Read Part One first.
Right. So it was raining cats and dogs and various species of birds as well. What a way to mark your first few hours in a foreign country.
We quickly came to the conclusion that we obviously couldn’t do much outdoor activities. There were some places where we could have gone that would have protected us from the elements, but most of the ones I could think of that moment were either museums or libraries or a few non-descript locations in Geylang, none of which interested my fellow travellers.
So I figured we should do what most geeks would end up doing – visit the Singapore Science Centre.
We reached the Science Centre via cab, bus and a final frantic dash in the rain. Some parts leading to the entrance was flooded, and some guy with his trouser-legs rolled up was in the water directing traffic and assisting people arriving and leaving the area.
The play area for kids outside. This meant only one thing – the kids were INSIDE the Centre. God help us.
One of the reasons I wanted to visit the Science Centre was to check out the Star Wars Exhibition. But my friends, sadly, weren’t Star Wars afficionados and couldn’t tell the difference between a light saber from a toaster. And for some reason or other, we were planning this trip to be done together. In hindsight, that’s a stupid idea. We all have different interests and we should have just separated to do our own thing and then rendezvous again at a pre-determined meeting spot.
So I had to abandon going into the Star Wars Exhibition (the expensive ticket price wasn’t exactly helping, either) and all three of us ended up buying tickets for the “regular” Science Centre exhibits.
So instead of coming face to face with Darth Vader, I ended up coming face to face with an equally scary figure – Albert Einstein.
Man, let me tell ya, the whole Science Centre was a waste. Seriously. I used to remember having visited there as a kid and coming away pretty impressed, but on this day, it was pretty dull and uninspiring. I’d dare say the Petrosains Gallery at the KLCC has far more interactive and engaging exhibits that could be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Maybe I am older now, more cynical, and not as fazed by seemingly magical exhibits that do no more than demonstrate the powers of natural scientific laws. Some children, admittedly, did seem to be enjoying themselves – at least at those exhibits that were in working order. Yup, a lot of exhibits were either in need of serious maintenance or should be taken away to be put down.
Here we see some kids at the game console area where they can sit and play games. The educational aspect of this exhibit, of course, is abundantly clear – if only someone could explain to me what that is. Oh, and that sign above them politely asks the users of the games to not hog the consoles for more than 5 minutes. Yeah, try telling kids to play their games for only 5 minutes….. we waited there, and waited, and waited, and finally left. We could have just scolded the kids and told them to bugger off, but we weren’t in the mood to create an international incident just then.
Oh, and a couple of Xbox’s on the side were out of order too. Pathetic.
Maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh on the children. Maybe they just can’t READ. Here, we see some kids playing football at another exhibit. Nothing wrong with this picture, you might think, except for the fact that that exhibit is not for playing football. You’re supposed to kick a ball into the net and the computer screen on the wall would tell you just how fast that ball was travelling in KPH. Surely the kids did not read the signs around them, for they grabbed the ball, organised themselves into groups and began playing – actually playing – football in that small area. Any visitor wanting to try out the exhibit or even joining in the fun (and I admit, playing football was far more interesting that measuring the speed of a ball) were given the cold shoulder. The kids were in charge, and they weren’t letting anyone else in on the fun.
Here a future Olympic athlete prepares for his intensive training in the demanding event of Pre-School Bob-Sledding.
Another child hogs the helicopter controls here, frustrating many other children (and an adult or two) from getting behind the controls themselves.
Eventually, we had enough of all this junk, and after being somewhat distracted by the gift-shop (which had some wacky gag gifts, really funny stuff), we decided to leave for the next stop in the itinerary, especially since it had stopped raining.
The Night Safari beckoned.