We Light Marina Bay

It’s 2016 and iLight Marina Bay returns to liven up your evenings along the Marina Bay area. The programme has always been about sustainable energy presented in various art and prospective technologies. It was 2014 when we last walked from Fullerton Bay all the way across the Promontory and the Marina Nay boardwalk all the way to the Float by crossing the Helix Bridge. Yes, it was a heck of a long walk. But there were a lot of interesting things to see along the way. This year, we had to take 2 rounds to see most of what iLight has to offer.

Light Origami
Light Origami

On the first weekend, we simply walked along trying to find some art installations after having dinner at Harry’s. We went around to start at the Light Origami at OUE Bayfront. As the name suggests, you go inside a room of mirrors that have been arranged as if they were folded pieces of paper. That one was eerily blueish. We passed by C’Scape and Moon Haze which didn’t live up to our expectations (yeah, the pictures on the website were better than the actual thing). It was the Angels of Freedom that were getting pretty much a lot of attention. Pairs of wings were scattered along the bay area with colored spotlights shining on them and all you had to do was stand there and take a picture. Depending on your shot, it could be pretty or not-so-pretty. Lampshade was an exercise in saving the planet by using solar panels to charge up the lamps and Shadow Bath looks like something from an interior designer’s portfolio of a house blown up in size eight times.

Bolt
Bolt

Matthew had a fun time at Bolt. You press a button at the bottom of the tubes and they light up like lightning shooting upwards. Groove Light was an amazing display of design as all the shadows cast are squares, but if you look at the pieces where the light is coming from, well, none of them were square. We headed to Clockwork Stories next which is another brilliant display, this time of engineering. As the name says, clockwork refers to the inner workings of what makes a clock tick. Movement and connectivity is what makes this art installation work. You pull a lever and something happens, you pedal a bike and something else happens. Action begets reaction and all of it brings about fun for the kids (bubbles!). After spending nearly the rest of the night there, we stumbled over the Cycle House where like Clockwork, you pedal a bike to light up the movie box just like those old movies-for-rent in the old days. That concluded the first night that we were out.

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On a different night (one week later), Matthew decided that he wanted to see the rest of iLight Marina Bay’s displays. So we met up at Pasarbella which was in the middle of the MBS Event Plaza. Gastronomic ecstasy welcomed the night as the smell and taste of the food overcame the evening. The cool breeze and warm songs helped to ooze you into the night, but only if you had enough light to see what you were eating (yes, it was quite dark). After filling up, we walked to continue our travel.

ArtScience
ArtScience

The ArtScience Museum once again had its facade lit up with a dazzling display and sounds of rain and water were everywhere. Moving across the Helix Bridge, we were greeted by a rocket ship as we were about to reach The Float at Marina Bay. Curious we went inside and came out disappointed. I didn’t get it. Neither did Matthew. Apparently, not all things masquerading as art is real art. Moving along we went under the pit area bleachers where the Cloud was sitting. There was also an interesting installation called Unseen where you walk in the darkness and “feel” the art embossed on the sides. It was embarrassing to say the least as I couldn’t figure out the images. It was made for those without sight and I can totally understand that they might make out the figures just by feeling them. That thought alone was enough to make me appreciate it. We came along the Dandelion next which was an giant interactive table lamp that wouldn’t look out of place in the house.

Outside and on the way towards Esplanade we saw a small makeshift enclosed track and PMDs with lights were going around in circles. It was the Ninebot experience. You get to ride a Ninebot personal mobility device in a controlled environment. As cheaper and potentially dangerous personal mobility devices are entering the market, getting on and trying a Ninebot was a no-brainer. Yes, Ninebot bought Segway. And getting on a Segway was fun back at Sentosa. Matthew and I decided that we could go for a night ride in one of these so we took one each. One with a handle and the other without. We had about 5 minutes to learn how to ride without falling off and the rest of a good half an hour to ride around the track. It was good to have a feel for this. It made me realize that I could actually buy one if only because I could ride it without falling!

There are still some interesting things to see along the iLight area but we didn’t go on anymore. This year had its ups and downs just like two years ago, but its always worth the trip. Then there’s the LED light bulb trade-in. Just bring in your incandescent light bulb and they will exchange it for a Philips LED bulb. How cool is that?

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Universal Studios, with kids!

We pulled Matthew from school just as the one week holiday was looming. We weren’t supposed to, but we did it anyway. The good thing was that we may have asked the teacher for permission some time before we left for our trip. Hopefully she did not give us extra homework for the one week of school break. Well, the 3-day holiday would have been worth it.

The trip was booked with Matthew’s cousins, Andrae, Nikki and Frankie. Of course, us parents had to come along for supervision. Having time for fun while watching over the kids was good. I guess not having looked at the bill (the wife made sure that I didn’t see) before and during the trip helped me relax a bit.

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Ready to Rumble at Universal
Ready to Rumble at Universal

We used the first day off somewhere close to home. That is Universal Studios Singapore. We were all supposed to go, but the parade that the twins wanted to see only happens on a Saturday so they opted out from the trip. This left me with Matthew and Andrae and USS. This wasn’t the first time we were going to USS and we were already expecting the long queues. So we had to plan ahead, like skipping the kiddie rides that should already be for much younger kids. Which brought us to our first ride, the Spaghetti Space Chase. Yep, very non-kiddie like.

We queued up for Transformers (The Ride) but it was closed for maintenance so we hurried along to ride the Mummy next. That one shook our balls and got us excited again. Having these two undecided kids along meant that there was actually no plan at all and we had to wing it. After the Mummy, the experienced our first long queue by waiting half an hour to get into Jurassic Park’s Rapids. It’s only half as much fun when you already know what to expect, but we still had a jolly good time getting soaked. We thought of getting dry on the next ride which was the Canopy Flyer, but the queue was another half and hour and we thought that drying up in the hot sun would do the trick as well. So we had corn dogs while getting burnt in the hot sun.

Jungle bites!
Jungle bites!

Well, it didn’t. So we walked away from Jurassic Park and made our way to Far Far Away. We were still wet and frankly a bit tired from queuing up, so we queued up some more and watched Donkey’s Stand Up comedy show at Captain Hook’s Comedy Bar. It wasn’t much, but the kids enjoyed it enough. After the show, we went on to ride Puss In Boots Giant Journey. It looked like it was a kiddie enough ride so we went on board. While you did feel safe inside the flying barge, the ride wasn’t really all kiddie and all. It shot you up on a giant magic beanstalk and then you flew through the story of the giant goose chasing you across the sky. It was unexpected fun with a wee bit of thrill.

Americana
Americana

In between all the rides, we ate and ate and ate. Nothing really that healthy nor doctor recommended, and not all of them were really that good. In fact, they were as expected overpriced for what they were. After filling ourselves silly, we were looking for more rides with less queue. Battlestar Galactica seemed hopeless with waiting time reaching 80 minutes. However, walking around aimlessly did bring us back to Transformers, which had finally opened. And because we were in line the first time, we were able to scuttle back and get our second ride in no time. Sure, it made us dizzy and sweaty and wet at the same time, but who cares? We were ten year old kids having a jolly good time at Universal Studios.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. We were finally tired and the sun was soon to come down. There was still time to queue up for another ride or two, but it all seemed for naught as the waiting times were too long. So we called it a day.

See you again soon, USS
See you again soon, USS

It had been fun taking the kids out with no adult supervision (read: mummy). I had a good time, and I think the kids had a good time as well. My pockets were empty though, but not our tummies. We should do it again soon.

Living with Vampires

Vampires. Nocturnal creatures that live during the night. They suck the blood dry out of you and control your mind as if it was their own. I have been living with Vampires for more than ten years now.

Well, so maybe they are not the parasytes that they ought to be. And no, not all my blood has been sucked out of me yet. Although it gets pretty darn close every time we’re doing homework and whenever I ask the vampire prince to clean up his toys. The vampire queen on the other hand is awake through the wee hours of the early morning with the prince and is afraid of sunlight like it was the plague.

I am married to the vampire queen and the vampire prince is our son. You see, my wife is lovely, but she can be nasty if you don’t treat her right. The only one who walks away with little more than scratches is the prince. But then that is a given. It’s fair to say that life isn’t all sunshine and roses. There’s darkness and moonshine and midnight snacks. Lots of midnight snacks. I’m afraid there will be a time that we just walk in to that 7-11 shop and the lady at the counter will automatically prepare the Slurpee and Hotties plus change. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, its a self service store and that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Baby Vampire!
Baby Vampire!

I will be living my life with Vampires until my last breath most likely. Or until all the blood has been sucked out of me. Until then, I may look pale and sleepy on the outside, but inside I am overwhelmed living in a vampire’s den. And being alive to tell the tales.