By jeremy au yong, jay talking
Thinking of taking a holiday in Singapore but fear there won't be enough suffering?
Well, worry no more. (Unless, of course, you happen to enjoy worrying, in which case you can worry all you want. Whatever floats your boat. I'm not here to judge.)
We will be the first to admit that Singapore has long neglected your specific demographic. In the past, the country had very little to offer people like you who demand a certain amount of pain and suffering on their vacations.
You will be glad to know that much has changed. In recent months, numerous existing attractions have been retrofitted to cater to your specific tastes. We did a detailed study and invested some effort into this project and I am sure you will like what you see.
Where we could not have the attraction to directly inflict pain on you, we inflicted pain on the attraction so that you can be reminded of pain.
We have spared no expense for the sake of your displeasure.
While we cannot list all of the different attractions here, we've picked just a few painful highlights.
Enjoy, or rather, don't enjoy your stay!
Do you find that your shopping experience lacks pushing, shoving and people ramming into you with trolleys loaded with television sets?
Want a shopping trip where you can get good bargains and yet at the same time be exposed to risk of death by suffocation?
Then you absolutely cannot miss one of Singapore's IT fairs.
At every fair, nearly the entire male population crams into a few convention centre floors and proceeds to buy flatscreen TVs like they (the TVs, not the men) are curry puffs.
IT vendor: Hello uncle, would you like to buy a TV? There's a promotion.
Man: Sure, I'll take five. And don't call me uncle.
If you think crowds are painful, wait till you try a crowd where every other person is pushing a trolley with a giant TV in it.
You may never want to go back to normal shopping again.
Singapore has long been known for its great dining experiences. It is known for having good food at clean hawker centres at very reasonable prices.
Understandably, you masochistic tourists stayed away.
However, thanks to the innovative efforts of one seafood stall at Newton Hawker Centre, Singapore now has a dining experience it is proud to offer to visitors like you.
You will still get a taste of Singapore food but with the added satisfaction of feeling completely ripped off at the end.
Enjoy the thrill of being presented with a gigantic bill at the end of your meal. A single tiger prawn can cost as much as $30. A meal for six will cost more than that TV set you got rammed with at the IT fair.
For a little added bonus, try querying the bill. Then just sit back and soak in some fear as some burly men appear to persuade you to pay.
When you finally cave in and pay up, make sure you don't pay with exact change, then watch helplessly as the stall owner who presented you with the large bill thinks you want to give him a tip.
It's this sort of dining experience that prompted one masochist to say: 'Die, die must try'.
After you've done all the shopping and eating, how about some outdoor activity to burn off those calories?
For you the masochist, we offer an exciting water rescue that combines physical pain of injury with the emotional pain of feeling unappreciated.
The day starts with a stroll along the Singapore River near the Merlion. If you are lucky, someone who cannot swim will fall into the water. You then dive into the water to perform a heroic rescue.
In the process, you are likely to suffer scrapes and bruises bad enough to warrant a trip to hospital.
Sounds good so far? It gets better.
Not only are you wet and injured for doing a good thing, you will also be out of pocket to the tune of $90. Yes, as a special treat for tourists like you, you will be made to pay your hospital bill.
During the trip, be sure to have your picture taken with the Merlion statue.
It became an iconic symbol for pain after a lightning strike left a large hole in its head.
After all that excitement, it's time to wind down with a relaxing ride on the world's largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer. Such wheels may be commonplace these days, but none offers the kind of torture we do.
As with the water rescue, timing is crucial here. While the wheel will operate normally most times (it has to cater to normal tourists too), it will occasionally break down.
When it does, you can look forward to up to six hours stuck in a small enclosed capsule at over 100m in the air.
This is especially recommended for claustrophobic masochists who fear heights.
For the ultimate experience though, make sure to drink a lot of water just before you get on and don't take any plastic bags with you.
Somewhere around the third hour, you'll be a big hit with the rest of the passengers.
These are but a few of the many wonderful experiences just waiting to be enjoyed. And we're coming up with new ways to hurt you all the time.
So what are you waiting for? Contact your travel agent today.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.
For more The Straits Times stories, click here.