Sunday, May 3, 2015

Stupid Walk

Cars in Singapore are prohibitively expensive. To control traffic congestion on the tiny island, the Government runs a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) scheme which effectively discourages poor people (like me) from owning cars on the island. The rational is to control pollution and traffic. The COE is auctioned monthly and let’s you own a car for 10 years with that certificate. To give you an idea, as of this blog post writing the value of COE is $67,601 for cars below 1600cc. The irony now is – people who can afford to buy the COE are so rich that the most commonly bought cars in Singapore are – Lexus, Mercedes and BMW. To be precise – the best-selling car in 2014 was the Mercedes Benz E-Class.

Fast & Furious stars react to car prices in Singapore

The public transport however is extremely well developed (amongst the best in the world) and walking is highly encouraged. There are pedestrian walkways everywhere. You got travellators, escalators and covered walkways to shelter you from the extreme weather. You can practically walk from one end of the island to another (because there are pavements and pedestrian walkways absolutely everywhere!).

My Fitbit says that I have walked a little over a 4700 km in the last 1.8 years that I have had it. Considering that I never ever run, that’s a feat in itself. I can partially credit it to the lack of private transport and mostly to my love for walking aimlessly.

Over the period of my lifetime I have done some extremely stupid walks. Places where I should have taken some means of transport, but I misjudged the distance and ended up walking a lot! Anyway, the height of stupidity is that – I have accidentally walked the entire length of 2 airports in Singapore looking for a bus stop where there was none.

I always thought that airport runways are just over a km long. But once after I walked the entire length of Changi airport in the dead of a night, I checked that the pure runway is 4.0 km and with the airport and it’s premises, my walk was over 6 km (and mind you, that area is pretty deserted – no body expects people to walk near an airport unless you are into plane spotting). And like I discovered there are no buses in the dead of the night servicing insane people walking near an airport.

Changi Airport Length

Anyway, even after having learnt my lesson from my Changi walking incident, I ended up walking the length of another airport accidentally last week. This time luckily though, it was a private aircraft runway – Seletar Airport (so much shorter!). I ended up doing just over 3km.


I have decided never to start walking when I see big planes landing or taking off over my head. That just means that their is an airport somewhere near and there is no chance that I can get public transport!

No comments:

Post a Comment