Monday, December 12, 2005

Treasure Treasure, Where Art Thou?

I was in Singapore recently to join the Singapore's Half-A-Million Ringgit Race 3 which kicked off on 21 Nov 2005 with 4 other team members. We were all working late till like 10pm on the night before, rushed home to pack our bags and off we go around 3am on Saturday. Reached one of the rest stop near the Johor-Singapore border just in time for our breakfast and the entry riddle brought us to the Raffles Country Club not far from the Tuas Second Link for the registration process.

"A premier spot for a golfing game,
That proudly sports our founder’s name.
Neighbours, look for its location,
Near the second link between two nations."

Once registered, we were all so excited and just can't wait to claim our RM100,000 or so we thought. The first clue given read like this:

"Sitting along the quiet path,
This is hardly nature's wrath,
If you strain your sights hard enough,
You might glimpse a fruit that's just so tough."

The elusive fruit had all 5 of us racing to the Esplanade building by the Marina Bay which looked like a big durian. For those of you who don't know, durian is a tropical fruit with greenish, spiky outer shell and is known as the King of Fruits. A common saying is that the durian smells like hell but tastes like heaven. It was a sight to behold at how fast the 4 of us jumped out from the car with the thought of getting to that 2nd clue and raced toward the building as the driver went to park his car. We circled 'The Durian' to no avail. Not to be discouraged so fast, we searched every quiet path or walkway around the area. Nada! We searched inside the building too, up down, left right and center, you name it! Still zero! We took a break for lunch and back to the search again.

Searching for this elusive 2nd clue brought us to not just the Esplanade but we also ended up in the Marina City Park, Merlion Park, Clifford Pier, Boat Quay, Supreme Court and City Hall, Parliament House, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Raffle's Square, Asian Civilizations Museum, Fort Canning and everywhere else in between them on FOOT! Unfortunately for our aching feet, our search still ended up fruitless (pun intended). By nightfall, we were too tired and decided to rest for the night in our hotel at Orchard Road.

After a quick shower and scrumptious dinner, my gal pal and I were off to be dazzled by the bright lights of the shopping haven as the boys headed back to our room. We're fascinated with the cozy little pubs and quaint little cafes we found tucked in small alleys and old lanes. Even as we pose for pictures along Orchard Road, we didn't stop thinking and analyzing the clue. We found meaning even on the manhole covers we saw along the road which bear pictures of various kinds of fruit! As midnight approaches, we decided to retire to bed before we lose our sanity over the damn fruit.

The next day, with our spirits renewed and bodies healed, it's off once again for the hunt. Our search on the 2nd day brought us to Raffles Hotel, Eskibar, Sentosa Island, Haw Par Villa, Kent Ridge Park and we even paid a visit to Chijmes and Villa Bali in Gilman Village for good measure. 3 of us even climbed up to a God-forsaken watch tower all to no avail. Heads dizzying from the narrow spiral staircase we were climbing, 3 of us ended up laughing our arses off as we ascended the tower. I bet not many Singaporean had even stepped foot on this tower, let alone take in the magnificent view from atop. Below is a picture taken from inside the tower itself. You can see the big durian building in the distance.

Disheartened that we didn't even manage to find one clue, we headed back to the starting point for some answers towards the end of the 2nd day. To our disgust, the clue at the starting point had been changed to now hold a very important point and that is that the location of the 2nd clue is only open from 9am to 6pm! This vital piece of information was missing from the original clue posted up on the day of our registration. Tsk tsk tsk! Till today, we're waiting to find out where the clue we had been searching for is hidden.

Still, the 2 days had been great fun with great company. Not a total loss after all. *winks*


Anonymous said...

You were at Kent Ridge Park? And you did not spot the answer there? What happened?

Schweeney said...

Hi there, we were at Kent Ridge Park but as it was getting dark and since we were leaving Singapore soon, we didn't go to the Canopy Walk where the clue was. Tough luck.