A day full of twists and turns!

Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumble Bee, Avengers!
Sword! fight!
swish, dwish, dishoom, dhaaa!
If you are or have a sci-fi aficionado in your home, you're certain to nod your head at the above. For the uninitiated, I'm talking about the world of Sci-fi heroes and Transformers: a fixation with R and his friends' circle. They discuss these characters so passionately as though a post-doc degree would depend on the discussion. And, each is an SME. The already make-believe characters come alive in more creative ways in these little heads. From time to time R imagines himself to be one of these avengers who can transform into vehicles and fight the evil.

So, can you imagine the excitement levels if he went to a place where he could actually be a part of the transformer's game plan?!

The Universal Studios

The Universal Studios in Sentosa Island is a theme park. The joy-rides are based on themes lifted off popular children's' movies like the Madagascar, Lost World, Transformers, Shrek, Disney, and so on. Even before we had the trip planned, R's (like-minded) classmate who had already visited the place had got R all excited about the transformer's ride. So, we knew that we simply HAD to cover this one come what may.

We were quite a large group this time. (M, her kids, M's Sil and her kids and the three of us.) The place is HUGE and very creatively done. Each section is well-planned and laid out. There are rides for all ages. You can re-live the childhood in the right sense. I, for one, absolutely love these joy rides and can give any kid tough competition when it comes to being involved. We initially followed the route map to avoid missing anything. However, the queue for each of the rides proved to be deterring, and in the end, we had to split up as three groups to cover what was most important to each.

Our first ride was on a boat that took us through a long tunnel. The dark tunnel had the characters of Madagascar playing out a scene, mouthing dialogues targeting the passengers on the boat, springing surprises at blind turns along the way. The ride, bereft of any adrenaline factor, was a cute presentation; strictly for little kids :-) After the ride, the characters came out to engage with the crowd. R thoroughly enjoyed himself, dancing to the music without any inhibitions, displaying a streak of flamboyance in some sense, quite unlike his parents. A good thing, I'd say!

Inside the tunnel

A couple of rides and a short 4D animated movie later, we decided to break for lunch. We were also tired and worn out by the long queues everywhere. The good thing is, the rides display a real-time indicator right at the beginning of the queue that indicates the amount of time one would need to wait in the queue. So it's easier to decide right at the beginning if the ride might be worth the waiting time.

It was almost 2 pm as we strode towards the Lost World section. Most of the rides showed a waiting time of one hour, the exciting ones more than that. So, it was time to pick and choose. Our instinct told us to finish off the great transformer's ride before anything else, so off we split ourselves. This was one of the best decisions we made. You'll know why, soon.

M's son, E, came with us.The queue there reminded me of the queues at Tirupati. We went from one enclosed section to another, each time hoping that would be the last one, only to find ourselves into another. There was so much build-up to the actual ride. Every enclosed space was filled with transmitters, video screens that displayed some mathematic mumbo-jumbo, and movie characters on different screens trying to solve a life-threatening situation. The answer being the avenger of course, who can save them from the alien's attack or some such. R and E thoroughly enjoyed being in the queue too!

Finally, after about an hour or so, we reached the end of the line and all the hoopla. As we strapped ourselves to the seat and set off, we realized that all the hype was totally worth it and perhaps more. The 4D animated experience was simply mind-blowing. You've to experience it to know. Even the ones who scoff at sci-fi stuff will agree to this. R was going to boast to his friends back home for a long while now.

As we got off, contemplating going back for a second round, we were greeted by the rest of our group. Our description of the ride got them all excited and they decided to head towards the queue right away. And, then, I saw an opportunity. There were two more rides under the sci-fi section that were not meant for little kids. I thought it was a good idea to pack off R with the rest and try one of those rides with the husband. The plan seemed perfect and we split into different groups again.

About 10 minutes in the queue and I saw M and a security person approach us with a worried look on their faces. I knew instantly something was wrong. M said that we needed to go with her as R had got himself injured. We jumped off and darted outside. I was imagining all the worst scenarios in my head and couldn't even bring myself to ask M the details. As we ran, I only kept asking where R is and if it was too bad. By then I saw R with a gash just below his left eyebrow. The moment I saw him, I just enveloped him into a tight hug. It was not as serious as I'd imagined; his eye escaped narrowly, he's not unconscious, these thoughts kept going on in my head in a loop. Actually, I just felt a wave of relief wash over me.

R was sobbing, more out of shock than pain. The only thing he kept telling me, in between sobs, was that he wasn't running. I've always reprimanded him for not being careful and being susceptible to all kinds of injuries. Poor thing! After I had calmed him (and myself) down, I asked M what happened. Apparently, they were at a queue for a different ride and R just banged himself against a railing. R's version was no different. He was trying to keep pace with others and banged against the rod which he missed seeing. The railings were all smooth with no rough edges and the whole thing baffled us and the staff who, as part of due diligence, tried to understand how the accident occurred. The wound wasn't bleeding a lot but since the gash was wide, stitches were required to seal the area. The medico-in-charge advised us to take R to a children's hospital nearby since the charges in the Park would be way higher and besides they might not have the best of facilities. Oh boy! a hospital visit in Singapore. We were told how expensive medical facilities are and while this was not a good time to calculate expenses, we couldn't help wondering how much of a blow this could be.

M's SIL decided to wait back with her kids and E while M and her younger one D accompanied us to the hospital. The staff at Universal were highly prompt and made sure to see that we got dropped off at the taxi bay, and even got a preferential cab service. The ride to the hospital was more solemn than anxious since R was not complaining of any pain and he wasn't showing any red flag signs. R required five stitches and we were done with all the formalities and procedure in less than an hour's time. And, yes, since it was a government hospital, we got let off with minimal (relatively speaking, of course) expenses. We had to take care that the wound was minimally exposed to water and keep him off strenuous activities for the next few days.

So, yes, we even did a tour of a hospital while holidaying. How much more exciting can the trip get! "All izz well" is all we could hum as we hit the bed that night. 


  1. Oh my goodness! I was just reading along, enjoying the whole scene with you and you brought it to life for me, I might add and then the R's incident shook me up. I can only imagine what you must have felt! 5 stitches. Yikes. Glad that it wasn't anything serious and he is fine now.
    Thoroughly enjoying this revival of your blog, Uma. Well done!

    1. Yeah, it was a momentary upset but then we were glad that it was not anything more serious.
      Thanks a lot, Shailaja! So glad to hear this. I'm enjoying putting down my memories as well :-)

  2. good narration...enjoyed reading...

  3. OH NO.. 5 stitches .. but they hey growing young man.. so not to worry .. we fall and then we GET UP :) soon that scar will go away toooooooooooo...

    you all had a good time and I guess I must say here that I missed that universal studios stuff in singapore I did not even know it had one .. I am such a idiot.. been there twice now :( now I am sad because I would have myself loved to go there ...


    1. True, Bikram, for kids it does not seem like a big deal. R was raring to go immediately :-p
      oh..oh..maybe you should now plan a visit specifically to Universal's. It's great fun even for adults.

  4. Oh poor R, so good to know it wasn't anything major. I was totally immersed in your description, and was taken aback just by reading, so it must have been quite a shock for you all I'm sure. A hospital visit during a vacation, definitely not what you expect, but glad that it worked out ok.
    We did the Transformers ride at Universal in US, and I really think I enjoyed it more than the kids did ;).

    1. yeah, thank god for small mercies, I'd say. Another friend couple did the SG tour around the same time as we did. The guy went on the transformer's ride for 5 consecutive times! Says a lot about its popularity with adults too :-)


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