Tuesday, May 30

Ann Arbor, MI

Got the day off tomorrow. We're taking a road trip up north to Ann Arbor, where the University of Michigan is. Gonna be visting Jeremy and Jerald, and hopefully I'll see a few more familiar faces, cos' apparently there are a lot of Singaporeans studying in UMich.

Pray we get there in one piece. Haven't driven 200km before. And this is left-hand drive. Gulp.

Jeff and Keith. Waddup dawg.

3 out of 10 guests think my prizes are ugly. =(

Sunday, May 28

The Observation Tower resembles a crucifix.

Rainbow Bridge. Canada, left. USA, right.

I really wish you were here with me.

Niagara Falls, NY

Took a day off work to travel up to Niagara Falls in New York.

Whatever I say here won't do justice to the awe and splendour I felt when we were at Niagara Falls. It was simply breathtaking. Standing at the base of the Falls, you can’t help but feel so insignificant looking at the scale of it all. We took the Lady of The Mist, a boat ride into the heart of the Falls. Good thing they provided ponchos. We still got drenched though.

The Cave of The Winds allowed us to walk right up to the base of the Falls. Running into the pounding water was scary yet exciting at the same time. What a rush.

God sure is our wonderful creator indeed. That's an understatement.


Yes, you can actually walk up to it. At your own risk.

This is Niagara Falls

Maybe it isn't such a good idea to rip our raincoats right now.

We're going in.

Wednesday, May 17


Woohoo! Made the most money among all the game stalls in my area last Thursday. Got the WWE World Championship belt for one day. Haha, cheap thrill. One thing I realise about American work ethic, is how appreciative they are, and how they're not stingy on praises and compliments when they think you've done a good job.

Something that's quite lacking in Asian culture in general I guess. People only point things out when you mess up, and not when you've done something right and well. Well from my experiences at least.

Tuesday, May 16

The Day A Monkey Almost Got Me Fired

This happened last Thursday. I was at a game called “GUNBALL”, where players had to shoot a foam ball at 3 plastic cups. The prize for knocking down all the cups was a giant gorilla doll.

This kid came up to play. What started out as a simple “OK I’ll give it a go”, turned into a “I’m not leaving until I win the monkey!”. He must have spent close to 40US dollars, when I started feeling sorry for him. So I started making it easier for him, by putting the cups nearer the edge. He finally won the prize after playing for the umpteenth time.

An hour later, I was called into the manager’s office, and asked if I had assisted any of the guests in winning a prize. I told them that I did. They must have seen me on the stall’s cameras. I was told that it was equivalent to employee theft for assisting guests to win prizes, and that my actions should warrant an immediate termination of contract!

In the end, they decided to give me a final warning, and make me reimburse the park for the cost of the damn ape, and another one which I helped another guest win. It came to be about 60 US bucks.

Well. It could have been a lot worse. Thank God they didn’t deport me. If a little girl came up to me now and begged for a prize, I think I would be quite indifferent.

Stupid kid.

Monday, May 15

The CP ferris wheel and maXair

Thursday, May 11

The Power Tower and Corkscrew, with Top Thrill Dragster in the background.

The Top Thrill Dragster. 0-180km in 4 secs, shooting you up 15 storeys before you come back down the same height. All in 20 secs.

Step Right Up

Not been able to update the blog for ages, for the simple reason that internet connection is really unstable here. =(

Anyway, I have so much to tell everyone. It’s been a blast working at Cedar Point so far. The hours are pretty long, but I don’t mind, cos’ I do need the money. I’ve been stationed at a games stall. It’s this game called “Unball” (Don’t ask. I have no idea what the name means). Players have to knock down 3 bottles with a beanbag. Looks simple enough, but it’s really not easy to do. On the average, I give out only 3 prizes a day! I give out furry dog dolls, which is a lot less attractive than the giant Family Guy dolls, and giant Spongebob Squarepants dolls that the guests love, so gotta make more noise to attract them.

Working hours are 9.30am to 9pm everyday, with an hour of break for the whole day. My job involves shouting the usual “KNOCK EM’ DOWN, WIN A PRIZE!” or “STEP RIGHT UP FOLKS!”, enticing the crowd to play the game. At US$2 for one try, it ain’t cheap. I once went a whole morning without anyone playing, despite shouting my lungs out, which was quite demoralizing. But sometimes, guests will actually spend US$50 on the game, without winning anything, which really puzzles me, since the dog doesn’t look like it’s worth that much.

To make time pass by faster, I have to continuously find ways to amuse myself. My stall is located to this diner with a 1950s American Diner theme (think Back to the Future), and it’s really entertaining, cos’ the waiters will come out and dance to “Celebrate Good Times” or “YMCA” every 15 minutes. So I’ve learnt the moves and memorized the lyrics. I’ve also gotten pretty proficient at juggling. “”Ka-chao-ing” guests has to be the best way to kill time. Boyfriends are easy targets. All you gotta do is say, “Hi Sir. Win a prize for your girlfriend?”, and their male egos won’t allow them to say no. Hahaha.

I feel terrible when people spend so much and still don’t get a prize though, especially little girls. They give you the puppy eyes and the “you-cheat-my-money” look when they don’t win anything. I try to tell myself they should hate the game, not me. =(

Getting my first off day tomorrow. Gonna take some of the rides and settle get quotations for a car in the afternoon. Can’t wait to ride the coasters! Woohoo!

It’s been good. I just miss eating good hawker fare though. Eating burgers everyday can really make you sick.

I want Balestier Bak Kut Teh. =p

Tuesday, May 2

One of the smaller coasters at Cedar Point

D.C. To Sandusky

It’s been an interesting 4 days checking out the capitol of the States. Checking out all the free (the word all Singaporeans can identify with) museums, and monuments. The National Mall, Washington Monument, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial, Capitol Hill, The White House. You always see these places in movies and TV shows, so it’s pretty cool to actually see it up close and in person.

One of the things I love about traveling is just having conversations with people that I would never have been able to meet if I was in Singapore. Pabló the Italian backpacker; Eric the Malaysian banker; C from Maine, he’s gay and was disowned by his family since he was 14. It was quite funny when I introduced myself to him. I said “Hi, I’m Gabe”, and he looked quite amused. I was wondering what was with the look he gave me until Nick pointed out that “Hi, I’m Gabe” sounded a lot like “Hi, I’m gay”. Gulp.

We’ve reached Sandusky, Ohio on Saturday night. Spent Sunday settling all the administrative details: housing, uniforms, opening a bank account, etc. Had a look around the theme park. It is MASSIVE, and so are the rides. 0-120miles per hour in 6 seconds, 15 storey drops for the roller coasters, these rides can make grown men cry.

A bit frustrated with the internet connection though. Wireless comes on and off, so if you don’t see regular updates, you know why.

This is home for 3 months. Hasn’t really sunk in yet.