platform and WAIT for the train. On weekends usually 8 minutes waiting time between the trains. Needless to say that where you live the bus schedule is not syncronised with the train schedule, so you always see the train leaving. 8 Minutes... Byproduct: A massive cold as one has now passed from sauna to freezer to sauna and back to the freezer in less than 20 minutes. Lucky we are all so resistant and robust!

Alright, let's go. Get cash first. Line up in front of the ATM, wait 15 minutes until the teenager is done testing all the functions and options on the bloody machine. Then of course the machine is empty: line up at the other ATM and repeat the routine.

As there are only 8 Singtel shops for 4 Million people and they are unconveniently located in the most populated places, there are always a lot of people. 10 in the morning, 9:00pm: Doesn't matter, so you que up and WAIT. There is an information counter where you have to obtain a Q-Number. This simple process will take about... mmmmm let's be conservative, 45 minutes. No benches, no TV and it lacks Singtel handing out cookies, coffee and amphetamines to make the waiting time more pleasant.

The QUUUUUUUUUEEE number will reveal that you have to WAIT about 45 - 60 minutes for your turn. This time can be conveniently bridged by queing up for a coffee. You have to wait to be seated in the cafe among all the other Singtel customers.
Naturally you miss your turn and que up again for an Express number... Takes only 15 minutes.

FINALLY! You raise your arms, yell a triumphant scream and it is your turn! You tell the assistant what you need and you are off to a flying start to make it to the cashier.

Yes, you have guessed it: There is a que in front of the cashier! This one is fast and it takes only 30 minutes.

The grand finale is around the corner. With all the purchases it is only natural that a guy wants to head home straight away. All these beautiful cables, gorgeous chargers etc need to be inspected, plugged and played with and prominently displayed around the apartment. Time is precious when it comes to satisfying the need to play with the new boys toys: TAXI!

Too bad! You are in Ngee Ang City where the AVERAGE (let me repeat and dissolve this candy treat on the tongue A-V-E-R-A-G-E) waiting time for a taxi is 48 (fortyeight!) minutes. Taxi stands also lack entertainment, benches and alcoholic beverages.

6 hours later you are back home to discover that the broadband modem is not the right one and you need to exchange it. This will take care of your next weekend then.


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