Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Great Singapore Ripoff

I've always been amazed at the hotels in Singapore, not only are they well kept and staffed, friendly and quite frankly ahead of anything the west has to offer, but I've always been under the impression that they are priced quite reasonably. In fact its one of the reasons that people travel to Singapore because its so affordable. Well, mostly true, you see ....

The problem with Singapore hotels is that although the set their prices at the start of the year for the year, if anything happens such as a convention then prices soar out of all proportion. With the inflated prices I'm surprised anyone bothers. Two times, three times the normal rate are not unheard off.

I'm surprised the government, big brother that it can be, hasn't stepped in and put some sort of a cap on price hikes. I mean these hikes have got to be damaging the tourist industry. It's blatant profiteering, in fact I'd almost go as far as to say its nothing short of theft. And while corporate pockets may be big they are not forgiving. And what about the poor tourist who comes at the wrong time, they are the ones that really suffer along with Singapore's reputation as a relatively inexpensive holiday destination.

Personally I think that once a hotel has set and published its rates for the year, that a cap of x% is imposed during any 3 month period. That way they can't just change it to what they want to charge any time they choose. The x% needs to be fair so that they can make a decent profit, I'm not a total dictator.

But seriously, it is soon going to become a deciding factor when companies hold events here and if it continues as is then tourism will dip and sooner rather than later the fat corporate wallet will become a thing of legend.

Monday, July 09, 2007

MRT Blues

After being totally let down by Singapore's taxi service which is the subject of a couple of rants already, I've been waking up that little bit earlier and after my early morning run (mentioned purely because of how torturous it is) I walk the 15 minutes to the MRT station listening to my iPod all the way. Needless to say by the time I get to the station I'm in a great mood which is just as well because it ....

.... all starts going wrong on the escalator down to the station.

There's always some complete and utter twat who insists on standing on the right even though the signs ask people to stand on the left. So those of us who like to walk down the bloody thing are trapped before we've even started the journey. I mean how stupid do people have to be to understand that they are in the way and move their sorry arse to the left.

Next thing to deal with is waiting at the doors of the train. There's always some plonker who arrives at the very last second as the train arrives and pushes their way by you to get on to the train even though you've been standing there patiently for the last 4 minutes for the damn thing to arrive, and take note so far women are the worst offenders.

So now you're on a packed train squeezed up against the doors even through there would be enough room if only people would move down the damn carriage. On the left you're fighting with the idiot who insists on using what little space there is around you to read the morning paper, to the right is the other idiot who leans against the bar so that those around him have nothing to hold on to. If front of you is the women who keeps adjusting her shoulder bag and smacking you in the nuts with it at every opportunity, while behind you is the person who can't spell deodorant. And then the doors open at the next station, and yes even though you couldn't squeeze a knat's arse in there is always one bastard who shoves their way on stepping on your feet in the process. If the fucker was blind deaf and dumb there'd be some excuse.

And then you arrive at your station and its as though the train having swallowed up all these people finds them not to its taste (understandable in some cases) and vomits them all out. Naturally you are now in the way of this stampede and either go with the flow or get trampled on.

So how was your Monday!