Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Singapore F1 Grand Prix - the Race That Stops the Nation

Singapore isn't big. No, really, it isn't. Even Tasmania in Australia is bigger than Singapore and Tasmania is pretty small.

Some bright spark thought it would be a great idea to allow 20 or so souped up toy cars free reign around the streets of Singapore for four days. In theory, I can see that it would have been a great selling point from a tourism perspective. However, what I have come to realise is that little, placid Singapore doesn't cope so well with loud, extravagent parades of hotted up go-karts and tonnes of makeshift grandstands.

The madness that is the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.

As if Singapore didn't have enough going for it. It already has "the largest viewing ferris wheel in the world", the tallest "fountain of fortune", the largest Durian-shaped theatre complex, the widest mall sitting on the left hand side of a street with three entrances" in the entire world. What was Singapore really lacking?? Oh, I know. The world's "first" formula 1 night race!

You see, we may all be conned into thinking that this is all because Singapore is an up and coming, economically strong, orderly, entreprenurial city. It has money to burn. Nothing burns money likes Formula 1. Money can buy a Formula 1 race.... and so on.

But what the majority of people don't realise is that the only reason why Singapore got itself a Formula 1 (a night one, moreso) is so it can peer across at Malasyia with its middle finger held high and say "anything you can do, we can do better....and while in the dark!).

It goes back to the 1960s when Singapore joined, and then subsequently broke away from Malasyian rule six years later. It was kind of like asking your neighbour if you can come and play, going over there, and then realising their toys aren't as exciting as your own. And since returning back to your own toys in your own home, you've been slogging water bombs across the fence ever since. Not exactly dangerous fire, but enough to give your neighbour the sh#ts. Problem is, your neighbour owns the only driveway available to get to and from your own house (ie. Malaysia commands Singapore's water supply) - which means you really must be nice to them.

But I digress. We have a Formula 1, a better one than Malaysias and so we are asking the Malaysians how exactly do they like their apples. The only problem I see with this is that Malaysia was smart enough to put their motorsport shenanigans off in the middle of nowhere, about 200km out of Kuala Lumpur. These bright sparks in Singapore thought the race would mean so much more to the people of Singapore, would symbolise the true essence of the nation, by making sure we have the lawnmower-sounding machines fly past the CBD of Singapore.

The result?

Singapore is now entirely jammed.

Bernie Ecclestone's beasts can tear through the city at record pace, but unfortunately for the rest of us, we have to suffer the traffic jams.

bring on the big boys, Bernie! My 3 day pass is ready to be used!

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