Tuesday, January 6, 2009

As For Observation Wheels...

"Hey! have you heard that June Allyson gave a concert downtown? I heard there was not a dry seat in the house" -anonymous

If anyone has ever had trouble getting to a bathroom when nature could not wait, you could see the true challenge of the incident that occurred a few weeks ago at the Singapore Flyer. The world's largest observation wheel- standing tall at over 164 meters- came to a stop, leaving 173 people stranded for over seven hours. Granted, there are worse things that can happen, but even then, the unexpected can become hazardous.

As one of those cannisters curls aroung the highest point on the wheel, the occupants are standing more than one and one-half football fields' length above ground. Here is a description of these observation rooms:

Singapore Flyer capsules are fitted with the latest cooling system, supported by a back-up air conditioning system and a solid roof. Passengers need not suffer from the heat when the capsule is 165 metres above the ground, for the capsules are fitted with UV protection to shield them from the blazing Singapore sun. The precision wind engineering also allows passengers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the spectacular skyline without worrying about any movements or vibrations.

Ergonomically designed, each capsule measures 4 metres by 7 metres and has an interior space of 28 square metres, comfortably accommodating a maximum of 28 passengers. The flyer also has elderly and wheelchair friendly synchronised double door entry/exit systems.

But, once again, I assert that when something unlikely happens, like last month's fire in the control room, and the wheel has to shut down for over seven hours, what comforts do we have then? I figure: sure, I could stay on this ride for half an hour longer than the standard ride (each revolution takes approximately thirty minutes). But ideally, I know that wherever I am in the course of a day, I like to know that if I am in this capsule with family or friends for longer than half an hour, I want to know a bathroom will be available. Biology can be an ikssue if the riders had just finished eating. One person discussing this with me said , “well, they can just hold it!”

Time with family and friends can become more intimate, and more intense if that last bowl of rice with sambal, or that last cup of tea wants liberation before you do.

These are the memories of a lifetime, and I am grateful no one got hurt seriously when operations of the Flyer stopped. Of the people on board, two ended up in thje hospital for extended stays, and I have heard of no one seriously injured.

I am an epileptic. I am thinking how forgetting to take my medicine could affect me under those conditions. I suppose I have to be ready for anything. I am thinking how the views of Malaysia and Indonesia will seem most unimportant after such an experience. I am thinking how I would manage such a day now that my own neurology is under investigation.

As an aside:

I, like this machine, am being checked out for system failures. Sigh. My system is becoming irritating. Walking is a drag. But, my aggression is increasing. I now know that I have to come up with some answers on this physical stuff, and make my decisions based on the information my doctors provide.

Once again, the doctors at Shasta Community Health Center's HOPE van have forwarded me to another neurologist. Now, there is a new twist. I have been qualified for MediCal coverage with a payment portion of close to eight hundred dollars. At this point in my life, it is startling to think how I have to take charge of this. Each month I have to maximize the services of which I take advantage, because I am responsible out of pocket for close to half my take home income.

So, we forge on. I am forced to ask questions, and make decisions. I am forced to do many things, because every dollar counts. I pray we find some answers soon.

Thank you for reading.


ms firefly said...

i've never been to singapore, but i have always contemplated that i wanted to get on that flyer for sure. it's too bad for the people who had to endure being stranded, it's unimaginable. let's just say, i've been through times when that "last cup of tea or last bowl of coconut-based soup" i had, wanted liberation too in the most inappropriate time and place. *shudder*

thanks for dropping by my little hut. :)

Amor said...

Hi Keith! Happy New Year.

I do not have the guts to ride in a Ferris Wheel as high as that even for a single minute, much more staying there for 7 hours without going to a bathroom.

Heart of Rachel said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope that you can visit our country again in the near future.

I've heard of the Singapore Flyer. I would love to experience that someday.

I could just imagine how long those 7 hours were for those stranded people. I'm glad no one got hurt seriously.

I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through. Wishing you well. Take care.

Nyl said...

i have never tried riding any carousel or wheel thing and i will never try even if its just a matter of curiosity. too bad that i get to nauseate or vomit easily:(

with regards to your condition, you'll find those answers soon keith..just hold on to your faith.:)

take care..

the donG said...

i actually wish our country will have that too. maybe soon.

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

Love your header photo! I would like to put pictures on mine, but too afraid to try it.
Wow! What a machine that Wheel is! Do not think I could ride it, as regular old ferris wheels sorta scare me.
I hope your new doctor will be able to help you. I see a rheumatologist and my insurance went up. I suppose everyone's did...it is January, after all :)

Keith said...

I thank you for dropping by. The world gets exciting when insurance gets involved.

As for the Singapore Flyer, I think unless you have a problem with glass elevators, this would bve a breeze.

They say no vibration, no movement ois noticeable... amazing