Singapore has an annual F1 race, the Singapore Grand Prix. I’m told it’s a unique grand prix race as it’s the only one at night. This was the fifth annual SGGP (Singapore Grand Prix), and it has just been renewed for another five years, so it will continue to be mid-late September through 2017.
I wrote this entry about the event in 2010. Last year, I was more or less on bed rest, so I was pretty unaffected by F1 as they weren’t racing in my apartment.
After our experiences in 2010, our strategy with F1 has been to avoid the area they race in/have road closures in as much as possible. Cabs have a reasonable amount of access to the area outside of race times, so prior to this year if we absolutely had to go into that area (Ellie’s gymnastics school is in the middle of the course, more or less), we just took a cab.
In general, having a car makes most things easier for me in Singapore. But this year it meant I had to keep up with road closures (which were well publicized), and we needed a special sticker/access pass to drive to Marina Square (where E and Rhi have gymnastics).
I fumbled a bit with the route I had to take to Marina Square, but we added in extra time (and still ended up getting there a few minutes late). It was weird to get waved onto a deserted lane of traffic , and to see that part of Singapore devoid of traffic.
We entered the parking lot by a hotel on the opposite side of the road from our usual entrance to the parking garage (the carpark for Marina Square shares space with two hotels), and had to stop for a police inspection. They gave us a cursory glance (I guess the two kids in car seats in the back marked us as not threatening) and gave us a slip of paper to put in the dashboard.
another cell phone pic
Marina Square isn’t usually jam packed on a Saturday afternoon, but there are usually a reasonable number of cars. It was strange to see the lot practically barren. Well, barren except for a large number of sports cars that I assume had something to do with F1 as they were behind tape, had people guarding them, and plenty of people were taking photos of them. For us it was great as we got a parking spot right by the elevators closest to The Little Gym.
After class we got back in the car, and followed a series of confusing signs to the exit. It was a bit frustrating as at times you were supposed to follow the actual car park’s exit signs and at others there were special exit signs. But once we finally found the one open exit, we headed out and away from the F1 area.
For all that F1 can be a bit of a hassle, there is an a major benefit–if you’re willing to stay away from the designated area, dinner reservations are absurdly easy to get. We went to the Dempsey Hill area and had no trouble parking, nor were the restaurants very busy (which is not my impression of what that area is like on a regular Saturday night).