Monday, March 31, 2014


If at first you do not succeed, try again. And fail. Then fail again. Then give up all hope. But in the end, you may be surprised…

I was originally not even supposed to be in Singapore, but the recent interest on the meeting made me come as well. Even a carefully controlled, small database is very interesting to everyone, if the database is about the root of the Internet. No matter how boring the actual contents are, or how clerical its management is. Media and politicians having an opinion…. on something that less than ten people actually do. I'm glad I'm not one of those people - they are way over-managed!

But back to skiing. I had been Singapore multiple times, but usually ended up having adventures elsewhere. Sometime in the 1990s I took a boat to the Batam island in Indonesia. At the time they had an indoor ski hall on the island. And last year I escaped again to Indonesia, to do some snowboarding. And another time I just stayed the whole day at the airport while changing planes, not even visiting the city.

But now I would be spending an entire week in city. Would there be any skiing? The only result from my net search was Snow City. This indoor hall is the only way for the locals to get acquainted with snow. They have a big, icy snowman, nicely lit ice sculptures, and a slope. Unfortunately, the slope is only for coming down with a tire, not for skiing. And even photography is forbidden. Luckily Maria from Snow City lets me in before the doors officially open, making it possible for me to take the photos in this article.

I though that I might be able to get an agreement to do a small ski exercise as well. But no. After returning back to my hotel I tried again over e-mail. I got this strict response:
"We are grateful for your keen interest in visiting Snow City but we regret that we are unable to accede to your request. Thanks and have a nice day."
Oh well, at least I got to see snow and ice, and feel the cold weather in Singapore :-) But no skiing, no new country on my list.

Perhaps some after-nonski would help me get over this. My meeting was next to Raffles' famous Long Bar, so downing several Singapore Slings eased the disappointment a bit. (Non-alcoholic, of  course. I wonder if they serve a light version, too?)

Seriously though, Singapore has many interesting things to look at. Among other things, the modern architecture in the city is very interesting. The most visible (and for me, also the most intriguing) examples were the supertree gardens and the Marina Bay Sands hotel. This hotel is a futuristic ship-like form suspended on top of three skyscrapers. Complete with a 150-meter swimming pool, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, all suspended 200 meters in the air. Worth a visit! Interestingly, the hotel is also the world's most expensive building project.

Here's my walking tour at floor 57 of the Marina Bay Sands hotel:

I did not stay at this ultra-luxury hotel, however, and my own hotel was more on the ultra-cheap side. I did find some excitement from my own hotel as well, however. Mainly because of the refrigerator, the one that started burning during the night. I wonder if the fire alarm in my room would have eventually noticed that the chemicals were leaking on the overheated compressor, had I not been awake myself? I'm guessing no, or at least my room had already filled with a nasty eye-watering gases without any alarm, before the fridge was carried away. Uh oh, dangerous events seem to chase me...

But back to skiing again. Apparently, it made sense to not stop trying. A couple of days later, by complete accident, I was standing in front of a sand dune. A dune that not even the Internet knew anything about. 

I skied the dune on my Orthex miniskis, so now even Singapore is on list of skied countries. Assuming I can count skiing on sand… In any case, I do not want to say too much about the dune or where it is, as I'm not sure if I broke any of Singapore's strict (chewing gum etc) rules.

Photos and videos © 2014 Jari Arkko. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi.

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