Wednesday, 19 September 2012

I Really Dislike The Week Of The F1 Race In Singapore

The F1 Race Is In Singapore This Week

This week, tourists and motorheads throng our little island for the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.  As the barricades and the route lights were put up along the affected roads about afew weeks back, the excitement can be felt in the air since then.  Joel, who is most familiar with anything F1 and can rattle off race statistics for all the races throughout the year had been begging me for a ticket but I wouldn't budge.  Even when "well-connected" friends attempted to arrange group discounted grand stand seats to turn it into a fabulous night out, I still wouldn't budge.   So here's where I stand with F1 and I hope that would put Joel's incessant whining to rest.

F1 Week Is Possibly The Worst Week Of The Year

Honestly, I hope I'll never see an F1 corporate suite again.  I had the privilege of experiencing the corporate suite for 2 F1 races when  I was working at  a previous company.  Actually, I wasn't sure if it was a privilege.  Sure, they served up swanky food and the champagne ( yuck, Mumm, in my opinion, is the mother of all horrid champagnes) was flowing continuously throughout the night.  However,  I was saddled with an evening of worries when I lost some of my clients who wandered off to buy useless branded knick-knacks like caps, t-shirts, and umbrellas from the retail village.  I also had to worry about bosses who were cruising down the river by the riverboat to the event venue, while I was waiting for them at another entrance 3 km away where they promised to be meeting me.  Within the suite, things didn't get better because after spending weeks allocating the right seats to the right guests, complete with personalized place cards, these clients, had decided to rearrange the seating to get closer to the balcony.  By the end of the night, with everyone pretty much wasted over the cheap champagne, we had guests stuffing their little sponge ear plugs in their nostrils. Brilliant.

I thought that the walkabout tickets would have been better.  I could come and go as I please and watch the race from every angle.  So, last year, we had decided to purchase the walkabout tickets.  To my utter disappointment, the situation was worse. To get a great view of the race, one would have had to possess claws of a koala bear to climb trees.  And if you're not built like a koala, you had better be built like a giraffe, tall enough to rise above the heads of these tourists camped against the fence.  When we sauntered over to the entertainment area, I had to wade through the sweaty bodies of drunk people dancing everywhere.  There wasn't even enough standing room left for us..  At the end of the race, the family got separated somewhere between Gates 1 and 6.  And I had to walk back to the carpark miles away alone, brandishing a newly purchased cap of a particular driver who lost the race by the end of that evening.

F1 Week Is Possibly The Worst Week Of The Year

During the week of the F1 race, traffic comes to a standstill on the roads and off the roads. Public transport is the recommended mode of transport during that week.  However, I find myself  reprising my rugby-playing days when jostling to get into a train and then I have to endure the numerous putrid-smelling armpits of these passengers in the train.  Also,  as David gives me a lift to work every morning, it's only during the F1 race week that he has to whip out his GPS to pre-plan the best routes to get to work so as to avoid the barricaded roads.  As the traffic is mega heavy, even the express ways are no longer an "express" route.  If you're lucky, you can get to the office within an hour.

Then there are the retail shops and food centres which think that the week of the F1 race is a licence for them to increase their prices.  I also get annoyed with stupid promotional messages like "Special Offer On The Grand Prix Chicken Wings" or " Try Our Red Hot Ferrari Sauce" and worse, at our neighbourhood Korean restaurant, the sign proudly plastered outside its glass window read "Dinner Special: The KIMI - CHI raikonnen fried rice set".

We're Watching The F1 Race At Home

So this year, given that I have got a severe reaction to crowds, I have decided to get the family to stay home to watch the race.  I won't have Mumm champagne, thank goodness for that, I'll remember to have my Moet chilled.  I'll buy the beers for David, tonnes of coke for Joel, and put out a spread of delicious food without stupid names like KIMICHI raikonnen fried rice. Hey, if you want to hear the loud roar of the engines, I'll even turn up the volume of the TV.  And if you really want to complete the F1 weekend, I will charge you for the dinner that I will be cooking specially for the race.

NB: David wants you guys to know that the photos attached to this blogpost were captured by him at the F1 race here 2 years ago. He climbed the tree for them.

Photos courtesy of

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 43 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketeer at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 19 year old son.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".

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